When Travel Goes Wrong

by | Apr 21, 2023 | fly fishing in Mexico | 4 comments

flyfishingYesterday was a travel day to forget.  I was headed for Ascension Bay in Mexico to host a group of Fly Fishers International guests for Yellow Dog.  With my intense work schedule in the rearview along with a harsh winter, I’ve been looking forward to high heat and fishing the flats.  But my travel didn’t exactly go as planned.


I monitored the storm approaching over the last few days.  But it’s the better half of April.  How bad could it be?  Well, by 10 PM on Wednesday, the night before yesterday’s 5:20 AM flight, the Duluth forecast was for freezing rain starting at midnight followed by heavy and blowing snow.  Regardless, I figured if the last flight from Minneapolis to Duluth got in, that would be my plane in the morning and we’d go out.  The plane landed so I headed for Duluth at 10 PM.


The reason for driving to the airport the eve before was simply to not have to do a two-hour deer dodging drive during ice rain and snow at 3 AM.  I have my beloved 1991 Explorer again; it would be fun sleeping in it for the first time in over a year anyhow.  Best of all, when time to check in for my flight at 4 AM, it would be a simple three-minute jaunt from Exploder to Delta Counter.


I made it to the Duluth Airport at midnight.  I parked and put my keys in the gas cap.  No chance of doing something stupid like locking them in the car at 4 AM if they are in the gas cap.  Then I climbed in the back and tried to sleep.  I was overtired.


As the forecast predicted, freezing rain started right as I got comfortable.  The wintery mix got some steam and slowly my car was covered in ice.  The noise it made stressed me.  I wasn’t exactly sleeping as much as I was worrying about an on-time flight at 5:20.  An on-time flight from Duluth to Minneapolis allowed plenty of time for my connection to Cancun, but any delays, that could be an issue.


flyfishingI dozed off around 3 AM.  That’s because things quieted when the ice rain turned to snow.  My alarm went off at 4 AM.  It was frigid.  I felt unrested but got dressed to head in.  Not so fast.  You won’t believe this, but I was frozen in my car, literally.  The ½ inch layer of ice rain was like concrete and froze my doors shut.  I reached for my keys to warm up the car and melt a door open but my keys were in the gas cap!


I panicked and had no choice but to start kicking a door.  It was an ugly scenario and I may have done some damage, but I got out.  And out to bitter cold, high wind and snow driving sideways.  My walk to the terminal felt like an expedition to the North Pole.


I was surprised to see other customers checking in and confident Delta folks behind the counter.  Everything seemed fine for my flight.  Heck, its Duluth, Minnesota, they see this crap all the time.  No big deal.


Before I knew it, I was on the Canadian Regional Jet.  We taxied to the de-icing unit in the pitch dark.  The wind grabbed the tail of the plane and shook us as we went along.  But that’s normal.  Nothing to be concerned about the captain assured us.


ice-rainWell, the wind was a concern.  When the de-ice unit attempted to spray the jet to eliminate the ice and snow covering it, all the gunk blew away into the atmosphere.  Furthermore, the de-icing unit was swaying wildly.  The dude spraying was not having a good time.  They cancelled the process and we headed back to the gate.  Here we go.  Another “Monsoon Currier” event in the making.


Things got worse.  Although there wasn’t much snow, the airfield was an ice rink and our plane got stuck. Two million miles of flying and a new first.  We were scheduled to land in Minneapolis at 6:50 AM, instead we got back to our Duluth gate at 7:30 AM.  Nearly two hours on a plane and we traveled a hundred yards!


Duluth-airportNeedless to say, I missed my direct flight Minneapolis to Cancun.  Its somewhat serious because I also missed the private transfer from the Cancun airport to Ascension Bay.  My travel went south in a hurry.


I made my phone calls.  A few back and forth to some of the guys on my trip.  The others to Yellow Dog who organized this for us.  Delta rescheduled me to catch a night flight from Atlanta to Cancun but I still had to get out of Duluth.  Unfortunately, the Duluth airport closed and cancelled all flights.  Soon I missed my new connections.  I was screwed.  The weather got worse.


After 9 hours at the airport (it was nearly 2 PM) I considered bailing out on this mission altogether.  We’re going to Grand Slam Lodge and it’s a 4 night/3-day fishing trip.  Was it worth going for just 2 days now?  After thinking for 30 seconds, yes it was worth it.  One cast to a permit is worth a lot.  Catching one has no price tag!


fly fishingLong story short, I wasn’t alone on the travel mishap.  I created a pack with a few other stranded folks and we shared an Uber to the local bus station then caught a bus for Minneapolis.  The snow and ice covered Route 35 was sketchy to say the least, but I rolled into a Minneapolis airport hotel at 8:30 PM.  I scored a steak and two delicious Hazy IPA’s.  Before I knew it, I was in an early shuttle for the airport this morning.


Delta rescheduled me on a direct flight from Minneapolis to Cancun this morning and today’s travel has been lovely.  I’m well rested and pumped.  I arrived in Cancun on time and Yellow Dog hooked me up with a custom transfer to the lodge.  It’s a long four-hour drive but nothing like yesterday.  All is good.


Travel is wonderful and everyone should do as much as they can.  See amazing things and enjoy new experiences.  But if you travel often, expect to run into a bad day from time to time.  Losing you mind won’t help you at all.  Just kick back.  Delete some junk photos on your phone.  Catch up on email.  Find something to entertain yourself and eventually your trip will come to you.


Time for that cast on the flats!


Be sure to follow my Instagram for the quickest info of my fly fishing adventures @jeffcurrier65

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


  1. Lance

    I’m waiting for Delta to have a ticket disclaimer on their website that says “Notice: If passenger is holding a ticket for a flight that is shared with Monsoon Currier, ticket holder accepts the excessive risk of terrible weather delays, canceled flights, long days/nights in airport and the occasional upgrades to 1st class”
    Have fun buddy… you earned it!

  2. Kristen J. Sorensen

    Funny story. I giggled at your heroine circumstances. I’ve done the same. Delete junk photos , study Spanish
    Hope you catch your permit!!

  3. Brian I

    Glad you made it – two days is definitely better than no days! Looking forward to the reports – hope you and the group crush it!

  4. Matt

    Groome transport has saved Sue and I numerous times when the notorious DLH/MSP Flight gets delayed or cancelled. What a story! Always point your vehicle with the wind in the North. Now you know. Go get em!

Welcome to the Blog of Jeff Currier!

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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!