Jeff Currier’s Top Places to Fly Fish

About 70 percent of the globe is covered in water.

Jeff Currier has fished a lot of it.

A. Lot.

He’s reeled in over 385 species of fish. Exotic species that look straight out of a storybook, all with strange names that roll off the tongue with a scrambling of letters: Arapaima. Pargo. Dorado. Wahoo. Payara.

When Jeff is done catching the fish, he paints them, forever preserving the memory with each scale from every brush stroke. His passion runs deep. His experience is vast.

He knows what the heck he’s doing.

After years of casting his line in fresh and salt waters, he’s found his favorite fishing locations. Some are tough to get to, but the results make it worth it. Some are as far away from home as he can get. Some are in the place that he first called home.

Read below to see where in the world Jeff likes to fly fish most…and why he thinks you should go, too.

1. St. Brandon’s Atoll

My favorite place is in the Indian Ocean at St. Brandon’s Atoll. It’s as far away as I can get from home in Idaho. It’s as remote as you can get. You travel 240 miles out in the boonies in the Indian Ocean. The boat ride is dangerous. If something happens, you’re cooked. But the fishing is un-freaking-believable. I hated flying my ass there, and the boat ride sucked. It’s a 30-hour trip. Our trip home was a rough one. I’ve never puked over a side of the boat, but I did on that trip. Now I know what the sorry bastards feel like when they’re puking over the edge. We got caught in bad waves. 12-foot waves for 30 hours. You couldn’t even lay in your bunk. I was getting thrown against the wall. I was there for Yellow Permit and I got two this year. Persistence paid off.

2. Henry’s Fork of the Snake River

I also love the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River. I love the fishing. There’s big beautiful rainbow trout that are very difficult to catch. I love the culture. As long as I’ve been alive, there’s been a bar on the river. You go get a beer when you’re frustrated, and at the end of the day, we all go to the bar, get tipsy, and get a burger. I get to see my friends that I don’t see all the time. For a lot of people, this is their favorite place. Sometimes we don’t get as much fishing done because we drink too much, but it’s all a part of it. I stick to beer because I couldn’t behave when I was young. I love the IPA. My fridge is always full of IPAs.

3. South Africa

My home away from home is South Africa. My best friends are South African, so I end up there almost every year. I get off the plane, there’s a BBQ right after and then we go fishing. The variety of fishing is incredible.I was the first American to win the world fishing championships, got a bronze medal. But I quit because it’s such a physical sport. Now that I’m in 50s, I get invited to the Masters, and this time it is in South Africa. They sent me over there to photograph the water. The variety is amazing: you’ve got trout, yellow fish..the saltwater fishing is unbelievable all along the coast of South Africa and there’s a lot of coastline. You’ve got the Indian on one side and Atlantic on the other. It’s an inexpensive place for the US dollar. You can get an airfare and spend a lot of time and not go broke.

4. New Hampshire

Lately, I’ve been going back to the fishing that I’d do when I was a kid. I love going back to New Hampshire visiting my mom in the summertime. I wander down to the lake for a couple of hours. She just looks at me and says, “I don’t understand how you travel the world, but you’ll come back here and catch blue gill for eight hours at the lake.” I can’t explain it either, but I freaking love it. I’m slowing down. I love going back to my roots. It’s inside of me; fly fishing will always be a part of my life. I will tone it down with the world travel because it takes its toll. I’d love to say when I’m 70, I’ll still be in tiptop shape, but I don’t know. I’ll tone it down, but I’ll always still fly fish.