Sunrise on Quake Lake

by | Aug 13, 2019 | quake lake

Quake-LakeDawn came early.  But for me, when I’m on Quake Lake, it doesn’t come soon enough.  While most trout fishing in the Yellowstone Country doesn’t start till things warm up, Quake Lake has rising fish very early in the morning.  As usual, I had my coffee brewed around 6 AM and soon we were in Marks boat headed to where the Madison River pours into the lake.


mark-kuhn-fly-fishingYesterday I mentioned Mark is my business partner but I should explain.  Mark worked for me back when I managed the fly shop in Jackson Hole.  I learned quickly that he has fantastic skills with computers – something I stink at.  When we parted ways from the shop I continued to bug him with all my computer issues.  Then when I wanted to start my “Store” on my website to sell my coffee mugs, beer steins and shirts I asked him if he’d be interested in sharing the biz.  He was and it’s a perfect match.  He keeps the website up and looking good and I paint and promote the goods.


rising-troutIt was calm and cool when we reached my “secret spot”.  Then the sun hit the water and within 15 minutes we were shedding the warm clothes.  There were caddis and pale morning duns hatching and few rising brown trout.  I can always tell by the style of the rings they are browns because browns barely let their nose come out.  And as a rule of thumb, the smaller the rise the bigger the brown.


fish-shirts-rainbow-troutI was sipping my coffee when Mark went to work.  I had the boat tied to a tree and the back end where Mark was casting from was swaying in the slight bit of current from the Madison River entering the lake a half mile away.  He tried a Caddis pattern for about ten minutes dropping it on several different fish.  From my perspective his fly looked a little big.


Jeff-Currier-fly-fishingWhen Mark made his fly switch I jumped into action with the same Mahogany Dun Thorax pattern I fished with last night.  Two casts and I was on with one of these handsome browns.  He’s not big but gorgeous and a great fish before I finished my coffee!





Mark-Kuhn-brown-troutOle Mark pays attention.  He didn’t put on a Thorax Mahogany Dun but rather went with one of his favorites – a size 20 RS2 Emerger.  I believe fly size is most important and small was key.  On about his third cast he landed another brown and followed that up with another a few casts later.  Mark had the right fly.


rainbow-troutAs the morning progressed it got extremely hot.  More boats converged on us as well and soon the hatch petered off and fish were far and few between.  We ended up catching four browns and six rainbows.


IdahoIt was a fabulous 18 hour excursion to Quake Lake.  Not just the fishing but the company and the beautiful drive through Idaho and Montana.  I haven’t been out enough this summer so I thank Mark for putting the heat on me to get my butt up to Montana.  And my fishing hasn’t stopped.  My friend Garth Wellman from South Africa arrives Friday and I suspect we’ll be fishing for the next four days after.  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!