In his pursuit of catching any fish whatsoever on fly, Jeff Currier has risked being fired by bosses (mild); losing 20lbs in weight from Delhi belly (medium); getting abducted by Colombian rebels (fiery);being eaten by tigers (incineration) and has had countless other misadventures. But over the last 40 years and in 60 countries, he’s racked up over 400 different species on fly. We asked him to do the impossible and select his favourites.
“When Belgian cycling legend Eddie “The Cannibal” Merckx was asked by aspiring youngsters what the secret to his success was, his response was brutal and succinct, “Ride lots.” Swap out “ride” for “fish” and that nugget of advice could easily be attributed to Jeff Currier, because few, if any, have achieved quite what Currier has done in fly fishing.
Through the decades, fly fishing around the world on self-funded DIY trips or as a guide, as a competition angler and as a Yellowdog Ambassador, Currier has caught over 400 different species of fish.
That’s an astonishing number.
Take a minute to try to work out your own list:
- There will be the few local species you’ve ticked.
- Now think about those places and species a day or two’s drive away that you and your buddies like to visit every year or so.
- Then there’s the smorgasbord of weird and wonderful species that you might have encountered for the first time on a big exotic trip. You may even be lucky and wealthy enough to have done a few every year.
I bet if you add them all up and throw in an extra 10 -20 for good measure for the random rats and mice you’ve forgotten about, it’s unlikely your tally is much over 50. Maybe you’re an ex-guide, so let’s say that number is closer to 100. That’s incredible, but 400? Verified in journal and blog form every single time you’ve been fishing the way Currier does it? Doubtful.”
Read the rest of Jeff’s story in issue 15 of The Mission below.