The “Currier” Carp Game Back on Track!

by | Feb 23, 2021 | fly fishing for carp | 2 comments

winston-rodsI haven’t mentioned it but this week I’m fishing the new Winston Air 2 5-weight rod with the new RVR Bauer Reel.  Perhaps I forgot because my fishing has been tough.  But let me just begin today’s blog by saying, I’m extremely pleased with both additions to the “Currier” arsenal!


grass-carp-flySteve Berry and I returned to the canal fishing of south Phoenix.  We found grass carp here a few days ago but they acted like they were frozen.  Last night was the first time in a week where the temperature remained above 50° and today the mercury touched 80°.  This meant one thing – the carp should be feeding.  I was using my favorite grass carp fly, the Olive Rainy’s Grand Hopper.


fish-arizonaGrass carp (also known as white Amur) feed almost entirely on vegetation. When a leaf or something plant-like falls in near them they come right over and look at it.  Though I use the hopper pattern, I’m certain they take it as a green leaf or grass.  I’ve also done good with the same pattern in chartreuse as well as olive and chartreuse Chernobyl Ants.



While the bite wasn’t exactly on, I had four grassies eat my fly.  Or at least chew on it.  They eat a fly so weird its tough to hook them.  Often times they grab a piece of the fly like a rubber leg or hackle and somehow avoid the hook.  You really need to wait before lifting the rod to set.  Today, most times they never got to the hook before spitting the fly and swimming away.


Currier-white-AmurBut there was one grassie who cooperated.  He grabbed the leg of the hopper then nibbled his way up to the hook and I set the hook.  It was a good feeling to go tight.  The medium sized grass carp made a few runs up and down the canal before I headed down the ladder and scooped him up.


flyfishingThe thought of getting in one of the Phoenix canals isn’t a good one but this one is shallow it’s not a big deal other than sinking into the sludge.  The sludge was so bad that I nearly lost my flipflop and did blow it out.  Bummer!




It was lunchtime after I released my first grassie of the trip.  However, while Steve and Granny headed for lunch, I opted to stay back and skip midday eating.  God knows I’ve been waiting for the carp to start acting normal so I wasn’t going to take a break right after finally catching one.


I wandered down to a section of the canal I hadn’t fished.  There was more depth and lots of mudding going on.  I tracked the mud to several huge feeding common carp.  Big commons get my blood pumping like the grassies and I went to work.  My Blackfoot crayfish pattern led my attack and it didn’t take long.  Only ten minutes in I hooked up.


No carp fight like the commons do and this fish was off to the races.  The run was a true test for both my new rod and reel.  This carp easily out fought the strongest of bonefish.  Up and down the canal he went with me chasing.  As this went on I could see no way of landing him by myself.  Would I need to fight him till Steve and Granny came back?


huge-carpI was ten minutes into battle and finally my fish started to tire.  When he showed his size I knew I was officially screwed.  Even if I climbed down a canal ladder there was no way I’d be able to lift him with one hand and climb back up.  Certainly not with my new Winston in the other hand.  But then a miracle happened.  Friend Gentry Smith, who wasn’t with us all morning, showed up with his net.  “Currier.  What do you have on there?  A beast?”, he shouted as he came up behind me.



photo by Gentry Smith

I felt relief like you can’t believe!  Gentry already had his huge net out and I led my fish to the base of a canal ladder.  Gentry climbed down and the netting rodeo started.  Though Gentry’s net is huge, the carp barely fit.  We nearly had him several times but he just wouldn’t let me get his head in.  Finally, after 5 minutes of struggle, we got him.  Easily, a 20lb monster!


There not much more to talk about after the common.  I might have caught a small bass and definitely missed another grassie.  But I was on cloud 9 for the last hour of fishing.  Make this a lesson, never leave good fishing to eat lunch!  Back to the Sonora sucker lands tomorrow!

To see more photos from fly fishing in Arizona be sure to check out my Instagram page – @jeffcurrier65.


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


  1. Matthew C Norton

    Another Beast! Go get em Jeff. That rod looks sweet!

  2. Jeff

    Thanks Howie. I just got another speaking cancellation first of May. Might consider fishing Lake Superior to replace the time. I’ll be talking with you soon!

Welcome to the Blog of Jeff Currier!

Contact Jeff

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!