September Carping – Perhaps the Best

by | Sep 5, 2018 | fly fishing for carp

Every September 1st I toss a heavy bedspread in the Explorer for extra warmth camping. Nighttime temperatures literally change from the 50°s in August to the low 30°s in September here in the Yellowstone Country.  Well, it’s a good thing I do.  Monday night Granny and I pulled off the road to sleep and it was no less than freezing and we woke up to a thick frost.




fly fishing for carpWe were on our way to fish Blackfoot Reservoir for mirror carp.  You’d think with the cold nights our fly fishing for carp season would be over but regardless of the bitter cold nights, once that sun rises so do the temps. Today we saw a change from 30° at sunrise to 80° in midafternoon.  It’s these exact days of September that provide the best carping of the year.


American BadgerBlackfoot Reservoir is massive and this week we planned to try some new spots.  New spots generally offer new fishing challenges but today the challenges were unique.  The first place we unknowingly parked the Explorer directly over some infuriated ground dwelling yellowjackets.  They chased us away fast.  At the next spot we innocently parked next to a family of angry badgers.  The one you can barely see in this picture is about to explode from his hole hissing and growling sending us off once again.


tailing mirror carpWe finally found a new spot without hazards.  I gazed out over the flat and saw several tailing fish and puffs of mud everywhere.  Both signs of carp on the heavy feed.


Jeff Currier fly fishing for mirror carp

I tied on a crayfish pattern.  This fly has become my absolute go too fly.  Ironically I’ve never found a crayfish in Blackfoot.  Whether they’re here or not, it’s in a carps DNA to hunt crayfish and eat them.  Today they could not resist!




Jeff Currier, Winston Fly Rods and Scientific Anglers

There were two flats in the new area.  I spent hours on the first.  With the sun nearly overhead until about 2 PM I had great visibility to see the actual carp.  I only fish carp when I can sight cast to them.  I caught several and honestly, some of the eats on my fly would rival any eats from their saltwater cousins from some of the world’s most beautiful flats.




Granny Currier flyfishing for mirror carpGranny was reading all this time.  When I returned to the car she saw how pumped I was and grabbed her rod for the next flat.  The problem however, carp aren’t always easy to spot and the late afternoon light is much harder to see in.  Furthermore, she wasn’t tuned up to seeing them like I was.  I caught another while watching her struggle.  Then I reeled in and like all good husbands would do, I guided her the rest of the afternoon.


Granny flyfishing for carpGranny couldn’t see the carp well but she can cast where you tell her too.  After today she has a bruise on her sternum from where she plants the butt of my Winston when she fights big fish.  Granny put a hurting on a few!





camping and fishing in IdahoWe camped again and like always we feasted and enjoyed a few drinks.  I watched the sunset with a few Sierra Nevada’s while Granny sipped champagne and cooked.  She weaved a delicious Indian dish that was absolutely to die for.


Blackfoot ReservoirWe sleep like babies in the back of my Explorer.  The night wasn’t nearly as cold as Monday night but cool enough to be more than comfortable.  At sunrise I pressed some coffee and then we watched huge carp shatter the calm surface of Blackfoot free jumping for an hour as we woke up.




Chef Granny Currier

I went for a short walk looking for carp right after coffee.  It was too soon.  Perhaps the shallows hadn’t warmed up enough for carp.  Naturally such a jaunt works up an appetite and lucky for me, Granny whipped up what we refer to as “big breakfast”.  It’s amazing I’m not 20lbs heavier!





Utah chub

We fished and caught plenty more mirror carp.  It was another impressive day to top off an epic Tuesday Wednesday weekend.  I did slip in a species that perhaps hasn’t ever been on the blog.  I’ve caught plenty however not recently.  This is the Utah chub (Gila atraria).


flyfishing for carp with Jeff CurrierI hope this wasn’t my last carp trip of the year.  I absolutely love the challenge of fly fishing for carp.  I am amazed at their size and their incredible ability to test my gear to the hilt.  However, now that the end of summer is near the crowds on the rivers are thinning.  Like hunting big cutthroats a couple weeks ago, next week we’ll search for big brown trout.  Granny and I have something brewing for next week.  Stay tuned. . . .


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!