Nothing is Impossible – Especially in Fly Fishing

by | Mar 18, 2022 | fly fishing for sturgeon | 4 comments

sturgeon-flyfishingIf you’ve been fly fishing long enough, sometimes you head out and sense magic in the air.  You feel an amazing catch headed your way.  This sensation builds undoubtable confidence that energizes each cast and every strip.  But can a sturgeon really be caught on fly rod?  And what’s the biggest walleye to eat a fly?


flyfishingSturgeon have funny mouths and feed entirely on bottom.  Usually they feed deep and due to tiny eyes, they do most their feeding by feel and smell.  There’s no way to catch one on fly.  Right?


white-sturgeonWell, conceivably you could get amazingly lucky.  Maybe the fly drops an inch from ones nose and the dinosauric fish lunges for it.  Or perhaps your fly hits bottom just as one swims over it and randomly sucks for food and it happens to be your fly.  I happen to be a guy that believes nothing in fly fishing is impossible and have in fact seen a few fly fishing miracles.  So for years when I’m fishing in sturgeon waters for other species, each and every time my fly hits the water, I wonder if it’s the one where the sturgeon eats.  I’d estimate far more than 10,000 casts.


White-SalmonMike LaSota, Granny and I headed for the white sturgeon filled Columbia River at 9 AM today to fish for walleye and smallmouth bass.  We got delayed on the way to the ramp by a massive train.  It gave us time to rig.


huge-walleyeThe day was a stunner.  There was light rain early but as the day came together the sun was poking.  Puffs of clouds were lifting from the mountains along the Gorge.


Currier-pikeminnowMike took us to the spot I caught one of the nice walleye last week.  I was fishing my very heavy chartreuse and white jig fly on the point and a black wooly bugger concoction on the dropper.  While I launched long casts from the bow of Mikes boat, Granny and Mike jigged with spin rods.  There were a few fish on the fish finder and it didn’t take long for me to go tight.  After a strong battle I landed one of the largest northern pikeminnows of my life.


Granny-CurrierNot only was the sun shooting the first rays of the day, but the wind was calm.  We were fishing the bottom in 21 feet of water and with the calmness it was easy to keep my flies tight to bottom.  I use a fast sinking SA Sonar line.  The next fish caught was by Granny and it was a beautiful smallie.




What happened next will go down in fly fishing history for me.  It was only a minute after Granny released her smallie that I went tight.  At first I thought it was a snag but the weight surged forward.  I thought right away, I was hooked to a sturgeon!



No doubt I was excited.  But I only had my 6-weight Alpha + in hand.  Surely that wouldn’t be enough to fight a sturgeon.  But I reefed on this fish and the weight lifted from the bottom.  I assumed now this fish was a big bass or walleye, however the fight was different.  I went back to realizing I had a sturgeon but I figured it was a small one and must be snagged.


It turns out I was right about one thing; I had a small sturgeon.  But to my absolute delight, the sturgeon wasn’t snagged.  The phenomenon happened; the sturgeon ate my fly and Mike netted it!


Jeff-Currier-sturgeon-on-flyThere was a lot of joy in the boat but also a mix of shock, surprise and awe.  I had to look at my jig fly repeatedly hanging from the mouth to believe it.  But it was there.  And I had another new species for my list.  To be exact, this is the white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus).  A rare one at that.  We took a couple quick photo’s then released the prehistoric fish.


Mike-LaSota-fishingFor the next couple hours we had lots of action.  I caught another huge pikeminnow and the three of us caught more smallies.  Mike brought in this lunker.


flyfishing-for-sturgeonI continued casting my heavy fly rig until things slowed.  Its laboring to cast one jig fly let alone a double rig.  And I haven’t even mentioned my most recent ailment – shoulder pain.  In midafternoon I kicked back and ate lunch and took on some sun.  When I got back to the bow it happened again.  I hooked and landed a second sturgeon.  You’re kidding me!


Fly fishing is strange.  I went years and thousands of casts hoping for a sturgeon to eat my fly and it never happened.  Then today I caught two.  The only way to explain it – miracles do happen in fly fishing.



At 4 PM I could’ve easily packed it up.  However, though I wouldn’t trade my sturgeon catch for anything, we needed a walleye for dinner.  We started moving around searching for schools by using the fish finder but there was nothing.  The depths of the Columbia looked like a lifeless desert.  We decided to end the day where I caught the first walleye on the fly last week.



The wind was picking up and I was having a tough time casting my rig.  Furthermore it wasn’t easy to get it on bottom either.  And if you’re not on bottom for walleye you probably wont catch.  I struggled but finally found an angle I could cast, mend a few times and get enough slack and sink to hit bottom in 25 feet of water.  I only stayed in the zone for about five strips but it was better than nothing.  Surprisingly I went tight to a big fish.  I thought, “There’s no way in the world I have a third sturgeon?”.


walleye-fliesThe fish held bottom like my sturgeons earlier today but then came up from the bottom and fought hard near the surface.  It was big.  So big that on my first glimpse it had to be a sturgeon.  But the color wasn’t right.  It had the gold of a walleye and twisted like a walleye.  My glimpse was short and the fish ran back to bottom and fought hard there for a minute.  Then I worked him back up.  I was praying he didn’t get loose before we at least saw what it was.  Then we did.  This was the biggest walleye of my life!


Currier-walleyeMike yelled and reached with his net.  The walleye was longer than the nets width.  The glossy eyed monster wriggled his way out of the hoop a few times before finally folding and falling in.  Mike lifted and we had one of the largest walleyes any of us had ever seen.  The fish was 28” long and thick!


walleyeTo say it was a heck of a day of fishing for me is an understatement.  I fish a ton and have a lot of good days, but today was one for the history books.  Not only did I catch two white sturgeon on a fly, perhaps the most challenging new species for my list in years, but I added a jumbo walleye to the resume that I doubt I’ll ever top for the rest of my life.



Today will be it for planned fishing.  Granny and I begin our trip back east on Sunday.  Once again it includes a week of closing errands in Idaho, a stop to look at homes in WI then back to NH.  From NH I’ll head to the Seychelles to host and return to the US in May.  Trust me, if I don’t fish again the next to weeks, don’t fret, the Seychelles reports should be unreal!


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


  1. Kevin Yoshida

    Wow Jeff! EPIC! When a fishing day comes together like that, there’s a little bit of luck but its also the accumulation of decades of countless casts, helping thousands of people in the sport, and a supportive family. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Kristen Sorensen

    Congrats! What a fish story!!

  3. Lane

    Hell yeah! What a day. I knew when you started the blog in such a manner of writing, something truly special occurred.

  4. Jeffrey Currier

    hey everyone, I’m glad you enjoyed it. And thanks Kevin!

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!