Whitefish Nymphing Practice on the South Thompson River

by | Sep 22, 2023 | World Masters Fly Fishing Championships

Clearwater-RiverAll of us on this USA Masters Fly Fishing Team here in Kamloops, British Columbia are ready to compete on the lakes when the World Championship competition starts next week.  But its not only lakes that we compete on.  We all have one three hour session on the dreaded Clearwater River (where we didn’t see a single fish other than non-counting pink salmon on our scouting mission) and another on the Similkameen River which none of us have set eyes on yet.  Today we split our practices to fit our own personal needs.


Bret-BishopBret, Pete and Mike went back up to the Clearwater River.  While we’re not allowed to fish the competition water, there is a practice stretch near.  Their results weren’t great, but they managed to scratch out a few whitefish and this beautiful rainbow on nymphs.  Once again, the Clearwater is overrun with spawning pink salmon and the trout and whitefish are hiding and appear to be well fed on salmon eggs.  But at least the guys proved that “point fish” can be caught.


South-ThompsonLoren and I considered scoping the Similkameen but it’s simply too far away – 2.5 hours – and neither of us wanted to be in a car for five hours.  Instead, we thought it was best to practice nymphing whitefish and rainbows at a place where both species are abundant.  Brian Chan advised us to fish the nearby South Thompson River.


whitefishThe South Thompson was a mere 35 km away from our Airbnb out of a pretty little town called Chase.  It was a slow moving deep section of river full of not only pink salmon but also Chinooks.  But we’re closer to the ocean and the fish are fresher here and aren’t yet spawning dropping eggs.  The rainbows and whitefish were hungry.


Loren-WilliamsWhile Loren jumped out and started catching whities along with this nice rainbow, I could feel the need for a tune-up.  Now that I live in WI I’ve been enjoying pike, musky, smallies and walleye much more than trout fishing the rivers.  I have only trout fished the White in AR back in June and one trip on one of my local rivers.


Team-USALuckily, after a lifetime of trout fishing and taking it serious for the last 40 years, hooking rainbows and whitefish on nymphs came back to me rapidly. We had Scott and Sarah with us today also and let’s just say, we slayed some fish. It was excellent practice and both Loren and I are feeling very ready for the comp.


largescale-suckerThat’s about it for today.  It was a gorgeous one with temps in the upper 60°s and plenty of sunshine.  A highlight for me was watching Loren net his first largescale sucker on fly (pictured here), his first jack chinook (pictured below) and his first northern pike minnow.  An awesome day!


chinookTomorrow is our final practice day.  We plan to join Brian Chan on another nearby lake.  We wont fish super hard but rather relax and share a few beers on the water.  We feel good about the lakes.  The next best thing to being well practiced is to be rested for the competition!


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!