Uncle Jeff the Fishing Guide

August 23-25, 2010

blog_Aug_23-25_2010_1[1] My nieces Sammy Currier, age 8 and Montana Currier, age 6 have been fly fishing a lot longer than most kids of the same age. In fact, Sammy has been around fly fishing since she was 3 years old when she spent an afternoon reeling in the fish I hooked. They aren’t proficient casters yet but they understand rivers and where fish live. They can also help you choose a fly and if it’s a dry fly, they will watch it like a hawk and tell you when to set the hook.

My brother Greg and his family live in Massachusetts. Once a year they make it out to visit Granny and I and we camp, hike, relax and of course fish. The last few years Sammy and Montana have fallen in love with a place we camp at up the Gros Ventre blog_Aug_23-25_2010_2[1]River. The Gros Ventre flows gently here and the girls can swim on their own and whenever they feel like it, fish with their Uncle Jeff.

These past two days was our annual Gros Ventre camping trip. Granny and I met my brother and his family at our scenic site on Monday night. We wasted no time and began the weekend with a hot fire and cooked up some delicious burgers. As the sun set temperatures plummeted for the first time since spring. We were shocked at how cold it felt and accused ourselves of being wimps. Once it was totally dark wolves howled from a distant butte. Then another pack answered back. Surprisingly, the only blog_Aug_23-25_2010_3[1]other times I’ve heard howling wolves was camping in the boonies of Mongolia. It’s a spectacular sound and we listened and hoped for more but they were silent.

Sunrise couldn’t arrive soon enough. Granny and I shivered most of the night in our summer sleeping bags. It wasn’t just an unseasonably cold night, it was flat out freezing. It turns out we aren’t wimps. We awoke to thick frost and frozen water bottles – it’s August for crying out loud! Thankfully the sun warmed us fast and by the time the coffee was flowing the temps had risen to the upper 40ºs and it went on to reach the 80ºs by afternoon.

blog_Aug_23-25_2010_4[1]You know how kids are; they’re immune to the cold if they want to play in the water. Unsurprisingly, Sammy and Montana were ready for a swim with Uncle Jeff before the temps reached 60º. This weekend is all about hanging with Uncle Jeff so I had to think fast or make the frozen plunge. Being the quick thinker I am, I turned a stroll down to look at the river into a one hour hike. The hike was a thrill for the girls as we found cool rocks, water striders and water beetles, a dead moose not completely cleaned to a skeleton yet and some amazing wildflowers. Then we finished it off by summiting a butte with a view of the Teton’s that even six year old Montana appreciated.

blog_Aug_23-25_2010_5[2]Normally the girls fish with me for about an hour in an entire weekend and we end up swimming and goofing off the rest of the time. However, while I was sitting in my camp chair drawing up some trout tattoos for a friend that works for RIO and watching the girls play in the Gros Ventre, Granny strung up a rod. I noticed as she hiked to the pool above where Sammy and Montana were swimming they stopped playing and followed her up. Granny  began fishing and the girls watched attentively. Then Granny missed a fish that ate her dry fly and I heard Sammy give her some instruction so it wouldn’t happen again. I chuckled and then headed on down to join the fun.

blog_AUg_23-25_2010_6[2]Sammy and Montana weren’t just amused by the fishing but rather they loved it. I arrived on the scene and the girls asked Granny to give me the rod. I nailed the first cutthroat. Then a second. And in less than an hour I caught at least 10 cuttys and a few whitefish. Some were very nice size. The girls took turns reeling each fish in. They posed for pictures and giggled unstoppably when they released them. It was great fun for all.

We fished at least three hour long sessions in the pools around camp just on Tuesday. Then the minute we finished breakfast today the girls had Granny and I fishing again. They loved catching and blog_Aug_23-25_2010_7[1]playing with the fish. They just couldn’t get enough of it. Between hook ups they played in the river, rescued minnows and collected rocks and busted up shotgun clays.

It was hard to beat the fishing but there was more fun to be had. I really was drawing up fish for tattoos. Naturally the girls were fascinated and before I knew it their camp chairs were parked next to me and their sketch pads were out. For hours we nibbled away on our projects until finally even Sammy was done. Then we posed for a picture with our masterpieces and it was back to the river.

blog_Aug_23-25_2010_8[1] Fishing with kids is something we all need to do more of. This summer I’ve done more than ever. Watching my young pal Cooper Eckman become a deadly angler and now my nieces is about as cool as it gets. The good news is that my sister and her family visit next week and there will be more fishing with kids for the Currier’s – good stuff. What a summer!

Normally the girls fish with me for about an hour in an entire weekend and we end up swimming and goofing off the rest of the time. However, while I was sitting in my camp chair drawing up some trout tattoos for a friend that works for RIO and watching the girls play in the Gros Ventre, Granny strung up a rod. I noticed as she hiked to the pool above where Sammy blog_Aug_23-25_2010_9[1]and Montana were swimming they stopped playing and followed her up. Granny  began fishing and the girls watched attentively. Then Granny missed a fish that ate her dry fly and I heard Sammy give her some instruction so it wouldn’t happen again. I chuckled and then headed on down to join the fun.

Sammy and Montana weren’t just amused by the fishing but rather they loved it. I arrived on the scene and the girls asked Granny to give me the rod. I nailed the first cutthroat. Then a second. And in less than an hour I caught at least 10 cuttys and a few whitefish. Some were very nice size. The girls took turns reeling each blog_Aug_23-25_2010_10[1]fish in. They posed for pictures and giggled unstoppably when they released them. It was great fun for all.

We fished at least three hour long sessions in the pools around camp just on Tuesday. Then the minute we finished breakfast today the girls had Granny and I fishing again. They loved catching and playing with the fish.

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing web site

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