Friday, October 30, 2009

No Time for Starlets, Autographs, Glitz or Glamour ... Where’s the Fly Shop on Hollywood Blvd?

The weather here in Southern California is fabulous as it is most of the time. If it wasn't for the traffic, living here would be a consideration from about January till April. The fishing here in the Pacific surf and local lakes with huge largemouth bass could keep the interest of any serious angler throughout the winter. I'm down in this neighborhood because I spoke to the Long Beach Casting Club last night. Long Beach is a large city located in Southern California on the Pacific coast. It is situated in Los Angeles County, about 20 miles (32 km) south of downtown Los Angeles. Long Beach borders Orange County on its southeast edge. The Douglas Aircraft Company (later McDonnell Aircraft Corporation and now part of Boeing) had plants at the Long Beach Airport where they built aircraft for World War II, and later built DC-8s, DC-9s, DC-10s, and MD-11s.

Founded in 1925, the Long Beach Casting Club is a fantastic group of serious anglers and casters that take great pride in their club. They have a really gorgeous facility consisting of a classic clubhouse with walls covered with unique fishing artwork and fly collections. There's even a lighted casting pond right outside the front door - it's awesome! As one of the oldest continuously operating fly fishing clubs in the country, they have a rich history of contributions to the sport, i
ncluding several world and many national tournament casting champions. Two of their members are American Casting Association Hall of Fame Honorees, while ten members have been casting All Americans.

The talk I gave is called "
Four Seasons of the Yellowstone Troutbum", and is one of my favorites to deliver and always draws a good crowd. Most fly fisherman have fished Yellowstone National Park
a few times or if they haven't, it is surely near the top of their "To Do" list. As I always do at these presentations, I arrived early and did a fly painting while folks watched and then donated it to the club. I'm staying here a couple days with good friend Rich Garrett whom I met in Jackson, Wyoming 20 years ago. Today we are just taking it easy. We spent an hour at the club casting pond. Rich and some of the other club members practiced their spey casting while I borrowed a 5-weight from Rich and worked on some long casts across the pond. Tomorrow Rich and I are taking out the sea kayaks with Mike Allen of Hobie Cat to try and scare up a few bonito, calico bass and whatever else wants to suck in a fly. A great way to kill a day in Southern California before I head down to Baja on Sunday, November 1st.

Global Fly Fishing Web Site

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cub's, Coffee, Frosted Flowers and 'JackDennisless'

I feel as though I'm retarded (retired) today even though I am by no means a 44 year old retiree. Yesterday I ended a 23 year run of being a full time employee at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop. TWENTY THREE YEARS!!! And today, I am "JackDennisless" It seems weird but I know it's going to be great thing.

The beginning of the second half of my life went like this: I slept till 7:30 am, I haven't done that in a year. Instead of hurrying to answer emails before a long day at the shop I proceeded slowly to website and spent over an hour. I read why "Next Year is the Year". Then I had another cup of coffee. Two big cups today. A first for me and quite enjoyable I might add. Then I headed for the yard to clean up some leaves and cut some grass, but it was cold and I retreated to the house. I decided to rest up an hour or so and let it warm up some more. I just may like being "JackDennisless" I thought to myself. Eventually I got after it and did about 6 hours of yard work. As I clipped down frosted flowers and protected small tree trunks from voles I reminisced about the great times I had at the fly shop over the last two decades. All the great friends I made and employees I worked with. It's going to be a big change for me but I think I'll make it OK.

After hours in the yard I spent 2 hours buying plane tickets. I heard a rumor that prices are about to rise so I figured I'd save some money, something of major importance now that there's no regular pay check. Sure enough, it was a good move as I bought tickets for a pheasant hunt/fishing trip to Minnesota/Iowa in December, the Fly Fishing Show in Marlborough Massachusetts and Somerset New Jersey for January, Pleasanton, California in February and I just started sorting out tickets to Brazil for a March Amazon trip when friends Bruce and Katrin Smithhammer dropped in for a visit. Bruce writes for various magazines and in fact has an article in the latest Drake fly fishing magazine. We had a couple beers and shot the bull about our Fall fishing and hunting adventures so far. The Smithhammer’s were over to pick up one of my large cutthroat Gi-clees. I made a sale on my first day of retardedness! JackDennisless may be OK after all!

Global Fly Fishing Web Site

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Baja Billfish and Baetis Bonkin' Trout

It looked to be a good day to stay inside and get some artwork done, rig some billfish flies for Baja and perhaps a little yard work, that was until Josh Franco, former Jack Dennis Fly Shop fishing guide called me, "Jeff, let's go hit the Ranch. Should be some bugs coming off" he said. He was definitely right. It was raining lightly and about 45 degrees. Near perfect conditions to produce mass baetis hatches on the Henry's Fork.

Feeling as though we are running out of time in October, my favorite fishing month, I said
let's go. It was a great decision. We arrived on the banks of the Henry's Fork only to see nice fish rising everywhere! As expected, the baetis mayflies were hatching thick on the slow waters of the lower Ranch. When I say lower, I mean below Osborne Bridge. In fact, we were at my favorite Fall spot, the gravel pits. For me, the best imitation for the baetis is the smallest gray mayfly that I can see. Not only see on the water, but that I can tie on to 5X. My eyesight isn't the best these days and I'm being a bit stubborn on getting glasses. Today, that fly was a European CDC posted parachute in a size 18. It's body was of very thin profile with a gray chunk of CDC. Not much to be impressed by really, but boy do these things work. At first my fly seemed too big. It dwarfed the real bugs on the water, but on my first presentation to about a 16" rainbow, my fly was absolutely crushed! The fiesty fish leaped several times and then ran entangling my line in heaps of weeds. Luckily my RIO 5X tippet held on and I landed the gorgeous bow. During the next 3 hours I landed 5 rainbows from 15" to about 17". They were not the hawgs the Ranch is famous for but for a 3 hour fishing adventure, I'll take it any day!

Global Fly Fishing Web Site

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Carp Commandos Down in the Trenches

I left the house in the dark this morning to meet friends Dennis Butcher, George Kuvinka and Jay Buchner, a well known fly tier of Jackson Hole - truly one of the best I have ever seen. I owed Dennis a guided trip to fly fish for carp and today was the day. It's normally about a 2 hour drive to my spot, but thick fog slowed us and the ride took about 3 hours. Once there it was so cold and cloudy it wasn't yet worth fishing  so we filled up on a huge breakfast at the town hotel. By the time we were finished the weather still sucked, but I had no choice but to lead the troops to the small reservoir. To my dismay, it was nearly dry! Nice guiding job Currier! I had no idea that the dam on the reservoir was being repaired and the carp flats were dry to the bone. It was time to re-learn my favorite carp lake on the spot.  This was no easy feat for the weather still sucked with thick clouds and fog and temps around 35 degrees, absolutely horrific carp conditions. The reason this was so horrible is that it helps tremendously if you can see the carp before you cast and this requires sunshine. Also, 35 degrees is brutally cold for carp as they prefer much warmer conditions. The only water left was basically the old river channel which was too deep to see the carp feeding along the bottom sun or no sun. Fortunately these guys are friends and we went for a walk along the dried up mud flats searching for carp in what water existed the best we could. It was pretty cool actually as we found all kinds of things from soccer balls to half frozen crayfish that we were able to rescue. The only thing missing were the carp! The sun finally popped at 2 PM and at last a few carp began to show. And I do mean a few. On this lake I normally find myself casting to carp almost all day. But with today’s conditions and the lack of flats we only saw about 10 all day!

Luckily, some of these carp were cooperative and we landed three 4-7lb mirror carp. Jay caught one of them on Jay's crayfish pattern. It's a brownish orange color in a size 8. Jay was letting it sink to the bottom and slowly stripping it back. I caught my fish in one of Jay's nymph patterns. It's a beadhead in a size 14. It looks similar to a pheasant tail nymph only it has a red dubbed head and rubberlegs.
Most of my favorite carp nymphs have rubberlegs. The fly retrieve was as slow as you could imagine. I literally crawled the nymphs in front of fish using a one finger hand twist. The fish were so lethargic that they followed the fly at a snails pace before sucking it in. In addition to the carp, Jay streamered up quite a surprise when he landed a healthy little smallmouth bass. A species I'd never seen in the lake.

It appears my carping may be done for the year in Wyoming and Idaho due to the onset of winter.
I think tomorrow morning I'll do some art then head up to the Henry's Fork Ranch, fish the baetis hatch and stick some pig rainbows!

Global Fly Fishing Web Site

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Surgeon General Reports Cure for 'Cabin Fever'

What has over 3,300 files, 1,375 pictures, 8,900 internal hyperlinks, big fish stories (we don't talk about the dinks), a compilation of fly fishing news reports, flyfishing movies, excerpts from fly fishing books, personal recommendations for products, outfitters, guides, fish art work, travelogues from the far corners of the earth and believe it not, much, more more?

The answer? It's my personal website,
Jeff Currier, Global Fly Fishing. It would be cool if you would take a short visit to my web site, poke around a bit and find something to read on that snowy Sunday evening, which just might might turn those mid winter doldrums into an action plan for your own fly fishing adventure, next spring.

Global Fly Fishing Web Site

High on Fish, Super Glue and Harriman Ranch

In a week I leave for California to speak at the Long Beach Casting Club and then fish the Southern California coast for a few days before heading to Baja. The main focus of Baja is to catch a striped marlin on the fly! That's a tough itinerary to pack for and today I dedicated 12 hours to getting ready. All I can say is I rigged a bunch of RIO fly lines on Ross Reels and my hands are scared from numerous Whipped Loops, Bimini Twists and I have a serious buzz from all the Pliobond and Zap-A-Gap I sniffed. Nonetheless, I'm nearly ready.

Tomorrow I leave early to take my Doc, Dennis Butcher, on a
carp trip to pay him back for my last physical years ago! And hell, perhaps Thursday I'll fish the Harriman Ranch, on the Henry's Fork one more time!

Global Fly Fishing Web Site

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wind River, Whiskey and Sober Trout

It's the end of a wild weekend. It very well should of been we celebrated my birthday which featured a Whiskey Party and a fishing day with my wife Granny and great friend Daren Calhoun on what may as well be "private water". First the Whiskey Party. I don't touch hard alcohol but some friends have started making whiskey completely out of Wyoming ingredients. Saturday, Wyoming Whiskey (WW) celebrated their whiskey making project with a huge party at the new distillery in Kirby, Wyoming on the banks of the Bighorn River. The whiskey won't be ready for 2 to 5 years from now, however, there was plenty of beer and barbecue to be enjoyed. WW provided live band entertainment, a speech from the Governor of Wyoming, Dave Freudenthal, and an air show that was an incredible surprise! It was a great party with over 300 folks mostly from Wyoming. Granny and I enjoyed a few beers while listening to the live band and chatting with friends, something you don't have a lot of time for during the bustling summer.

We took it easy though as Sunday was big fishing day with our friend Darren Calhoun, owner of Wind River Canyon Whitewater and Fly Fishing Trips on the Indian Reservation. Darren's outfit is based out of Thermopolis, Wyoming and I highly recommend fishing with him someday if you want to catch some really big trout! We hit the river with Darren early and I landed my annual birthday fish minutes into the trip. This year it was a nice 15" or so brown that lit me up after I set my sparkly woolly bugger like streamer into him. Sometimes when you catch a nice fish that close to the put-in boat ramp you're screwed for the rest of the day but it was not the case. Granny, Darren and I managed to catch about 20 gorgeous browns, rainbows and cuttys.

Global Fly Fishing Web Site

Global Fly Fishing - A Blog by Jeff Currier

This is the start of "Currier's" first blog. It's something I probably should have done a long time ago but knew that I'd never stay on top of it enough to make it worth it. Now it's time. And I have time now because 23 years of working in the Jack Dennis fly shop in Jackson Hole Wyoming comes to an end in a week! I'm going full time with my art, doing presentations and hosting fly fishing trips. I will be attempting to work for myself and am incredibly excited for the new challenge. With this new lifestyle I plan to put more time into my website, fish even more and keep up this blog. The blog will keep you updated with my latest fishing, artwork and whatever else cool comes up. Enjoy! Jeff

Global Fly Fishing Web Site