Dictionary.com defines the word bum as follows: A person who avoids work and sponges on others. A loafer, a hobo, a derelict. On its own, there’s nothing flattering about the term. However, when the word trout precedes it, forming the compound – trout bum, it somehow becomes complimentary. A complimentary classification of a person who leads a lifestyle, we’d all like to live. If there's one person who exemplifies the phrase, it's Jeff Currier. In essence, Currier has somehow figured out a way to literally turn his lifestyle into his career. While Currier may well be the very definition of a "Professional Trout Bum", his exploits far exceed trout. His passion for fishing and the lifestyle he has chosen have afforded him the opportunity to chase more species than you can count in some of the world’s most exotic and remote locations. Let’s face it, Currier is a true role model for all fledgling trout bums.  

A relieable ferry

Jeff Currier with Michael, a Masai warrior, Tanzania

Currier’s passion for all things fishing sparked during a childhood spent on the water with his father and grandfather in Massachusetts. With each experience, what started as a spark grew into a burning desire to eat, sleep, and breath fishing at any cost. Like most us, Currier certainly wasn’t opposed to tying into fish of trophy proportions but what really fascinated him was catching, examining and releasing as many different species as he possibly could. "Man, back in those days, I was like a mini-fish biologist," he says. Variety is still his thing. Checking new species off his list is his main motivation to travel the world and explore new fisheries and figure out how to hook and land the world’s most elusive species. If that means drinking fermented mare’s milk in Mongolia (that’s right, fermented horse milk), slurping broth made from sheep hooves in Sudan or sleeping in a bivy sack with a sling pack for a pillow in the middle India's tiger country, all the better. The stamps in his passport suggest an occupation of an international spy or a high profile foreign diplomat of some kind but in reality, Currier lives a pretty simple life. He’s likes to fish, and welcomes all border crossings that offer the opportunity to catch a species he hasn’t crossed off his list.

Sometimes, the road less traveled is the most rewarding road to choose.

— Jeff Currier, Professional Trout Bum

Currier admits his angling career is a textbook example of the cliche’ if you follow your passion, the rest will follow. After high school, Currier attended college in Wisconsin, a decision based primarily on his curiosity of muskie, a curiosity that nearly put a halt on getting his hands on a Naturalist degree. "I started college with the intentions of studying hard and acquiring a solid degree in something like Wildlife management but what can I say man, I had a pretty severe fishing habit so I opted to get the easiest degree my school offered which is why I went for the naturalist diploma" says Currier. Finally holding a degree with his name on it, Currier’s next career move was to move to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to officially embark on his professional trout bum career. In 1987, such an occupation didn’t exactly pay the bills so he eventually found work at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop which he states was the first step to being able to do what he does today. "I worked at the shop from ’87 to 09′ and during that period, somehow, managed to work as much as most people fish but at the same time, I also managed to fish as much as most people worked" he says. "It really exposed me to a lot of people and trips abroad and over the years, my calendar just became more and more booked. Currier rolled the dice and chose an unconventional path for sure. However, since his journey began, he’s tallied over 350 fly caught species (and is still counting). In his mind, he’s far from done. The places he’s seen, the fisheries he’s fished and the untold number of stories, cultural experiences, international freak out moments and lifelong friends he’s made along the way prove that sometimes, the road less traveled is the most rewarding road to choose. #FishItWell.

Related Stories