Spectacular Weather on the Nunya river

by | Sep 16, 2020 | nunya river

brown-troutSeptember 14-16, 2020

Granny’s busted up shoulder last year tossed a twist in our 2019 summer.  There were a few annual trips that weren’t doable.  The one that hurt us the most to miss was our two day float down the remote Nunya River.   This year not going to the Nunya wasn’t an option.


Nunya-RiverMonday afternoon Granny and I made the long trek north.  We arrived at the Ten Mile Creek Brewery just before they closed then caught good night sleep in the back of the Explorer.  At the first crack of light we drove another hour and put the boat in and began our 35 mile float.


flyfishingThe stretch of the Nunya we like to drift was once almost never fished.  The unpaved roads to get there can jar a trailer to pieces.  Organizing a shuttle costs a fortune and you may not even get one at all.  But these days most anglers have a drift boat and everyone is searching for less visited rivers.


float-fishingWe usually float the Nunya in July but we were disappointed to hear it was actually crowded.  With that report we waited till now because the Nunya flows too low for ordinary drift boats in September.  Our crazy little 13-foot Slide-rite with only two of us goes just about anywhere.  Even with a heap of food and gear.


Granny-CurrierThe weather was no less than spectacular.  There’s smoke in the air but the sky was cloudless and although cool in the morning, each day hit 82°.  Furthermore, we didn’t have hardly an ounce of wind.


It was way back in July that we dreamt of these conditions and a September float.  You never know what you’ll get this time of year in the Rockies.  Ten days ago we had snow in Victor and we might get more on Saturday.  But these two days were ridiculously perfect.


Jeff-CurrierTuesday began with an attempt to fish a big dry fly.  I tied on an original Chernobyl Ant – black top and tan bottom with no wing.  Naturally as soon as we started I got slammed by a nice 15” brown trout.  We thought “great”, this will work because no one fishes the old style fly.  But that was the one and only fish on that big fly.  We tried several others too with not much luck either.


fish-onBefore long I had Granny relaxing most of the time in the front seat sipping a brew.  But for every riser we came across I had her toss a Parachute Adams with my 4-weight Pure.  We caught a ton of brown trout and Granny had a blast.  The cute little browns were all 14” or less but who cares about their size when they chomp the dry.


mooseIt was so nice and hot out I had my shirt off from 9 AM till 8 PM.  Granny grilled some dogs in the bow of the boat and we saw a ton of wildlife including several handsome bull moose.


fishing-and-campingDay one was a dream that ended at one of our favorite camping spots.  It’s a sandy beach overlooking the sagebrush and cottonwoods.  The only reason we couldn’t hear the great horned owls or howling coyotes well is because we listened to the Cubs game through my phone.  The cubs won and it was summertime at its best!


Granny-CurrierToday we were back on the river at the crack of dawn.  Rather than break out the rods I eased us along hoping to view more wildlife as we chugged coffee and ate a fine yogurt and cereal breakfast.  A few years back we watched a momma bobcat with her kitten hop around for an hour hunting rabbits.  No cats today but we saw plenty more moose.


rainbow-troutFishing was good today with a ton more cookie-cutter browns on dries.  We mixed in the occasional little rainbow too.  Once the sun rose above the cottonwoods the shirt was off again and we soaked up the last sunrays of summer.


big-brownsWhile the bigger trout continued to play hard to get, we found a few.  There’s a particular deep run I like to fish hard.  Its so deep that despite being a shallow river overall, in this pool you can’t see bottom.  I dredged it with a Rich Strolis black jig fly.  The fly never fails to pull something good from the deep.  Today it was this studly Winston-bending brown trout.


boat-cookingIt would have been nice if we could’ve done a shorter float these two days because as we approached the lower end of the Nunya the current slowed down.  Riffle runs ran for a 100 yards then slackened down to quarter mile long lake-like sections.  Rather than backrow I had to push with the oars and sometimes spin the boat and bust it backwards like rowing on a lake.  Let’s just say it was a hell of a workout.  We had to cook burgers in the boat as we floated rather than pull over just to save time.


Granny-CurrierNaturally, when it came time for me to rest, Granny broke out her fishing skills.  As the Wednesday evening sun dropped into the western smoke-filled horizon she opted to chuck streamers.  It was a great choice and she banged up a few nice browns.


What a weekend.  The float was beautiful.  The fishing was excellent.  And we shared the river with only one other boat on the second day.  Enjoying a fishery nearly to yourself these days with your lady is a very very very special thing.  Thank you fishing gods!


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!