My First Look at the Similkameen River

by | Sep 26, 2023 | World Masters Fly Fishing Championships

Masters-flyfishingAfter dinner last night Pete, Bret, Loren, Mike and I looked over yesterday’s results.  We weren’t happy being in 6th place but we noticed one thing common in the scores from yesterday.  Almost everyone blanked on the Clearwater River.  Unfortunately Mike was one of them but what if the rest of us could scrape up a fish on every Clearwater Session while the rest of the teams blanked?  Team USA would move up fast!


Today the Clearwater River was Lorens task.  Meanwhile the rest of us had our own sessions to prepare for.  I was off to have my first ever look at the Similkameen River.


competitionThe Similkameen River is the furthest away sector in this World Masters Fly Fishing Championship here in Kamloops, British Columbia.  I was on the bus in black darkness headed 2.5 hours south at 6 am.  There was drizzle and fog and even for a non-sleeper like me I was able to doze off a few times and catch up on some much needed sleep.



Our bus with my 13 opponents arrived in Princeton, British Columbia at 8:30 am.  I looked on the map and we were closer to Washington, USA than Kamloops.  Our sector judge announced the beats each contender had and the bus gradually dropped us all off with our judges.



One thing different than in past years is that instead of fishing your river beat for all three hours of the session, half way through you switch beats with your neighbor.  So I started on beat 5 at 9 am.  At 10:30 am I switched with the Belgian angler and he moved to 5 and I to his 6.


Personally I didn’t love the idea of the switch beforehand.  However, when the Belgian and I got dropped off I could see immediately that his beat 6 was superior to 5 because I saw rising fish and a huge deep pool.  The switch would be welcome.


Similkameen-RiverBeat 5 wasn’t ideal for my style fishing. The entire section was shallow fast water.  There’s no doubt there were at least some whitefish but fast water shallow nymphing is my least favorite thing.  I fished my heart out with a couple of our team’s favorite nymphs only to not touch a fish in the first 1.5 hour.  When I crossed paths with the Belgian he had 24.  I was devastated!


I was feeling stressed as I began fishing beat 6.  24 fish had already been caught here and I was playing cleanup man.  The rising fish I saw earlier were gone.  Likely already caught.  However the water was excellent.  I had a deep pool along a rocky shoreline.  I nymphed my hardest gradually adding tippet and switching to heavier nymphs.  Ten minutes in and I hadn’t touched a fish.  What the heck was going on?


rainbow-troutYou can’t give up.  Most importantly I couldn’t blank.  At last I went tight and landed a 38 cm rainbow.  As my judge calculated my fish I stared at the water planning my next cast.  I was trying to determine nooks and crannies the Belgian may not have hit.  Then I spotted three whitefish hunting the sand bar right in front of me.  Once my judge released my fly I tossed it to these fish.  The beaded nymph sank to the sand and all three chased it.  I got one and best of all, I had my method of madness that worked for me to catch some fish.


In the hour I had left I managed ten whitefish and I ended my Similkameen River session with 11 fish.  Not great.  Far from good.  But there were some blanks and low numbers today.  I escaped disaster with a score of a 9.  If there was any good news it was that I beat Italy and Canada.  Two teams that threaten our chance at gold this year.  Oh, and the Belgian remained at 24 after fishing beat 5.  That definitely softened my first half struggle.


championshipsIt was a long day.  Our bus didn’t return to the hotel until 4:30 pm.  I was dusted.  But there was good news from Team USA.  First and foremost, Loren caught a fish on the Clearwater and scored a 2.  Again, catching a fish on the Clearwater is a feat!  Mike scored 7.  Pete 5.  Bret 2.  A lot of teams had a bad day and Team USA has moved all the way up to 2nd place.  Unfortunately we are 20 points behind Spain and that will be tough to conquer.

It’s been a great start for Bret, Pete and Loren.  It’s been a skirmish for Mike and I.  Tomorrow I head for the Clearwater.  One fish is all I and my team ask!

Sorry for the lack of photos .  As you can imagine there’s not a lot of extra time when you are trying to catch as many fish as you can 3 hours a day!

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!