The Chippewa Invitation Ice Fishing Trip 2020

by | Feb 13, 2020 | fishing at Manitowish Waters Wisconsin

ice-fishingI’m on a little vacation up in the Great Northwoods of Wisconsin to go ice fishing with legendary friend George Hillenbrand and crew.  This is an annual trip that has gone on for years we base out of Chippewa Retreat Resort.  Last year I sadly missed it because I was competing in the World Masters Fly Fishing Championships in South Africa.  The competition was no doubt fun but man it is good to be back in WI.  Even if it was 18° below zero when we left the lodge!


Jeff-Currier-fishingMost who have never ice fished before joke about it.  Personally, I grew up doing it and quite frankly, I was damn serious about it.  Especially when I lived in WI, MN and my first ten years in WY.  It’s a great sport and it takes a true angler to succeed at it.


This trip isn’t quite so serious however.  George hires guides whom are our WI friends and they drill the holes and provide a shack and tents.  They set up our tip-ups and when we catch fish they fillet them and cook them for us right here on the ice.  A few good Wisconsin beers are consumed as well including one of my favorites, Spotted Cow by New Glarus Brewing.


ice-fishingThere wasn’t much to speak about today however other than freezing cold temps.  We arrived on the ice around 10 AM to frigid conditions of -14° with 15 mph wind.  The wind chill was no less than dangerous.  While we caught just enough northern pike for a good lunch, the fishing was painfully slow and cold.


fish-fry-WIWe stuck it out till around 4 PM then packed it up.  Despite the cold and tough fishing it was a splendid day on the ice.  Another highlight of this annual trip is the eating.  Each night George takes us to a nice restaurant and we go a bit nuts.  Tonight we are headed to one of our Manitowish Waters favorites, Smokeys.


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!