Fly Fishing the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior

by | May 4, 2024 | fly fishing Lake Superior | 4 comments

fly-fishingWe’d have to be out of our minds to trust the weather after the last two days.  Mike Neuman, Matt “Howie” Norton and I have been saturated in rain, frozen by cold and had our brains blown out by the wind fishing Chequamegon Bay of Lake Superior here in Wisconsin.  Today the forecast dangled a carrot that was a prediction of a high of 49°, very light wind, occasional showers throughout the day with the sun popping out around 7 PM.


Its sad we viewed the forecast as good weather, but the last two days were torturous.  And in our suffering we caught a mere two fish.  Instead of rushing out to the largest lake in North America, we enjoyed a high protein Howie brekky and several cups of coffee before heading for the unfamiliar.


WisconsinWe faced a few showers on our 30 minute drive to the Washburn Marina.  But it wasn’t bad.  When we arrived the wind truly was light.  Light enough we decided to take a long boat ride and fish the rugged shorelines of the Apostle Islands.  The Apostle’s are one of the Great Lakes largest archipelago’s and are a National Lakeshore.



flyfishingIn Neuman’s speedy Lund it only took us about 20 minutes to reach Madeline Island, the first of 22.  We considered making a few casts there but the calmness encouraged us to head further.  Our first stop was the east side of Hermit Island.




fly-fishingWhile Madeline Island is somewhat developed, the rest of the Apostles are wild.  There is camping but keep in mind, Stockton and Oak Islands are home to one of the densest populations of black bear in the US.  All the islands provide chances for huge brown trout, coho, chinook and lake trout.  We wasted no time going to work.



HowieIt wasn’t long that the forecasted “shower” turned into another deluge.  Being nicknamed “Monsoon Currier” in parts of the world, its easy to get dirty looks from friends.  Howie blames a lot of days like the last few on me, however I believe its time to blame Neuman too.  And maybe Howie should look in the mirror as well.  The three of us had some dreadful weather days together the last two years.


fly-patternsWe fished hard around Hermit, Stockton and the very north side of Madeline for most of the day.  I mean hard at it.  We changed flies often from traditional olive and black trout streamers to some concoctions the boys created at the whiskey vise.  Purple is an excellent salmon color on Superior.



Apostle-IslandsI managed to raise a sturdy lake trout of approximately 25” on the hang.  One of several hundred hangs I’ve done this week, only to screw up by going into my cast regardless of the nice fish being there.  I basically pulled my fly away from a feeding fish and despite trying more, never saw him again.  Careless!


Howie sort of ridded our skunk for the day.  He brought what looked to be an 8” coho to boatside.  Neither Neuman or I ran for the net because this fish was ridiculously small.  In hindsight we probably should have because looking back, the little guy got away.  The skunk was not gone.


flyfishingWe gave up on the Apostles when a glimmer of this orange glow appeared above.  It was the sun.  We’d pummeled rocky shorelines for most of a day for nothing more than a scenic tour.  It was time to get closer to the boat ramp being it was late in the day.




We opted to head back to Sand Cut where I stuck that nice smallmouth the first day.  When we got there it was mostly sunny.  Still crisp in the high 40°s but the sun felt good.  Mike picked off a micro northern to officially get the skunk off the boat right upon arrival.



HowieOur final move of our early season adventure to Chequamegon Bay was fruitful.  Not only did we end our skunk, but we cleaned up on the yellow perch.  We hoped for a big pike or another fatty smallie, but it was all perch.  Pretty fun actually and nice to end with all of us getting a few tugs.


We wrapped it up around 8:30 PM.  While these three days didn’t provide many fish, it was still a memorable fishing trip.  Any time you hang with friends on a boat for three days with fly rods zipping is a good time.  And this spring excursion is now officially an annual.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate in 2025.


Lake-SuperiorI’ll head home in the morning.  Naturally the weather looks great the next few days.  I have some yardwork to catch up on and some packing.  My world traveling is back in stride and next week I’ll head to the salty Pacific waters off the coast of Colombia.  Keep the pedal to the medal while you can!


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


  1. Lance

    What’s the black goo in the Howie brekky?? LOL

  2. Jeff

    Howie will hopefully see your question. I’d say its spicy secret fish sauce. But it didn’t work too well!

  3. Howie

    Hey Lance, its Delta Diner Jerk Sauce. Great little diner in the middle of nowhere delta wisconsin. They have some nice hot sauces.

  4. Howie

    1 nice day out of 12 on multiple trips over multiple seasons and 2 years has got to be some record. “Typhoon Mike” is some sort of catalyst to trigger “Monsoon Currier”.

    Honestly, i am a bit freaked out.

Welcome to the Blog of Jeff Currier!

Contact Jeff

I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!