The Day I Wanted to Become A Fly Fisherman

by | Dec 16, 2020 | flyfishing | 11 comments


Dad on the Madison River in Montana, 1982

2020 was a year we’ll all remember.  It won’t necessarily be for all bad reasons but there were certainly many challenges due to the Covid-19.  But for me, hands down, I’ll always remember this year for losing my dad on January 26th.  As I review this roller-coaster of a year, I thought it would be fun to share a story of how dad got me hooked on fly fishing at a very early age.


It was the spring of 1971 in Topsfield, Massachusetts and dad took me on my first opening day of trout season.  I’ll never forget the nostalgic day for a lot of reasons.  The day began in my sleeping bag in front of the fireplace.  I remember dad waking me up at 4 AM.  The fire was out and it was freezing cold in the house.  Mom was peeking over his shoulder because she was certain I’d roll over and go back to sleep and she was there to defend me.  Mom was wrong, I was so thrilled I bounced up.  I’d never woken up in the dark before.



1969 – first fish will be a pumpkinseed sunfish

After a quick snack I loaded into our gold station wagon and we drove to the Ipswich River with our Old Town Canoe fastened to the roof.  During our short drive I watched the day break for the first time in my life.  What made the most incredible impression were the birds.  As Dad launched the canoe I was hypnotized.  The red-winged blackbirds, robins, pheasants, mourning doves and geese made the most beautiful sound.


Dad organized me with a worm hung on the multi-barbed Eagle Claw snelled hook, the ones that still to this day have that cowboy holding the stringer of trout on the package.  By now I had my own spinning rod outfit with the famous Garcia Mitchell Reel of my own.  I casted and my line and bait dangled twenty-feet downstream of the canoe.  Dad watched me a minute and explained what to do if I got a bite.  Then he went on to do something completely different.  Dad tied on a Mickey Finn and fly fished.



Dad & I on Henry’s Lake, 1987

Despite all the firsts that came my way that crisp morning, what I remember most was how many trout my dad caught.  This was a typical opening day and there were other boats and the shoreline was crawling with anglers.  But hardly anyone else caught a fish.  I only caught one and I think it was on a cast dad made for me!


It’s a wonder I didn’t toss my spinning outfit overboard as I watched dad work his magic.  Dad presented his Mickey Finn in a way the regular people hadn’t seen and that the trout couldn’t resist.  And by the time he was done we had a stringer of over a dozen trout.


I didn’t exactly become a fly fishing purist overnight (although I tied my first Mickey Finn shortly after), but I can promise you that day in 1971 a five year old made up his mind what he was going to do with his life.  I was going to be a fly fisherman.  And I had a goal to be as good at it as my dad.


There’s still time to order from my store or contact me to get my custom art on a Cliff Fly Box.  But don’t wait too long!


Also check out my decals from Pescador on the Fly.  The perfect stocking stuffers!  All the trout and bonefish, permit and tarpon both in 5” size and 10”.

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


  1. Bill Turner

    Great post and photos Jeff! My Dad got me into fly fishing also.

  2. Jeff

    Glad you enjoyed it Bill. It was pretty fun writing and remembering it too. Happy Holidays!

  3. Janet Holmes a Court

    Lovely story Jeff and so sorry to hear you lost your Father. I just bet he was very proud of you ! X

  4. James Fisher

    Great post Jeff, thanks for sharing your story. My Dad also played a pivotal role in fostering my interest in fishing. I wish you and Granny a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
    Judge Jimmy

  5. Tad

    Great story Jeff. It was my Dad that taught me how to fish in Minnesota in 1961 and I carried that knowledge on to Florida when we moved their in 1966. That is when Mitchell and Penn (and to some extent – DAM Quick) ruled – still have a few of those great reels. Sorry to say I have never gotten into fly fishing though – might try now that I live in North Carolina.

    When I retire I am heading back to Florida.


  6. Jeff

    Janet, Judge & Tad, so glad you guys enjoyed the story! Oh to be able to turn back the clock on that day. Beyond memorable. And there others too but not quite like that one.

  7. Libby

    Great story Jeff of such a special time. I can picture the time and awe you felt. Merry Christmas to you & Granny.

  8. Jeff

    Thanks Libby. Same to you

  9. Matthew C Norton

    My story is not much different. I feel my dad will be with me anytime I am on the water fishing, as will yours. Take care my friend and excellent story as always!

  10. Jeff

    Thanks Howie. You are 100% correct on that.

  11. Brian I

    Hi Jeff,

    Thanks so much for sharing. My dad introduced me to fishing as well. Not fly fishing, but he sure paved the way. I also enjoyed looking at your story from a different perspective as well. I became a dad this year (September) and I hope I have this impact on my daughter. Preferably fly fishing, but really anything she’s passionate about. Although I do read your blogs to her to try to plant the seed early;)

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!