Team USA Struggles but Holds First Place

by | Jul 22, 2022 | World Masters Fly Fishing Championships

Team-USA-flyfishingWe, Team USA woke up today in first place in the World Masters Fly Fishing Championships with room to spare.  But we were determined to get out there in Session 4 and kick butt and grow a stronger lead.  But we felt stress – I certainly did.  And I know this team.  We’re tight and we all roll well and alike.  There’s also a fatigue that’s hard to explain.  Plain and simple, this isn’t a fishing trip.  We are busting our butts to catch 8” plus wild spooky trout and its so hard you cannot believe it.



The bottom line, our big lead still wasn’t safe with two sessions left.  I headed for the Lower Sarca River today with high hopes.  Really, the only uneven Sector in this competition.  In fact, unfair because Beats 1-4 have been stocked.  The competition organizers deny stocking, but admit there was a “break in a hatchery gate” that so happens to connect to Beat 2.  That’s likely the truth but still – unless you draw Beat 1-4, you automatically can’t score any better than 5th place.  That kind of sucks.


Example – first day Beat 2, won with 56 fish!  Hmmm. . …



I’ll be honest, I was hoping to draw Beat 1-4.  But teams never draw the same beat twice and Pete got 1 yesterday and Mike drew 3 two days ago.  I figured my chance at 2 or 4 were slim. Sure enough, I drew the less than productive beat number 11.


Jeff-Currier-ItalyI wasn’t bummed.  From a team standpoint, I was the best guy for the job of turning a tough beat into a reasonable score.  Truly, the water looked ok and I was excited to do my best.  For the first time, my controller judge spoke English and after I was all set and ready to go, I kicked back and shot the bull with him for nearly an hour.  A really neat guy from southern Italy with a lot of fishing under his belt.


flyfishing-competitionAt 9 the bell went off and I was on my game.  I should mention it was 96° and at noon when the session ended a 100 degrees!  On my third cast I landed my first measurable brown trout.  I was crawling on my hands and knees through the shallows.  But you absolutely need to do this in order not to spook this tiny wild trout.


flyfishing-ItalyI wont blab about my next scorching hot 2 hours and 58 minutes of fishing.  But I gave it my all.  I crawled like I did in my younger days.  Going for Gold you don’t feel any of the pain from the rocks against your legs or the cold water tumbling in over the top of your waders.  There’s no fear when wading across an unsafe part of the river.  You just don’t care.  All you want to do is catch a fish.  But despite coming out of the gates strong with a quick fish, during the entire rest of the session I only landed six more fish.  And only two of those were large enough to measure.  I ended with three fish.  A horrible score of 11.  Brutal!


ItalyUnfortunately, our team took a huge dive today.  Mike also scored an 11 and Pete a 9.  Fortunately, Loren bounced back strong and got a 4, and Bret continues to dominate.  He scored a 2.




But the truth is, we lost tons of ground.  The Belgians have snuck in and are only one point behind us.  That’s basically one fish.  The Czechs who have been in the running all along are 7 points from us.  And the Italians made a huge jump.  They are 9 points behind.  If we have another day like today, we’ll be out of medal contention entirely.


Tomorrow is the LAST session.  If we can kick ass, we’ll have Gold.  If I catch a fish – a single fish I’ll do my part.  I’m headed for the most dangerous Sector, the Lower Noce.  There were five blanks there today and numerous one fish only scores.  But if I get blanked, in fact, if anyone on the team does poorly – it will be devastating.  We are so close yet so far.  Very similar to our situation in South Africa in 2019.  Did I mention stress in the beginning of this blog?  There won’t be much sleep tonight!


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!