The Jackson Hole One Fly 2022 Day 1

by | Sep 10, 2022 | jackson hole one fly contest

One-FlyThe Jackson Hole One Fly contest consists of 40 four man teams.  We fish Saturday and Sunday and each contestant is allowed one fly per day.  Not pattern, one fly.  You pick one that doesn’t work, you’re stuck with it.  Toss it in a tree and lose it, and your day is over.


Jackso-HoleThe tournament takes place on the Snake River in and around Jackson Hole, Wyoming and over on the South Fork section of the Snake in Idaho.  Today I drew the South Fork of the Snake in Idaho.  To be exact I was on the Spring Creek Bridge to Eagle section.


Jackson-One-FlyThe way you’re judged is a guide rows myself and an opponent from another team all day.  The guide measures fish and keeps score while we fish.  My guide was Jackson Knoll and he guides regularly for WorldCast Anglers.  My opponent was Travis Pritchett – first time we met.


best-fliesThe South Fork was home water for me the last 34 years so it seemed weird that this was my first trip of the year.  It seemed even stranger that I had to ask around to see what was happening.  Word on the street was that fishing has been tough.  Many of this weekends’ contestants are fishing nymphs based on guides advice.  There was no way I was fishing a nymph and luckily, our guide Jackson agreed a streamer would be best.  I fished a tan streamer and Travis fished a streamer as well.


flyfishingThe competition begins at 8:30 and at that time Jackson had us slightly down below the Spring Creek Bridge.  Though I like to fish from the back of the boat, Travis insisted on me having the front to start.  I caught and measured a 13” fish immediately.  A 13 incher scores 20 points.  You can see how fish score here.


troutAll caught fish earn 2 points no matter the size.  Each contestant is allowed to measure eight fish.  SIX of these eight count for bonus points and the bigger the better.  Once eight are measured, all other fish are carefully released without measuring.  This means even if you caught a monster, if you already measured eight, your monster can’t be measured but would rather count as only 2 points.  This rule is designed to create less handling of the fish during such a big competition.


So there some strategy here.  Normally I would pass on a 13” fish by not measuring it and collect only 2 points with confidence I could catch and measure eight fish of larger size.  But, with the fishing reports of late, both Jackson and I thought it wise to measure him as one of my eight.  In fact, I measured another 13 incher a few minutes later.  I was reluctant, but Jackson suspected the fast action was only because it was cool out and early still.  He expected the bite to die off as the sun and temperatures heightened.  His experience and advice made perfect sense.


flyfishingBy 9:30 AM, I had three measured fish – two 13’s and a 15” on the board.  I was crushing it despite all the rumors of terrible fishing on the South Fork.  At that point I told Travis to take the front.  Although we were competing against one another, its also important to me to have fun and I want to see my opponent catch fish also.  Travis is an excellent angler, however, regardless of taking the bow, I continued to rack up fish while he wasn’t so lucky.  Soon I had another 15” and a 17” fish.  Five measured fish and it was about 10:30.


With five measured fish less than two hours in, I changed my fish measuring standards.  Unless I caught a huge one, I was putting measuring off a few hours.  I kept catching nice ones but we didn’t measure any of them.  Several were in the 15” to 17” inch range and I took them as 2 pointers.


Travis-PritchettTravis kept fishing hard.  He had some hard luck with fish getting loose before he could get them in.  There’s a big difference landing fish on your day off vs in the One Fly.  I felt bad until finally he got one in.  And to all of our delight it was a beauty that measured 171/2 inches.


South-ForkDay 1 competition ends at 4 PM.  Between 10:30 and 2 PM I released at least ten measurable scoring fish for a mere 2 points because was waiting for the big one.  But the big one didn’t come.  Between 2 and 3 PM I measured two more fish.  Another 15 incher and a 161/2.  I had 7 fish on the board.


At 2:55 I caught another that appeared to be an easy 171/2 incher.  The halves round up to it would score as 18” which is a score hurling 100 points.  This particular fish would add huge advantage to my score because he would replace my last 13”.  But it was 2:55. What if I caught that monster 20 plus incher in the next hour and 55 minutes?  It was a tough decision, but I tossed him back without measuring this beautiful fish and took it for a mere 2 points.


Catch-and-ReleaseReleasing that fish without measuring him to replace my earlier 13 incher would be a mistake.  I never caught another measurable trout before the 4 PM competition end.  Dang it!  I had to score one of my 13 inchers.  This move cost my score 80 points!


At the end of the day, I caught twenty-one fish.  Travis had two but both were nice ones.  My score was 441 points which turned out very good for my South Fork stretch.  Travis scored 223 which was excellent also.


Soth-Fork-RiverI returned to Jackson and met up with my team.  Josh had a decent day.  Tom had a difficult day.  And Bryan crushed it and scored 695 points.  Despite the mixed team scores, we are sitting in second place.  A great start and hopefully we can move up to number one tomorrow.


For me, I have a great challenge tomorrow.  I drew the dreaded South Park to Prichard section on the Snake River.  It’s the worst in the tournament.  Today’s point average there was only 53.  Yikes!  I’ll have my work cut out for me.  Luckily my other teammates Josh and Bryan drew fantastic beats.  We have a chance!


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!