Kicking Off August on Chequamegon Bay

by | Aug 1, 2023 | fly fishing Lake Superior | 2 comments

Jeff-CurrierThere were a few times today where I caught myself thinking “Is it really August?  What happened to July?  But I ask myself this every year.  The fact is, once July 4th passes summer seems to go faster.  Maybe it’s the shortening of the days.  Or perhaps we slowdown which in turn speeds up time.  I know I slowed.  In June I fished 16 days but for July I only fished 11.  Still not bad.


Today, on this first day of August, Granny and I took up Howie on his invite to fish Chequamegon Bay of Lake Superior on his boat in search of the northern Wisconsin species variety pack.  One day last year in August, Howie and I had a monumental day catching lake whitefish, herring, smallies, yellow perch, a steelhead and pike in one day.  We were hoping to have a similar one today but the fish gods challenged us instead.


Chequamegon-BayWe met at Howie’s coffee pot at 5:15 AM.  There was no sense hanging around so we boarded his truck and set off on the 25 minute drive to the Washburn boat ramp.  We launched at what should have been sunrise.  Unfortunately the smoke from the Canada fires did a nice job of blocking the sun.  The only good thing was it kept an otherwise scorcher of a day quite cool.


Currier-whitefishNot too far out in the bay there’s always a few boats jigging for lake whitefish.  The whitefish are on bottom in 30-60 feet of water.  It’s a far cry from an ideal fly fishing scenario but I go for it anyhow.  For me, it’s a nice way to test my skills at feeding one of Scientific Anglers fast sinking lines to bottom with a heavy jig fly.  The skill will come in handy next time I’m after grouper in some remote salty location.  Howie stuck to the old fashion way using a spin rod and a spoon.  Howie’s method was more efficient.  I believe Howie caught six and I caught only this one.


Granny-CurrierGranny gave the whitefish dredging a try but she doesn’t have the patience.  After about two hours of chasing the deep dwellers we headed to our smallmouth bass haunts.  We went with high hopes but I’m sad to say it just wasn’t happening.  Howie raised a couple tiny ones and Granny caught a few yellow perch.


pikeThe day was painfully slow.  We had a two hour period where there was always two of us casting but nothing to show for it.  I’m sure if we dangled a small fly around the deep weed beds we could have pulled on more perch but we were hoping for big smallies.  Oh, I should mention it wasn’t a total loss.  Howie and I each caught a tiny pike.


flyfishing-superiorLate in the day we went to what Howie and I suspected would be reliable.  This is an unobvious location we discovered last summer.  The water is about 12 feet deep and there are scattered weed beds.  But it’s out in the middle of nowhere and near the opening of the bay to the open Lake Superior.  We feel it’s a place that could produce a massive Canada sized pike.  And it is where we landed several huge smallies last year.


Our problem today was that “last year” was August 23, three weeks later than today.  What happened was we couldn’t find those weed beds at first.  It turns out the weeds haven’t grown all the way in yet.  Not seeing them made it harder to fish here.  And also, it seemed the fish aren’t here in big numbers yet.


netting-fishAll this being said, we had a couple chances at glory.  It took 45 minutes of casting but I went tight on what seemed like a gigantic smallmouth.  I suspect this not only by the fight, but I saw a massive smallie follow me on a previous cast minutes before.  After a short battle, one that I felt like I was trailing the entire time, I lost my fish.  What was worst – it was before we got a look at the fish.  Dang!



Not more than a couple minutes later, Howie went tight.  Only he knew it wasn’t good.  He saw the big pike inhale his smallie fly.  When you’re smallie fishing you don’t use wire.  The lengthy pike snapped his head once and was gone.


Matt-NortonAll this action fired us up and we got after it hardcore.  Howie and I that is.  Remember we started around 6 AM.  Now it was after 5 and Granny was ready to rock back to Howie’s to drink margueritas with Howie’s wife Sue.  The girl is a good sport so we weren’t going to torture her.  And, just as we were about to leave, Howie hooked another pike.  The good news is this time the teeth miraculously didn’t bite through.  The pike was 29” and Granny and I will have him for dinner.


shore-lunchIts always a good day on the water.  We had our chances.  Had I caught the fish I lost and it turned out to be a 20” bass – my day would have been unreal.  And if the pike that bit off Howie was a 36 incher and he landed it – you know what I’m getting at.  That’s fishing.  We’ll be back soon!


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


  1. mike

    I look forward to your blog. Your first few sentences reminded me of a Nick Adams story. It’s been that sort of summer for me. A couple good outings earlier and now I wonder where the summer has gone.

    “He loved the long summer. It used to be that he felt sick when the first of August came and he realized that there were only four more weeks before the trout season closed. Now sometimes he had it that way in dreams. He would dream that the summer was nearly gone and he hadn’t been fishing. It made him feel sick in his dream, as though he’d been in jail.”

    Hemingway. “On Writing”

  2. Jeff

    Mike, that quote from the book and the dreaming part could be sort of a nightmare. Interestingly for me, I have been like that for the last 20 years. Pretty much since I lost my time for ice fishing, winters were awful. It meant working like mad, driving in horrible conditions to get to work, too short a days and etc. Winter just went to crap for me. But, the last couple years I’ve made so much of my summer – literally no waste – fishing myself into oblivion – that I’m at peace with the shortening of the days and perhaps a little more rest ahead where I can write, do more art, watch a Packer game, hit the neighborhood pub with friends – etc. Summers are best but maybe a rest watching the snow fall is ok!

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!