Nothing Like a Little Last Day Magic

by | Feb 25, 2021 | fly fishing Arizona

urban-flyfishingIt was our last day down here in Arizona and Mike Faulkinbury invited Steve Berry and I to hit some urban lakes near where he lives.  While the numbers of fish caught this week have been low, the size of them has been incredible.  Earlier this week was the massive common carp and yesterday’s grassie is my biggest ever.


Mike-FaulkinburyThe cool weather is back here in Phoenix and when we met Mike his lakes were off color.  Mike pointed out a pod of common carp near the surface when we parked the truck.  I recklessly broke one off sight casting with a Buzzer.  Mike on the other hand picked up this odd looking fantail carp with one of his damsel nymphs deep under an indicator.


fantail-carpWhile we hit those two fish right away, fishing was tough.  You’d get a glance at carp backs then they sank out of sight.  Mike suggested I try a deep river-like section between two ponds.  He told me commons hold in the current directly under a tiny waterfall.  Though I couldn’t see fish easily, I definitely got a glimpse of a back and there was the occasional swirl of the tail.


Jeff-Currier-Urban-fishingThe chance of landing one more nice carp this trip had me eager.  Mike told me not to get overly excited and that although they look easy with the disturbed water of the falls – they weren’t and that he hadn’t much success in the past.  Nonetheless I got myself hidden behind some exotic grass clumps and went to work.


I tossed another Buzzer then switched to a Rubber Legged Hare’s Ear.  Then to a Prince and a few special Euro Nymphs tied by my friend Vladi.  But despite this fish not spooking, I couldn’t get his interest in anything.  That’s about when Mike snuck up behind me and handed me one of his damsels.


Currier-carpThat’s all it took.  I tied on Mike’s Olive Damsel.  I waited till I saw the carp again.  He was down a few feet from the waterfall.  When I dropped it in front of him I couldn’t see the fish too well but made a couple hand-twist retrieves.  Boom!  He was on!  Five minutes later I landed my last carp of the trip.


flyfishingTime flies when on the water.  Before we knew it we were ready for lunch.  I figured after this great week a lunch beer was in store as well.  We enjoyed burgers and beer at Cold Beer & Cheeseburgers (appropriately named).  During lunch Steve expressed serious interest in returning to the monster grass carp spot of yesterday.  There couldn’t be a better way to end this trip than to watch Steve come back from yesterday’s agony of defeat!


nomada-fishingWe arrived around 2 PM and just like yesterday, the giant grassies were up and after the debris in the scum line.  Steve tied on a Rainy’s Grand Hopper and went to work.  I watched with the camera expecting it to happen quick.  It didn’t.  It was about 45 minutes later and I’d just left fishing downstream.  Luckily, Granny called me on my phone to say, “Its game on!”.



When I arrived to the scene Steve was getting worked over by his big white Amur.  He was in danger of losing yet another because the massive fish was already upstream and under the cable and buoys.  Steve looked at me with that “not again” look and I simply said, “You better get down that ladder in a hurry!”.


Steve got down in a nick of time.  No doubt that fish would have smoked him upstream and tangled him in a cable.  That would be the only dirty move from this carp.  The rest of the fight would be bullying in the ring of the buoys.


grass-carpThis fight went on a long time.  No doubt, after being broke off twice yesterday, Steve was taking it easy.  The problem is that this monster was resting every time Steve let up the pressure.  I watched for awhile but when Steve asked what he could do to speed up the process, I confidently told him to trust his tippet and put on the heat.  He did.


flyfishingIt wasn’t a couple minutes later that I too climbed down the ladder for photos.  Just like for me yesterday, this was another fish holding rodeo.  While the length of Steve’s fish may not have been that of mine, its girth was bigger and I could see the strength of this beast running Steve through the ringer.  Finally, we got a few good shots.



It’s been a great week down here in Arizona.  We caught some amazing fish and I’ve added some great new carp photos to my “Fly Fishing for Carp” PowerPoint show.  I’m stoked because I give this presentation as a Zoom for The Fly Fishers of Virginia and Virginia Anglers Club in two weeks.  It has also simply been a fun time with old friends.  So good to be back in the Phoenix area for a week.  Its time for the long drive home!  Then next week its back to Mexico!


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!