Hebgen Lake at its Peak!

by | Aug 26, 2020 | fly fishing Hebgen Lake Montana

ladies-flyfishingAugust 24-26, 2020

August 24

Granny and I ventured up to Hebgen Lake in Montana Monday night to catch some gulper action with one of our “Fly Fishing Show” pals, Alice Owsley, founder of Riverside Anglers.  Alice has been kicking around these parts of the Yellowstone Country for many years doing everything from working in fly shops, teaching fly fishing and now guiding for her own self.  We hang out at winter speaking gigs but have never fished together.  The last few days we made the fishing thing happen.


Hebgen-LakeAfter a lovely night watching the sunset from our camp on Hebgen sipping wine, Granny and I crashed in the back of the Explorer.  Then after what seemed a like a blink of an eye, I was brewing the coffee Tuesday morning.  Hebgen with the sunrise was a sight to behold – calm, quiet and ready for action.


August 25


Granny-flyfishingWe met up with Alice at 8:30 and launched her boat.  I insisted on taking the oars and before you know it I was rowing the ladies towards many rising trout.  And I do mean many.  This was my second trip to Hebgen this summer and it’s a place I do at least once a summer – today there were more fish up than I can recall in years!


mayfliesThese risers we call “gulpers” aren’t exactly easy to catch.  These trout were slurping Callibaetis but their movements are often erratic.  You see one moving to the right and land your fly a few feet in front – or at least you think.  But the truth is that the fish completely changed direction and you need to cast again.  The cat and mouse game can go on and on and before you know it the maddening trout has fed his way right out of range or disappeared because he’s got a mouthful of mayflies to chew on for a while.


Alice-OwsleyDespite the challenge, chasing gulpers is super fun.  Its just as exciting for the rower as it is the anglers.  Especially when the anglers know how to cast.  And believe me, these two ladies can put the fly where they want.  It didn’t take long before a few nice rainbows were brought to the net.


granny-currierOn Tuesday we fished until around 2 PM.  In general the action ends on Hebgen around noon but like I already said, this day was exceptional.  At 2 strong winds affiliated with afternoon storms kicked up.  It wasn’t safe to be on the lake anymore so Alice headed back home in West Yellowstone and Granny and I returned to our camp.


Though we dealt with big wind and lots of clouds, there was no rain and Granny and I had a pleasant afternoon of eating, reading and napping.  Tonight Granny did her usual and worked up a dinner that would be hard to put together in a full kitchen with a roof overhead.  Her camping meals are to die for and tonight was pork quesadillas.


MontanaWe had some excitement to go along with dinner.  We got so chilled out enjoying the scenery from our Yeti camp chairs that we neglected to feel the urgency to get dinner started too soon.  A cracking storm rolled in around 8:30 and Granny got the buffet done just in time to beat the first drops of rain and heavy wind.


August 26


Hebgen-LakeThe storms blew through the area till well after midnight.  We had a little rain but tons of wind.  Lucky for the region, which is extremely dry, it seemed there was very little lightening.  We already have a ton of smoke from the CA fires so we dang sure don’t need more.



We met Alice for the same program today.  The only difference however was that the gulpers were few and far between.  Same place.  Same time but less fish.  This is typical on Hebgen – you rarely have back to back spectacular days.  This being said however, you can always find some fish.  It’s just that when there are less it can be exceptionally hard to catch them.



When its hard is when I like to fish.  Today I started in the front of the boat and with my size 16 Parachute Adams I was able to get into a few.  Though I landed some, I had a problem keeping the tough contenders on past their first runs.  I must have lost four nice fish today.  But honestly, when it comes to gulper fishing it’s getting them to eat your fly that’s the real mental rush.


brown-troutWe wrapped it up on Hebgen around 1 PM today.  Fishing was actually heating up when we left so it was hard to leave.  Especially when I ended it with this brown.  But Granny heads back to work for another grueling week behind the retail counter in Jackson.  I also had a meeting for a few pints with the boys tonight at the Knotty.  We are making carp fishing plans for Friday.  Stay tuned!


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


Welcome to the Blog of Jeff Currier!

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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!