Freezing on Challenging Jenny Lake

by | Oct 23, 2020 | fly fishing Jenny Lake

Gary-EckmanIts been way too long since I fished with my longtime friend Gary Eckman.  Gary and I fished together a few times a week ten years ago.  Then I got busy with my travels and work.  At the same time my favorite rivers got so crowed I found myself fishing the carp flats more than the trout waters.  But yesterday I gave Gary a call to see how he had been.  He answered his phone with, “Let’s go to Jenny tomorrow!”.


flyfishingMy last trip to Jenny was on October 3rdDerek Mitchell and I got skunked.  I rarely get blanked on Jenny and attributed that skunking to hot temps and glassy calmness.  Today the weather was far from that.  Though sunny, our high was 37° and a nasty 14 mph bone-chilling wind blew from the west.  It looked cold before we even got to Jenny.  But these are normally excellent conditions for lake trout to be near shore and reachable with flies.  Gary and I were pumped up to enter the elements!


Jenny-LakeIts not an easy walk into Jenny for Gary anymore but we took our time and soon Gary was casting one of my three-fly streamer rigs into the whitecaps.  His determination to keep fishing all his favorite places no matter how challenging they are is something I look up to.  That strong west wind wasn’t only freezing our guides but it was such a nightmare to cast into that I only tossed two flies.  I had a white and tan Clouser minnow on the point and a brown bugger for a dropper.


cutthroat-troutUsually I can see the lake trout swimming along the drop off.  The waves were big but with the sun I should have seen some.  They weren’t there.  Because of this I fished my Sonar Stillwater and counted 15 seconds to let my flies get deep.  I wished I’d brought a fast sinking line but I didn’t.  My first fish was a healthy Snake River Cutthroat that engulfed my Clouser.


lake-fishingThe last fish I wanted was a cutthroat because I told Granny I’d be harvesting some lake trout.  We never kill cutties.  We don’t kill many fish to eat in general but Jenny Lake lakers are a true delicacy.  I went back to work but after a frigid hour Gary and I landed exactly zero of the normally deep dwelling char.


lake-troutWe kicked back and drank cokes while Gary changed flies then we got back on the water.  We made it another hour before Gary said he was done.  I gave Gary a head start for the car and kept fishing.  Lo and behold I landed a 19” laker.  I broke out my fillet knife and took my share and handed the guts and head to a raven feeling the cold like me.


laketroutI usually crush the lakers here in the fall.  But it’s been a weird year to say the least not just on Jenny but the world overall.  At least the one laker provided Granny and I a delicious dinner tonight!


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


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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!