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  1. Old Comment
    gc59's Avatar

    Going To A Very Cold Place

    Great words, great pictures thanks for sharing.
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    Posted 01-23-2017 at 11:48 AM by gc59 gc59 is online now
  2. Old Comment
    cb's Avatar

    Going To A Very Cold Place

    Goodness me! Ard - That is real "combat" fishing!

    I'm off to find a hot water bottle! (I don't know what they are called over there
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    Posted 01-20-2017 at 01:04 PM by cb cb is offline
  3. Old Comment
    gzarboni's Avatar

    How I Became A Fishing Guide;

    I really like your style Ard. I can see myself in your story. If I ever get the chance to head out to Alaska, you would be the first person I would contact just to shake your hand and maybe get some fishing in since I am in Alaska. Good luck with all in the future.

    Glen
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    Posted 01-17-2017 at 05:42 PM by gzarboni gzarboni is online now
  4. Old Comment
    jpbfly's Avatar

    How I Became A Fishing Guide;

    Your friend JP

    During king season I am not allowed to fish when I have clients on the water with me, that's the law
    that's a strange regulation to me....I don't fish much when I'm with a client but they sometimes ask me to show them how to reach a difficult spot or try to catch a fish they didn't manage to make bite. It's hard for me when a client doesn't catch fish....This year I had a young client who hired me five times.... he caught a lot of fish every time,not only because he's a good fisherman who carefully follows the guide's advice but also because he's lucky...yep luck has something to do with fishing,we mustn't forget it
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    Posted 01-16-2017 at 12:48 PM by jpbfly jpbfly is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Ard Stetts's Avatar

    Tying On Shanks;

    Hi Dewayne,

    Sorry for the late reply buddy but I haven't looked here for comments for days....... That is purple schlapalen or however you sell that type webby chicken feather. Sold in dyed colors or if you become anal like , well like me you can select the best, longest stuff you can find in white. When you find it you get enough to last at least 20 years and then dye small batches to suit your needs or wants.

    I'm not into doing large batches when I dye, maybe 100 feathers at maximum and more likely 50. That way if something goes wrong I haven't made a 1/4 ounce of the mistake stuff. If they come out perfect you just commit what you did; the mix, the temp, and the time lapse all to memory and make more when you need them.

    Flies like the one in the pictures have been catching silvers now for three years when there are tow conditions in our favor. Number one: there are fish. Number two: the fish are here and are not suffering lockjaw.

    It has no name other than a pinky purple and they catch good. I'll be going to wire on the 2017 batch due to a malfunction with a Power Braid shank that failed me on a nice steelhead back in November.
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    Posted 12-02-2016 at 01:34 AM by Ard Stetts Ard Stetts is offline
  6. Old Comment
    Ard Stetts's Avatar

    Going To A Very Cold Place

    January can be tough there Paul, I remember one time my fishing buddy Steve and I took a room at the Fish On motel right in town and woke up to 11* and 11 inches. When we went to the room and conked out it was around 35* and virtually no snow out there.

    Then there was the trip when it blah blah blah, it gets bad there too man.
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    Posted 11-27-2016 at 10:43 PM by Ard Stetts Ard Stetts is offline
  7. Old Comment
    Ard Stetts's Avatar

    It Ain't Over Till It's Over;

    Hiya Chris,

    Thanks so much for leaving a reply here There are a bunch of articles on here, somewhere around 90 of them.........

    Ard
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    Posted 11-27-2016 at 10:39 PM by Ard Stetts Ard Stetts is offline
  8. Old Comment
    ia_trouter's Avatar

    Tying On Shanks;

    Another beautiful fly. The SBS seems straight forward. What is the black material on the hook near the eye?
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    Posted 11-27-2016 at 10:30 PM by ia_trouter ia_trouter is offline
  9. Old Comment
    cmcdhuibh's Avatar

    It Ain't Over Till It's Over;

    It's funny that the big flashy flies work for you in AK, but in the river I fish in Ca. I get better results with a small fly. Then again I still haven't landed a eel river strain. I have experienced the long release on a couple. Thats the one problem with the small fly they get straitened out. I found some R90 mustad heavy wire to try this year. The ones I tie won't turn the eye of a fly fisherman nor do I show them my box. Keep up the writing, you do it very well. Cheers Chris
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    Posted 11-27-2016 at 03:05 PM by cmcdhuibh cmcdhuibh is offline
    Updated 11-27-2016 at 03:41 PM by cmcdhuibh
  10. Old Comment
    eastfly66's Avatar

    Going To A Very Cold Place

    Well, I guess if you can pull this last trip off than I should be able to man up and fish well into January down here !!!
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    Posted 11-26-2016 at 07:00 PM by eastfly66 eastfly66 is offline
  11. Old Comment
    Ard Stetts's Avatar

    Going To A Very Cold Place

    Hey Paul & Steve!

    It was a mission and somehow I pulled it off with no worse than a wee bit of frostbite on some fingertips. I figured it was no good when I reached the boat ramp and my right hand was frozen to the throttle

    There were no other fishermen at all and I knew that would be the case, at least I had strong suspicions I'd be alone.

    As far as stiff lines ....... I didn't notice a problem and have not noticed it over the years. The fly can get iced up sometimes and you have to set the length of the casting and then leave it at that with no great deal of stripping between casts. That is necessary to avoid iced guides. If you start by fishing short then extend until you're fishing the 45' head and leader length you are fishing around 65 feet out and then swinging down and inward. With little stripping you don't drag water into the tip top and guides and things remain manageable.

    The catching of fish changes all that because as you reel them in that water inevitably is drawn through your guides and you get a bit of ice. I used to fish through every winter back east, New Your, Lake Erie and of course the spring creeks that didn't form ice due to water temps. When line manufacturers started selling 'cold water lines' and steelhead specialty lines I thought it was amusing because I had been fishing through freezing winters through the seventies, eighties and 90's by the time the special lines came around. I can't say they don't work better but I just stuck to what had been working for years. Perhaps things got a bit stiff but I was too busy ignoring the cold to notice

    Thanks for replying fellas,

    Ard
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    Posted 11-26-2016 at 02:36 PM by Ard Stetts Ard Stetts is offline
  12. Old Comment

    Going To A Very Cold Place

    Great report Ard and beautiful fish.Way too cold for me but thank's to you braving these conditions we can get a taste of what it was like.I alway's wonder if fly line gets stiff and hard to manage in these type conditions?

    Thank you for posting this for us.I now need to get me a hot cup of coffee.BRRRR!
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    Posted 11-26-2016 at 08:33 AM by kentuckysteve kentuckysteve is offline
  13. Old Comment
    eastfly66's Avatar

    Going To A Very Cold Place

    That's some serious hard core steelheading Ard ! I'm not so sure I would have made it past the first hurdle "75 miles of black ice" ! Great pictures and nice fish. I noticed I didn't see and you didn't mention any competition on the river? I wonder why ?
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    Posted 11-26-2016 at 04:53 AM by eastfly66 eastfly66 is offline
  14. Old Comment
    Ard Stetts's Avatar

    Closing out 2016 on a High Note;

    I've tied up a whole new style and color of Shank flies and am going again Friday & Saturday. Actually 3 different color schemes but all dark and wiggly about 3" long.

    I'll be dragging them along the bottom.
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    Posted 11-02-2016 at 08:22 PM by Ard Stetts Ard Stetts is offline
  15. Old Comment
    Ard Stetts's Avatar

    It Ain't Over Till It's Over;

    Hi Larry,

    Yeah, strange huh? If it had a normal head I think it would have been 2 or 3 inches longer

    I took the Mokai to the river today and was greeted by a very solid river...................
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    Posted 11-02-2016 at 08:19 PM by Ard Stetts Ard Stetts is offline
  16. Old Comment
    mcnerney's Avatar

    Closing out 2016 on a High Note;

    Ard

    Beautiful fish, congrats!
    I think it's called matching the hatch. LOL!
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    Posted 11-02-2016 at 06:10 PM by mcnerney mcnerney is online now
  17. Old Comment
    mcnerney's Avatar

    It Ain't Over Till It's Over;

    Ard

    That is a beautiful trout, it sure has a small head for such a large fish, congrats!
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    Posted 11-02-2016 at 06:02 PM by mcnerney mcnerney is online now
  18. Old Comment
    Ard Stetts's Avatar

    Closing out 2016 on a High Note;

    I used the yarn egg for about 1/2 hour then went to the flies. Did OK on flies.
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    Posted 10-31-2016 at 03:20 PM by Ard Stetts Ard Stetts is offline
  19. Old Comment
    Ard Stetts's Avatar

    It Ain't Over Till It's Over;

    Hi Brian,

    I just finished tying more of what that fish took Then I went out to start taking the seats and console down in the boat so I can tarp it for winter.

    The other thing I'm doing today is changing oil in one of the Makai's and getting it ready for a trip down there later this week. I can launch from the lake and go downriver to swing good water just below the lake then power back up and to the boat launch. Since I don't fish from boats the Mokai works fine for late season fishing where the water isn't frozen.

    I do need to drive out tonight to check a local river for ice before I commit to a 175 mile drive to the other. The trout and steelhead will be dropping but if I do the local water I have to do the entire 64 mile stretch. That can mean an overnight if I hit good fishing going down. Overnight gets complicated, tarp - insulated sleeping pad - sleeping bag and stove so you can warm water in the morning to thaw your wading boots. Been there did that and just may do it again. It's a coin toss, you could fish either place and get skunked or you could land a monster...........
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    Posted 10-31-2016 at 03:18 PM by Ard Stetts Ard Stetts is offline
  20. Old Comment
    comeonavs's Avatar

    It Ain't Over Till It's Over;

    Man nice fish Ard, glad to see the diligence paid off with a beauty. You can see in that second picture he's got some lard on that backstrap below your right wrist.

    We have a river here where theres a lot of rafters and I feel your frustration of dealing with them. I dont fish that river after run off. I will give a lot of the guides up on the N Platte, they do a solid job of giving wade fisherman a decent amount of room respecting they were there first.

    Nice fish
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    Posted 10-30-2016 at 09:29 PM by comeonavs comeonavs is online now










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