Thursday, December 30, 2010

Reeling it in for 2010

blog_Dec_30_2010_1[1] Teton Valley was already covered in deep snow from previous storms before a fresh 5-12 inches landed the last two days. We had high wind and periods of heavy snow throughout Tuesday afternoon and most of yesterday. Now our temps have plummeted and wind-chill is forecasted to be a dangerous 22º BELOW ZERO! Yikes! In other words, unless I slip on some ice and whack my head extremely hard, Sunday was my last day of fishing in 2010. 2010 will go down as the best fishing year of my life. We’ll highlight more on that in the next few days.

I just came in from an incredible ski in the
backcountry. I spent nearly two hours breaking a trail through deep snow up one of our nearby mountains. I was exhausted to say the least by the time I reached the summit of this foothill. At that point, all the clothes I shed while sweating my way up had to go back on to keep me warm as I skied down. What took two hours travelling up took a mere 20 minutes going down. Remarkably, I made it all the way down without wiping out and the powdery r
un was by far my best ski outing of the season.

blog_Dec_30_2010_2[1] Now I’m back to the computer finishing up preparations for the
Fly Fishing Shows which begin next week. The shows you will find me at this January are the Fly Fishing Show in Denver January 7 – 9, Fly Fishing Show in Marlborough, Massachusett
s January 14 – 16 and the biggest of all Fly Fishing Shows, Somerset, New Jersey January 21 – 23. That’s just the January line up and I hope to see some of you there!

As I work away at my computer I have many feathery visitors. Our bird feeder hangs just a few feet from me and all kinds of birds visit. At this very second I have a fine-looking Hairy Woodpecker but my camera is out of reach. Damn! However, this morning I got this picture of a Clark's Nutcracker and yesterday this hungry crow. Good stuff as they blog_Dec_30_2010_3[2] say!

I still plan to post pictures of the 12 top fish of 2010. I’m also trying to narrow down my favorite blogs of the year. I appreciate the advice and suggestions many of you have made the last few days. It really helps and any more help would be appreciated. Feel free to contact me direct or write your vote in the comments box below this entry. Thanks again!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

To Fort Frame

blog_Dec_28_2010_1[1] I’m headed to the frame shop to drop off these two 12” x 16” original watercolors I finished for the Watercolor Magic Art Show to be held in Jackson, Wyoming January 14th thru February 11th. The show will exhibit at the Art Center, Theater Gallery. One of the pieces is of a Snake River Cutthroat Granny caught this summer and the other is of the best tigerfish I caught in Tanzania in November. While both are for sale, I doubt the tigerfish will sell because it’s such an exotic fish that few anglers have caught, however it will be a definite eye catcher. What’s really cool about this tigerfish painting is I don’t care if it sells. We don’t have a single painting of mine hanging in our house. This one will hang proudly in our guestroom.

blog_Dec_28_2010_2[1] I may also sell unlimited prints of both these fish. I’m headed for Staples before the framer to investigate the chances of starting an unlimited print series that will be very affordable. Stay tuned on this because my goal is to have any species you want for sale as a print in the very near future.

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing Website

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Let's Beat the Storm

blog_Dec_26_2010_1[1] It was exactly a year ago today that Rob Parkins, Zack Dalton (One of RIO Products main guys) and I floated the South Fork. Evidently, that day was the beginning of a tradition because the minute Rob walked in the door at our Christmas Eve party he asked me if I was going with him and Zack the day after Christmas. (I don’t need to tell you my answer).

This is getting ridiculous – being able to float fish in late December. Even more ridiculous, the rod guides didn’t freeze until the last half hour of our day nor did we need gloves even when we were rowing. And as usual, there wasn't another boat in sight. This is about five trips in a row on the
South Fork of the Snake and we have yet to share with another boat. This is the best off-season in history!

blog_Dec_26_2010_2[1] Today’s fishing was decent. Both
Rob and Zack nymphed out of the boat to start the day. Rob caught a few whitefish a rainbow and a brown trout. At mid day I took the front and tossed some streamers. I literally have not taken my point fly (bottom fly) off yet since I tied it on in November. I’m still using the black and silver Screamer Streamer and pounding the fish on it. Even when I have multiple flies on the Screamer gets eaten nine times out of ten. The fly has just been fantastic.

Wildlife was abundant today. On the drive over from Victor
Rob and I saw hundreds of deer and an enormous bull elk. The elk was trapped along the roadside by a very high electric fence with three strips of barbed wire blog_Dec_26_2010_3[1] at top. It was even too high for him to jump over. As the passing traffic alarmed him he finally attempted to clear the barrier only to get badly hung up. It was a near ugly scene but after a short struggle he made it through or over, massive antlers and all. I wish I had a picture to show but we were afraid that stopping would have made things worse.

On the river we saw at least a dozen
bald eagles along with thousands of Barrow’s goldeneyes, mallards, buffleheads and even a drake wood duck. Although I’ve seen a few over the years, the wood duck is an unusual sighting for this area. The out of season flocks of robins continue to nourish on the midge hatch while numerous water ouzels (dippers) dive the shallows hunting nymphs in the frigid water.

The fishing, the wildlife and even the Christmas diner leftovers we had for lunch added to another incredible day on the
South Fork. The question is: was this the last day of fishing for me in 2010? Supposedly there's a storm moving in so I’d say yes, but the way things have been going, I may wander out one more time. I hope so, even if it’s just to wade fish blog_Dec_26_2010_4[1] the midge hatch for few hours.

Even if I don’t’ fish again, expect a few more postings. I’m just about done with the two watercolor paintings I’m putting in the art show over in Jackson. I’ll post pics of them soon. Later in the week I’ll post my ten most memorable fish of the year. I caught a few of these but many were caught by friends and family. This will not be an easy edit so any help from you the readers would be great. Last, I’d like to decide upon my three favorite blogs of the year. I think I have an idea but any help would be Greatly Appreciated. I hope everyone enjoys the rest of the Holidays.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Floating Xmas Week? Slap Me I Must Be Dreaming

Little did I know the other night while I was painting fish and signing books at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop party, my pals Rob Parkins and Paul Bruun were organizing a float on the South Fork for a few days before Christmas. To my delight this excursion included me and I would discover this in a corresponding email later that night. Our day was set for Wednesday, but we ended up going today.

By now you should know Bruun. You may know Rob too, but it's been awhile since I introduced him on my blog. Rob Parkins is a well known fishing guide here in Teton Valley. Rob guides in both Idaho and Wyoming. He is also a very accomplished fly tier and photographer
and although we don’t spend much time together in the summer because he’s guiding so much, in the winter we often fish together and even more regularly grab beers and burgers together at one of the many Victor, Idaho establishments.

Today was the first time I saw the sun in weeks – perhaps since I left Africa over a month ago! I found myself hypnotized by the brilliant blue sky several times. I also found myself picking ice out of my frozen rod guides throughout the day. Despite the sunshine, our temperature never reached much above 20º. But 20º is a true bonus in mid December. And today, even though it was the shortest day of our lives, was a great chance to squeeze out another float.

We put in at the Palisades Dam. Normally our winter South Fork floats find us fishing ten miles further downstream but this float offered us a change in the usual scenery and sometimes up top we often stumble into larger fish. However the trade off is usually fewer fish. The wind always blows at the dam no matter what time of year it is and this morning was no exception. The good news is that once you get around the first turn in t
he river it all but stops and suddenly it feels about 10º warmer. That’s a huge psychological plus for winter float fishing! Sure enough we got around that corner and even though the rod guides were still clogging with ice, the hats and gloves came off and it was quite a nice day all the way till dark at the take out.

Our fishing ranked as good, but by no means red hot. To start the day, Paul rowed, Rob fished nymphs and I did my usual multi fly streamer rig on straight 0X RIO Flouroflex Plus tippet. We caught several fish and they were nice ones, but we went through some proven hot spots that weren’t so hot. Some good news is that it appears most the browns are done spawning. We caught quite a few and they all came from the deep on the streamers. In fact, we only caught two rainbows and maybe five cutthroats. The rest were browns. Also, when Rob was nymphing he latched into numerous whitefish and even snagged a handsome sucker.

It’s remarkable how much snow has melted. Two weeks ago Bruun and I could barely reach the boat launch and now after an unseasonably mild December the river banks are void of snow. This attracts many of the inhabitants of the river basin down to the edge to find food. The mule deer were grazing the exposed grass while red squirrels gathered supplies. We must have seen a dozen bald eagles and what is most unusual for winter, hundreds upon hundreds of robins. They were devouring midges on both sides of the river for the entire final two hours of our float. It made it feel as if spring is just around the corner – FAT CHANCE!

aking of midges, at day’s end the fish were on them. The beauty of it was that Paul brought along some fantastic cigars, a perfect item while taking turns casting dry flies. We were almost to the boat ramp yet we hadn’t smoked these fine cigars. I dropped anchor at one of these rising fish pods and lit up and asked the guys if they wanted to cast some midges. At first they lit up their cigars and we all watched the risers. The trout fed as if it were 10 PM in July during a rusty spinner fall. It was incredible. Then gradually the dry fly rods appeared and Rob made the first cast.

didn’t exactly extract fish from this pod at a rapid pace. These guys were difficult to say the least. A lot of it had to do with our inability to see the tiny midge patterns we were throwing. Sometimes you would set the hook thinking the fish ate your fly but he hadn’t. Next cast you wouldn’t set and of course you should have because the fish really did eat your fly. We should have rigged an indicator of some sort but I think the cigars and relaxing during sunset took precedence over extra rigging.

I keep leaving this great river thinking it’s my last time for 2010 but I find myself right back. A float just a few days before Christmas on the South Fork - are you kidding me? Taking turns casting a midge to ten rising trout – am I dreaming? Smoking cigars with friends during sunset in December while watching the wildlife and listening to the birds and sudden slurps of feeding trout – that’s enough! Happy holidays everyone.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Has Anyone Fly Fished in Madagascar?

I’ve never really just thrown out a question but here it goes. Has anyone ever fly fished or even know someone that has fly fished in Madagascar? This year Granny and I will be throwing on the backpacks to explore some serious walk and wade fly fishing in the salt where few westerners have tried. It must be affordable so for that reason we are focusing on the third world. It also needs to be a place where I can use my Delta miles for free tickets. We have combed the web for information and Google Earthed the coastlines of places like Ecuador in South America to Gabon in Africa. We can’t decide whether or not we should hunt enormous threadfin or near impossible to catch milkfish. Decision making like this just sends my fishy brain into a frenzy!

After weeks of cocktail hours on the computer pouring through websites, our research has directed us towards Madagascar. The beaches on this massive Indian Ocean Island are stunning in photos and the waters appear pristine. Madagascar is only 1000 miles south of the famous but expensive Seychelles, one of the saltwater flats fly fishing Mecca’s and this leads me to believe there should be flats species such as bonefish, trevally, triggerfish and one that has really stumped me in the past, the milkfish. We feel its worth at try.

The particular area we are studying is Nose Be and its surrounding islands in the north as well as St Marie Island off the remote east coast. If you know anything, please email me at Thanks!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Just Like Old Times

Tonight I made a guest appearance at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop where up until last year I worked for some 23 years. They asked me to come in and be part of a book signing with long time friend Scott Sanchez. The event took place from 4 – 8 PM and between book signings I drew fish with sharpies on Cliff Fly Boxes and even painted up a 7” x 9” Snake River Cutthroat for a former employee of mine, “Big” Willie Roth.

Although many longtime retailers complain about the hecticness of Christmas season, I used to love it. I particularly enjoyed the challenges of figuring out good presents for the fly fishers who have it all. There was nothing better than helping distressed customers nail down that perfect gift. In fact, although I cherish the freedom of self employm
ent, tonight kind of made me miss working in a busy shop for Christmas.

I didn’t know what to expect as far as turnout tonight, but I’m happy to report that the event was quite busy. Many of my old customer/friends made it in for a visit. It was fun to say hi and catch up. The shop sold plenty of my books and also my art related things including coffee mugs. It was a very worthwhile event for me and Scott as well as the Jack Dennis Fly Shop.

far as posting another fishing day before Christmas, it’s looking doubtful. I’m hoping to sneak over to the South Fork for a few hours one afternoon and fish some midges, but we’ll see. I’m still busy as heck. I have an invite to display two paintings in the Watercolor Magic art show at the Art Center, Theater Gallery in Jackson, WY January 14 – February 11th. This is a special showing only for the watercolor artist of the Jackson Hole area and it’s an honor to be asked to participate. As always, I have little to no stock so I need to dedicate the time to do up two paintings and get them framed before I hit the road next month. That’s a tall task when you consider I still have plenty of preparation to do on my presentations for the Fly Fishing Show circuit. Luckily the weather is lousy and daylight hours are at the minimum keeping me inside and hard at work rather than tempting me to the river!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Snowy Snake

I’ve been busy taking winter fishing photos lately to update a segment of my “Four Seasons of the Yellowstone Trout Bum” PowerPoint presentation. My first delivery of this program is Friday January 7th at the Denver Fly Fishing Show. Today I ventured to Wyoming and the Snake River up around the Jackson Lake Dam. I went with friends Mark Kuhn (Milkfish) and Bob (I don’t know Bobs last name). Our weather was absolute crap! It was raining when I left Victor and it did so all the way to Jackson. Even so, we had this planned for several days so off we went.

Surprisingly, up at the dam it was nice. By now the rain turned to snow and it was a true winter wonderland. Dams aren’t usually the most scenic places for winter fishing photography but being that this is in Grand Teton National Park, it’s an exception. It’s absolutely gorgeous in the wintertime and this part of the Snake also provides one of the best winter fishing options in the Yellowstone region.

My presentation covers the calendar year of fishing in and around Yellowstone National Park. Basically, my show includes twelve segments made up of eight to ten photos. Each segment represents some of the best fishing in the Yellowstone area for that month. I simply wanted some photos of it snowing while they rigged up, post holing through deep snow, some casting with a gorgeous backdrop and then a few nice fish. Well, here are the pictures from today. Do you notice we are missing something? The boys got skunked!

I can tease them but I can’t go too far with it. In order to be dedicated to my photography I wisely didn’t even bring a rod. Being that I didn’t fish, I don’t know how tough the fishing really was. What I do know though is that it is unseasonably warm here right now. Our snow is melting at a fast pace. As I’ve mentioned before, when snow melts into the river at a high rate, water temps can plummet and cause the trout to be very lethargic. Unless your fly hits them in the nose it’s hard to get them to eat.

Nonetheless it was a great day out. The scenery was beautiful and the wildlife was plentiful. We’ll try it again soon. . .

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Good Fishing Day Missed

Thursday Paul Bruun, Tom Montgomery and I were planning to head out on the South Fork. Unfortunately we canceled late Wednesday night. Each of us was just a little bit too far behind in our work. However, it’s a fact that when you cancel a day of fishing, those who still go do well. Often times they do very well as Gary Eckman and Ed Emory proved. Young Cooper, Gary’s son whom you should know by now, couldn’t wait to email me this photo of his dad’s huge brown. Nice work Gary!

Seeing Gary’s hawg is a definite incentive to get out this week. I know I’ll be walking the Snake River on the Wyoming side in the next few days. I will mainly be shooting photos that I’ll use to update the winter fishing segment in my “Four Seasons of the Yellowstone Trout Bum” PowerPoint Show. But getting to the South Fork again. . . I hope so. Meanwhile it’s continue here at the house on my various projects and laugh at the magpie whose wondering where his peanuts are!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Workin Like Dog

A year ago my friend Jon Keener’s wife asked if I would attempt to paint their family dog as a Christmas present for him. Loving a challenge in anything, I said yes. Well, the good news is that Jake the yellow lab came out pretty darn good for a first dog.

This week I completed “Bernie” the Llewellyn setter for Ron Malone of South Carolina. I worked periodically on Bernie for nearly ten days. He’s only the fourth dog I’ve done and he’s the first that is partially black. Next time you see a black dog; have a good look at him. They are nothing but a collage of highlights and reflections. Bernie’s black ears and
black patches on his face led to the most challenging painting I have ever done. Layers after layers, highlights after highlights I carefully added and subtracted paint on Bernie. Finally, after hanging him in my own house for a few days, both my wife Granny and I loved him. Bernie was complete! And to celebrate we skied the Ranch on the Henry's Fork. No fishing allowed in there this time of year. Shucks!

Today I continue to work on various projects. You’d think a guy without a normal “day job” would be looking for stuff to do, but it’s the complete opposite, I’m buried! At the top of the list is filling the last spot for my hosted Brazil trip in March. All I need is one more person. Meanwhile I’m pouring through thousands of photos I took this year and inserting my best ones into my PowerPoint presentations. Starting in January I will be speaking at most of the Fly Fishing Shows as well as some Fly Fishing Clubs. I hope to see you at one of them.

I continue to paint on a daily basis. I’m presently painting a Snake River
Cutthroat. They look kind of funny without spots! Last but not least I’m going to reward these next few months of work with some travel and fishing. I’m finalizing plans to chase giant Pacific snook in Baja the first week in February with my friends Sam Vigneri and Grant Hartman. And I’m just starting an attempt to sort out a possible expedition to fish the beaches of Madagascar in April. My partner in crime for this salty adventure will be Granny – it will be 20 years this April! How did she do it!

Ha! I just got an email from Montgomery and Bruun. It’s back to the South Fork tomorrow! GOOD STUFF!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Let's Do It Again

Paul and I had fun catching up over dinner at the Knotty Pine last night followed by a good night sleep. We were up early and had our tackle in order and the lunches packed before we knew it. Today we brought along our long time friend Tom Montgomery. Tom and Paul have been friends forever. Like Paul, I met Tom shortly after I moved to Jackson and we’ve been friends ever since. Tom is not only another of Jackson's well known fishing guides but is also a fantastic photographer. He has been taking pictures of fish and fly fishing scenes for well over thirty years. His photos have graced the covers of nearly every fly fishing magazine. These days Tom spends much of his winter hosting anglers to New Zealand and Argentina and then during August and September he guides the Snake River. He and I have fished and traveled together throughout Yellowstone, South America and New Zealand. Tom has been a roll model not only for me but many anglers and guides who arrive on the Jackson scene.

Paul and I were impressed with Tom right from the start of the day. Tom is far from a morning person yet he made it from Jackson over Teton Pass in snowy conditions before 8:30 AM. After heating up a thermos and filling it with some spicy soup we were loaded up and on our way back to the South Fork.

We got about another 3 inches of snow last night. At 10 AM when we arrived at the South Fork the snow completely stopped. It w
as overcast and felt about 40 degrees. Things were really shaping up nice. We picked up Paul’s boat and because of our nice early start we added some length to our float and drove up and launched at the Irwin Slide, about 4 miles above the Spring Creek Bridge. Like yesterday we would take out at the Conant Boat Ramp. This would give us a nice 6-7 mile float. We drove as close as we could get to the boat ramp then rather then risking getting the truck stuck backing down the snowy ramp, we unloaded the boat up top and slid it down the ramp to the river. We were off and floating again.

10:30 AM in Dece
mber is a bit early even for the midge hatch so we pulled out our streamer rods to start the day. It didn’t take long to start rousting some fish. I brought a nice rainbow close to the boat minutes into the float and then Tom hooked into a beefy brown trout. This time of year these big fish aren’t in their summer lairs. The water levels are so much lower than in summer months that all the bank structure you typically find them in is out of the water. Therefore, this time or year I like to target them on the inside turns anywhere the water is slow moving and deep. In these places fish conserve needed energy by avoiding the hard work of holding in heavy current yet still get the benefit of being deep enough to hide from the numerous eagles that winter here. These spots are also ideal for feeding on midges when the hatches start in late afternoon.

Tom’s brown put up one heck of a scrap. If he hadn’t leaped next to the boat early in the fight we’d of been certain that Tom foul hooked him. Shortly after hook-up Paul was able to net what was one of the larger browns I’ve seen on the South Fork since August. After a few clicks on my camera Mr. Brownie bolted from Toms hands back to the deep. It’s good to see these fish so strong and healthy even as we approach winter.

like yesterday, the midges hardly hatched. Today was similar but for some reason they just did not come out. It was perhaps the one slight difference between today and yesterday that caused the change, and that was the temperature. Yesterday temps hovered right around freezing. Today they reached 40 degrees, so warm that the snow was melting rapidly. When the snow melts fast it drains into the river and the water temperature goes down. In other words, even though today was warmer for us anglers, the water temperatures were colder than yesterday and not only changed the behavior of the trout but also the midges. It was too cold for the midges to hatch and the trout had to make meals out of nymphs and baitfish. And to prove our theory, we absolutely destroyed the fish on streamers today!

We a
re not normally guys that keep track of how many fish we catch but I don’t recall any previous fishing days in December that were better. It seemed one of us was always at least getting a strike. And there were no shining flies that dominated our catches either. I fished multiple flies all day and it seemed that my black screamer and my yellow screamer fly each caught about the same number of fish. Best of all, we caught numerous brown trout today. The last few trips we’ve caught hardly any browns, that’s because they were in the shallows spawning. Judging from today many have finished their spawn and are now ferociously feeding to get in shape to survive the harsh winter months. We landed nearly 30!

I hope today wasn’t my last float of the year, but it certainly could be. You never know what to expect in December. We could get three feet of snow in the next few days and it would be bye bye to reaching any boat ramps. Or the temperature could drop to 20 below zero and it could stay that way for a month. Either weather condition would put an end to it for me. But if next weeks weather is anything like the last two days, I’ll guarantee you can expect another story and a few more pics of me and some friends enjoying the quiet of winter fishing.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


The weatherman called for 1-2 inches of snow today. However, when I got up at 6 AM there was already 3 inches of snow on the ground and it was still falling. The good news was that the flakes were big (indicating it was warm by our standards) and they were floating straight down (meaning there was no wind).

The weather was important to me because I was heading to the South Fork to meet up and fish with Paul Bruun. Paul’s been a fishing buddy for years and I’ve mentioned him in my blog before. Paul has lived in the Jackson Hole area since the 70’s. He’s a highly respected fishing guide and outdoor sports writer for the Jackson Hole News. I’ve known Paul since I arrived on the Jackson Hole scene in 1987 and we’ve been friends ever since. He’s been a mentor to me, wrote the foreword to my saltwater fly fishing book and we’ve fished together in both fresh and saltwater. In fact, I could write a novel on some of the adventures we’ve had together from Belize to Fremont Lake.

To make our day somewhat complicated, Paul and I planned to float the South Fork in his boat. Normally the shortest route for Paul (who lives in Jackson) to the South Fork is over Teton Pass. However, Teton Pass is closed to trailer traffic this time of year, so he had to tow is boat the long way around. This is about a 2 hour drive on snowy roads. On top of that, with these wintery conditions a lot of preparation went into getting ready. Paul dug out his boat cover, sorted out enough rope to pull the boat up an icy snow covered ramp and organized chains for his truck so we wouldn’t get stuck driving through two feet of snow at the unplowed boat ramp parking lots. With all these chores and a snowstorm, we didn’t meet in Swan Valley, Idaho until about noon.

When I
drove my Exploder into Swan Valley I found Paul parked at the local gas station. His boat and trailer were so iced up it looked like he arrived from the North Pole. I pulled up next to him and we both started laughing. It was dumping snow and people looked at us like we were insane. Of course there was no chance we were chickening out so off we went to look at boat ramps.

By now we only had time for a very short float. It gets dark around here by 5 PM. The only float we could even consider was from the Spring Creek Bridge to Conant. But still the big question was would the snow be too deep to reach the boat ramps.

Well, for most people I think the snow would be too deep but Paul’s truck had the power to pull the boat close enough to launch and with his ingenuity of trailer detaching, chains and long ropes we were able to go for it. By the time we pushed off from the bridge luck was on our side. The snow had nearly stopped and the temperature was around 35 º.

We rowed down to the first riffle and I kid you not, there were at least fifty rising fish. “Those can’t all be trout, can they?” Paul thought out loud as he tied on a midge pattern.

I stared at the frenzied fish as I pulled out my 4-weight Ross FW, and responded, “I think we’re about to find out.”

There were so many risers that we just assumed that some of them had to be whitefish – but they weren’t. Every single one of these fish were hungry trout. They were feeding on midges and there were more midges that I an ever recall at one hatching. Even though they were micro midges, they were clumped together so tightly that in some areas they covered the water an inch thick! At this first stop we landed numerous Snake River Cutthroats, rainbows, cuttbows, one brown and one Yellowstone Cutthroat. The next spot was exactly the same. As was the next and the one after. It was an unbelievable afternoon of fishing!

Paul and I had every intention of being off the river well before dark. In the winter you don’t mess around. Hypothermia is a definite threat and if we ever flipped the boat by hitting a snag after dark we’d freeze to death if we didn’t drown. But like most serious anglers subject to such fishing we cut it a little close. We pulled into to the snowy Conant boat ramp at about 5:15 in total darkness.

Luckily we were able to pull the boat out without any trouble at all. It was probably colder than we knew but because we were so delighted that we beat the elements and safely caught numerous fish we didn’t notice. On a river that normally sees hundreds of boats on any given summer day, we were the only one. Perhaps not just today but maybe even this week. Along with the great fishing we saw heaps of wildlife. From white tails to swans and beavers to turkeys we shared the river with far more than just trout. It was an incredible day. It was so incredible that we stashed the boat in Swan Valley tonight and Paul is staying with me and Granny in Victor – We’re gonna get an early start and fish again tomorrow!