The Return to Island Park Reservoir

by | May 20, 2020 | Island Park Reservoir


Island Park Res in 2007

I went through a phase a number of years ago where Island Park Reservoir was one of my favorite places to spend a day.  The thing however, back then the lake was high and the waters edge was natural with trees and grass.  But for years we had light snowpack and it became so low the reservoir banks were nothing but mud.  I guess my surroundings are important and I eventually got sick of looking at the ugliness of a drained reservoir and stopped going despite catching some huge rainbows.


flyfishingThe oversized challenging reservoir has been in the back of my mind however and yesterday I made a trip back with pals Tim Brune and Zach Barrett.  It was picture perfect morning when we arrived with hardly any wind and nothing but the sound of singing birds.  And the water level was high and beautiful.


Idaho-FishingAll the joys left us fast however.  We had Tim’s boat and he went through the trouble of getting it all ready beforehand.  But then came some bad luck.  We got a minute into the trip and his motor died.  We rowed back to shore and for 30 minutes Tim struggled to figure it out.


broken-motorsTim isn’t one to give up though.  Especially when the motor started so easily and ran fine for a few minutes.  Tim tinkered away and eventually detached the fuel line and out came a significant amount of water.  He cleared it all away and finally we were back in business.


bird-islandBy now the wind was kicking up.  Wind was in the forecast so we weren’t surprised.  This was an issue because the best spot on the lake is across it and we didn’t want to get too crazy in a drift boat.  For this reason we ran past bird island straight to the spot just so we could fish it for at least an hour before having to get back on the side where we parked.


Tim-Brune-fishingLet’s just say it was worth the trip and the risk.  We got in there and I locked into a rainbow in the first few minutes.  Before we were done we caught about a dozen rainbows.  They were by no means huge but they were great.  It’s always nice to get a tug when your fly fishing for trout on a lake because sometimes it can be flat out tough!


storms-fishingWe only spent an hour in my honey hole.  We could see the waves and wind building and we needed to cross back or we wouldn’t make it back without risking our lives.  Off we went and as suspected, it was in a nick of time.


lake-fishingWe could continue to fish however because the side of the lake we parked on is sheltered with narrow bays and fingers.  It’s a beautiful part of Island Park Reservoir and often has some huge fish.  But the huge fish didn’t show today, we caught more of the same size we caught early in the day.


Utah-suckerThere was one highlight besides having a ton of great action.  I guess this is a sucker fish year.  I made a cast and let my fly sink deep – looking for the big one.  And I sure as heck got him.  I tagged my second nice sucker of the season.  Unfortunately, like the one on Blackfoot Reservoir a couple weeks ago, this fish was also snagged.  Makes for a good photo nonetheless.


Island-Park-ReservoirWe fished hard today and didn’t wrap things up until around 6:30 PM.  The wind had calmed down dramatically and it was nice boat ride back to Tim’s truck.  What a day.  Although the fish we caught weren’t big, it was one of the best action days I can remember on Island Park Reservoir.  With the highwater and good fishing, I just might have to go back.  But for the next few days, its back to work.  It’s another Online gig for FFI and more drawing on Cliff Fly Boxes!


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!