Largescale and Smallscale Yellowfish in a Day

by | Nov 28, 2018 | largescale yellowfish | 4 comments

largescale yellowfishI love night flights home when I can fish all day before boarding the plane.  And this is exactly what Jerry and I did today with our guide friends Daniel Factor and Craig Richardson.  Craig is my South African friend that guides out of my home town during the summer.


We traveled a mere 30 minutes from our hotel in Johannesburg with Dan this morning and met Craig in a parking lot.  The place is a reserve of some sort.  On the drive in we saw all kinds of animals including giraffes.


flyfishing guide Craig RichardsonThe goal today was simple – catch a largescale yellowfish (Labeobarbus marequenis) and add the new species to my list.  I wasn’t so confident for a couple reasons however.  First was that yesterday I couldn’t convert a smallmouth yellowfish which is the easier of the two species.  Second, to catch the largescale you must nymph.  After a tune-up I can nymph like a champ but I haven’t nymph fished in eons.



Jeff Currier yellowfish

The place was like few others I’ve ever seen.  We fished below a dam but the water comes over the top rather than from below.  It was a cloudy day and under the hectic water spray and droplets splashing it seemed like we were fishing during a vicious storm.  It was quite a dramatic setting as you can see.


Jeff Currier fly fishing AfricaFishing was challenging as expected.  During the first two hours Jerry and I each lost a couple strong fish (assumed to be largescales) but then she went dead.  No doubt however, my nymphing skills were returning to me and suddenly I felt a world of confidence.  It wasn’t a minute later that I landed my first fish.


smallscale yellowfishThis fish however, wasn’t the expected largescale yellowfish.  I had another species.  Although small, this scrappy little dude is the smallscale yellowfish (Labeobarbus polylepis).  Chalk up a bonus for my Africa species list!


largescale yellowfish Jeff CurrierPersistence always pays off.  Jerry was the first to execute a largescale yellowfish.  In fact, he landed two before I landed one.  For some reason I was Mr. smallscale because I went on to land another of these cute fish.  But then it happened.  I launched long cast with two heavy nymphs.  I could barely see the end of my fly line (my indicator) with all the water spray but I saw the line jump and struck.  Fish on!


largscale yellowfish Jeff CurrierWith weeds and floating debris everywhere, I had my hands full.  I was also in a precarious spot for landing a fish.  Luckily Daniel loaned me his net because of my location and after a good battle I netted and posed with my first ever largescale yellowfish.


He’s an attractive fish and put up a mean fight despite being small.  Word with Craig and Dan is that this species can reach much larger sizes.  I’ll take this one as is and consider this an amazing day as I added not one but two species to my species list!


Largescale YellowfishIts been a fantastic trip.  Jerry and I got our work done for Team USA Masters Fly Fishing.  I’ll be reporting to my teammates when I get home and hopefully the info gathered leads us to the medal stand in February.  I also want to thank Jerry for taking me over to South Africa and looking after me so well.  And Daniel Factor did an incredible job of hosting us.  Last, its always so good to have friends around the world and I’m so glad I got to see many of my South African pals while I was here.


brown trout decalsThere is still time so DON’T FORGET my Online Store has gifts for the angler that has everything!  I have painted over 60 species of fish now available on my coffee mugs and frosted beer steins.  There’re also my new Solar Flex shirts in both men’s and women’s.  AND my growing collection of fish decals can be purchased on Amazon.

Be sure to keep track of my upcoming travels around the world!

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  1. Tad Einloth

    Congratulations on your catches and enjoying the beautiful scenery.


  2. Jeff

    Thanks Tad!

  3. Thomas Cappiello

    interesting fish

  4. Matthew Norton

    Congrtats Jeff, 2 new species! You are knocking them off fast. The large scale guy is super cool.

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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!