It is difficult, if not impossible, to find another angler like Jeff Currier. Like none other, Currier has spent much of the last few decades pursuing fish species like Jacques Cousteau and decorating his passport like the Secretary of State. With a love of fly fishing and travel, Currier also has a passion for the many species the world’s waters offer. And astonishingly, Currier has caught over 3oo different fish species on the fly. Further showing his devotion to the unique characteristics of each fish, Currier also uses his artistic talents to draw and paint many of the species he has encountered. Currier recently took time between travels to interview with the Venturing Angler:
1. Where in the world have you fly fished?
Extensively throughout the US and Canada and on six continents in 53 countries.
2. What is your favorite destination and why?
That’s the toughest question but today I’ll say India. I’ve been four times and each time gets better. For an American, the Indian culture is fascinating. I get off the plane and within seconds I know I’m far from home. The smells, the people, and the feel – it’s all incredible and I love it. And the fishing for mahseer is the most challenging of all fish. And when you catch one they are the most beautiful fish on earth.
Other great destinations are in Africa for tigerfish and South America for peacock bass. This list could go on and in fact I’m writing a book about all the great destinations and the fish.
3. What is the most memorable travel experience you have and why?
I once caught the World Record Golden Mahseer and was stalked by a Bengal tiger in the same day. A long story but true. I was lucky that day in a lot of ways. I felt the presence of the animal long before I saw him. Eventually we were face to face and he was in full on pounce position. One more step and I was toast. Both events that day were life changers, especially the tiger. That tiger is why I live and travel hard. Like every day is my last. I shouldn’t be here anymore but I am.
4. What has been the best trip so far and why?
I’ve had about fifty great trips. It’s hard to pick one. But, the tiger episode in India in 2008 put me so close to death that was a life changer. I’ve had other close calls but nothing as close as this. The horrific experience has made me a better person, much wiser, more appreciative and etc. I gained so much respect for life that no doubt, the more I talk about it, that trip to India was my best.
5. Do you have any travel coming up?
I’m headed for a five week saltwater trip in April. I’ll be fishing off Dubai several days, a week in Sudan on the Red Sea then three weeks prowling the beaches of Oman for permit and other fun fish.
6. Is there a specie that you are dying to catch?
What is it about that fish? The dogtooth tuna. This fish lives deep in the ocean, has teeth more vicious than a wahoo, runs faster and further than a yellowfin tuna and to top it all off they get enormous. I have numerous unsuccessful hours on the water trying to catch one. I recently hooked two in the Seychelles, one overpowered me into a reef 200 feet straight down and the other sheered me off with his teeth. I want one bad and there is potential on this next trip.
7. When you are not on the water, what do you want the most out of a trip and why?
I like good conversation amongst fine folks during cocktail hour and around the dinner table after a great day on the water when I’m at a lodge. When I’m winging it with the wife on our own I like to immerse myself among the locals and experience their culture and way of life full on.
8. What is your dream trip and why?
I want to fish the Congo. First reason why is because I was close to getting here in 2008 but the trip was cancelled because of danger – Civil War, jungle diseases and the list goes on. I don’t know a single human who has fly fished here so I’d likely be at worst, the first American. And the fish I badly want is a species of tigerfish, the Goliath Tigerfish. This fish is next to impossible to catch on bait let alone a fly because of his rarity, size and difficulty getting to. I need to at least go over and give it a fair try despite all risks. Perhaps in 2016.
9. If one song where to play in a video short of your last fly fishing trip, what would it be?
“How You Like Me Now” by the Heavy
10. What is the one piece of gear you couldn’t bear to leave at home?
My camera. Indeed it would be a disaster not having a fly rod set up, but if I didn’t and someone else did, at least I could take some kick ass photos. I’m a fair photographer compared to many but I enjoy photography very much.
11. As you have traveled, what environmental issues have most concerned you?
Over fishing. Flat out irresponsible over fishing. Killing every fish on a river. No respect for spawning fish. Nets that kill more than the fish. I could go on and on. Over fishing is the way of the over populated human world. I am absolutely upset about it. Mainly because it’s one of the few things I honestly don’t think can be stopped – for sure in the oceans.