He has written several books, including Currier’s Quick and Easy Guide to Warmwater Fishing. In addition to his web site, www.jeffcurrier.com he also has a blog flyfishingbum.blogspot.com
I recently attended Jeff’s lecture on warmwater fly fishing at the Fly Fishing Show in Somerset, NJ. I greatly enjoyed his talk, and thought his presentation was one of the best. I had the opportunity to ask him a few questions. His answers appear below.
1. How did you get started in fly fishing?
My dad was a big fly fisherman. In fact one of my grandfathers was too (ironically not my dad’s father). Starting at about age 3 dad set me up with a worm and bobber. Like any kid I loved watching that bobber bounce and had a lot of success with the local sunfish and the occasional bass. However, I couldn’t help but notice dad’s interesting method of fishing. It looked even more fun than mine.
When I was five dad and I hit opening day of trout season on the Ipswich River in Topsfield, Massachusetts. I was drifting worms in the current and he was stripping various wet flies. Let’s just say dad smoked me that day. Seriously, I remember it well. I caught one rainbow trout and he caught about 20. Sure, like any good dad he let me reel them in, but I was ticked and he knew it.
That Christmas I got a telescoping fly rod with reel and line. I struggled that next summer like any six year old would learning to cast while losing flies. It was so frustrating at timesthat I even went as far as to fish worms on my fly rod. Luckily our neighborhood was loaded with pumpkinseed sunfish. Those little fellas are so forgiving that I managed to catch them. They kept my interest and by the time I was seven I was fly fishing whenever I could.
2. What led you to start writing about warmwater fly fishing?
Not enough fly fishers take advantage of opportunities to warmwater fly fish. For almost all of us some sort of warmwater fly fishing is right down the street. It aggravates me that there’s such little interest. And I’ve kind of made it a personal campaign to educate and try and get folks more interested.
The lack of interest in warmwater fly fishing became apparent during more than 20 years while working in a fly shop. I helped folks catch trout around the waters of Yellowstone during those years. Many of our customers expressed their disappointment when they left our area to return home. “We have no fly fishing where we come from”, they would whine. I’d challenge them on such statements only to find out they had a bass pond in their backyard or a lake full of pike a mile from home. And if that wasn’t the case I’d suggest finding some carp to catch. Most of us know carp live about everywhere. They’d be horrified at my advice.
It became obvious we live amongst a world of boring fly fishers. It was time to do my part to change this way of thinking. I began writing about warmwater fly fishing and doing seminars about warmwater fly fishing at fly fishing clubs and sport shows all over. It was time to educate.
3. What is your favorite type of fishing?
That’s the million dollar question. I get asked that all the time. I like to answer, “Fly fishing”. I like it all types of fly fishing. But what fish species I’m into at that given moment always changes. If I’ve been trout fishing all summer then I get a chance to muskie fish in Wisconsin for a week. I’ll guarantee you that when you ask me what my favorite fishing is I’d say fly fishing for muskie. It had been a while since I muskiefished. It was fresh. Exciting. Different. And that’s why I loved it at that moment.
In the late 80’s and early 90’s I spent a good portion of my winters in Belize hosting my trout clients from summer in Yellowstone. As much as I love the flats, by the end of myBelize season I was desperate to fly fish for a trout. Ask me today and I’ll tell you I’m craving my next tigerfish in Africa. It’s been awhile. Like I say, I love it all.
4. Where is your favorite place to fish?
Ah, the million and one dollar question. My answer changes here too depending on how much I’ve had of that certain great place. However, I most often answer with the Harriman Ranch on the Henry’s Fork. That’s why I live in Idaho.
5. What can we expect to see from you and your company in 2012?
I plan to focus on my artwork and writing more this year. Sure I’ll fish and travel like I always do. That’s what makes me tick. But I quit my day job at the fly shop several years ago to do more artwork, writing and speaking. Instead it’s been more of a fishing frenzy. I’ve definitely taken the speaking part of the plan to a high level but I’ve neglected my art and writing. This will be the year when I paint fish that are swimming and hopefully start writing my next book.
We want to thank Jeff for taking the time to interview with us. All the best in 2012!