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  1. Old Comment

    Saw A Thread Asking About Tying Leaders;

    Ard,

    I enjoyed reading this.I am still new to fly fishing and being here in central kentucky,we do not have local fly shops to hang out in for advice.In fact i see very few people if any with fly rods when i go fishing.Much of what i learn comes from reading the post's on this site and soaking up the info posted by all the members.Your post here on "tying leaders" reminds me to not give up on trying new things.That is what makes fishing so great to me is trying something different and seeing what works best or makes it a more enjoyable experience.Learning from others who have been there before me.I have also tried tying my own leaders and a few have worked,some did not but i am going to keep learning.You offered some great advice here.Especially the tip on using the butt section from an old tapered leader.I would not have thought of this.I enjoyed reading this and Thank You for posting it.

    Steve
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    Posted 01-24-2016 at 11:22 AM by kentuckysteve kentuckysteve is offline
  2. Old Comment
    vtd's Avatar

    Saw A Thread Asking About Tying Leaders;

    Ard:
    Thanks for this. I'm a complete novice at building leaders, but I happen to be researching and tying them this weekend for an upcoming SW trip. Your insights are terrific in helping me keep the "long view" [which I like to do] and I'm realizing much of the truth you have revealed I've discovered these past 2 days.

    Thanks for the benefit of your experience.

    Best...
    VTD
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    Posted 01-09-2016 at 09:19 PM by vtd vtd is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Hardyreels's Avatar

    The 2012 Bear Encounter;

    Ever since that encounter there have been no other real problems. In 2013 a brown bear took my Nomad carbon fiber net out of the boat one evening while it was parked and I was asleep nearby. The net was found unharmed 2 days later about 30 yards inside the brush and forest. It was however very clean, there had been blood and slime on the rubber net bag and I expect that is what attracted the bears attention. Interestingly the same day the net was found another guide and I stood on the hill overlooking where the boat was moored and watched a young bear of perhaps 400 pounds wade into the river and make a thorough inspection of the boat. After he was satisfied there were no more interesting items to borrow he went back to shore and disappeared around the rivers bend.

    Summer of 2014 I spent 2 weeks over on one of the rivers flowing into Bristol Bay. I was camped alone for just one night while waiting for clients to arrive in the morning. The evening brought a decent sized bear out fishing about 100 yards down river from camp. Come morning it was clear that the bear had walked right up the shoreline and passed my camp without bothering anything at all.

    Here where I fish most often the hunting pressure has increased dramatically over the past 10 years. The bears have became very careful about being anywhere near people because of that. Do I think this means one couldn't visit my campsite this season, no, not at all but I see very few now days.

    Ard
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    Posted 01-04-2016 at 03:35 AM by Hardyreels Hardyreels is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Hardyreels's Avatar

    Saw A Thread Asking About Tying Leaders;

    Hi Jason,

    What you said in the last paragraph sums up why I think it is worthwhile learning to make custom leaders. Thanks for taking time to read and comment on another of my ramblings buddy
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    Posted 01-03-2016 at 08:08 PM by Hardyreels Hardyreels is offline
  5. Old Comment
    jaybo41's Avatar

    Saw A Thread Asking About Tying Leaders;

    Hey Ard,

    That was a good read and while I wasn't around when some of the technology you describe was NEW, we share the experience of having dabbled in leader construction. I read a book about Steelhead fishing in the Great Lakes and there were a couple of formulas in there that for whatever reason I felt compelled to try. So, with that I purchased Amnesia for the indicator butt section and Maxima Chameleon and some Ultra Green to make leaders with. Fortunately, a learning experience with a guide I'd had years ago resulted in my purchasing flouro tippet. His logic was why buy two spools (one mono one flouro), go with flouro and save the mono for the butts.

    So I made these wonderful leaders and enjoyed the process of doing so for some period of time. Then one time on a trip when I was without my materials I purchased the tapered leader and realized they work just fine, sometimes as is and sometimes you just need to tweak them to your liking. Whether it be tying Mono to Flouro or thicker diameter to thinner diameter, knot skills as you've pointed out are key.

    When I think back about this, I believe the best experience I got from the leader production experiment was: getting to know what kind of tapers I liked and how to make knots work with different materials and size tippet. I don't regret it since the mono is fairly cheap in the big scheme of things, but as a result I have a lot of line that I don't use anymore because I know knotless tapered leaders work just fine. Thanks for sharing the experience buddy.

    Jason
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    Posted 01-03-2016 at 04:24 PM by jaybo41 jaybo41 is online now
  6. Old Comment
    Hardyreels's Avatar

    What I've Learned About being A Guide;

    Here's an update,

    2016 will be the last season that I will provide fishing for others where I go. It has been fun, the fun may actually be the challenge of trying to make sure the visitors have a good time. Honestly I'm not cut out for guiding, I take things too seriously. I feel the pressure of the expectations of the clients. I've fished ever since I was very young and when days come along where you don't catch much they were just that, days when you didn't catch much. Now when a person I am trying to guide into a fish doesn't catch much it means I have failed. That's a tough feeling to deal with, failure. In all my life the sense of failure never really came onto me because I knew I had done the best I could. I can't explain why I don't just shake it off when someone else fails but I can't. I think that an angler failing reflects directly on me.

    I just want to go back to being me, alone, hunting for some fish. It's always been personal for me and I look forward to returning to a more simple fishing life.

    Oh and about fishing the Kenai, I very seldom go there because of the number of people. I can, I could, I even have the Kenai River Guide credentials but I stay out in the bush and that's why the fishing can be so tough. There are times when it is off the charts like June 16th 2015 when I caught 13 king salmon in about 1 hour 45 minutes but I was alone. I did take a couple guys into the same area the very next day and they did catch a bunch of kings but they didn't hit 13. That was just another day, there are times when I hook up with more than 20 silvers in a day but it is very hard for me to find the right conditions and right client in order for them to do the same.

    If you really want to get the Alaskan experience you may enjoy getting a remote trip together. By remote I mean to fish somewhere that there may not be another person seen on your stretch of river for days. It gets harder every year, more float planes, more jet boats etc. But the places are still out there.

    Here's some 2015 pictures;

    Click the image to open in full size.

    Click the image to open in full size.

    Click the image to open in full size.

    Click the image to open in full size.

    There were more anglers and many more fish, I hope that they all had fun but I'm never sure.
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    Posted 01-02-2016 at 02:15 PM by Hardyreels Hardyreels is offline
  7. Old Comment
    Hardyreels's Avatar

    Streamers, Where & When Part 3;

    Hi Joe and thank you so much for your kind comments, always.
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    Posted 01-02-2016 at 01:56 PM by Hardyreels Hardyreels is offline
  8. Old Comment
    Hardyreels's Avatar

    A Guy Fishes Streamers & Get Skunked;

    HI,

    It's always good to see a few comments on one of these, lets me know someone read it

    Bonnie, I have long believed that using a streamer which does 2 things, it represents something that acts live and may be good to eat. Looking good to eat includes the fly acting alive as well as the coloration and shape. The second thing is to realize that in many cases like there on the Madison River we have to realize that others fish the same water. Those others we can only guess are probably using todays common flies. The common flies sometimes fall into 2 categories, those commercially advertised or sold and those which are easy to tie. Sometime in the mid 1990's I arrived at the thought that my fly should look good enough to eat and that I should attempt to handle it while it was in the water in such a way that it 'may' appear to be alive. The thought had a second tier as well, that being that it should be very different than what the typical fisherman might be trying the stream with.

    In many posts on the forum and even in my profile bio I have said that I have made streamer fishing my primary means of fishing. This gives you an edge in that if you have given thought to the 2 things I mentioned in the preceding paragraph you are already using something quite different than others. By fishing in a heady manner paying attention to where the fly is and knowing what it is doing while you manipulate the line you increase that edge.

    As time has passed I continue to reach for traditional feather wing streamers whenever I fish a public water where I know others fish. If you were to take a poll, a sampling so to say of fishermen and fly tiers you may find that very few actually tie and fish feather wings like the one I show you here.

    Click the image to open in full size.

    That is my own interpretation of the Nine Three. Why does it work? I don't really know but it has produced fish in every place I ever fished a streamer including your Madison. One thing I do know is that the fish didn't see one the day before I arrived.

    Be different and fish a smart swing,

    Ard
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    Posted 01-02-2016 at 01:52 PM by Hardyreels Hardyreels is offline
  9. Old Comment

    The 2012 Bear Encounter;

    Great story. I guess Alaska is a "carry 3 cans of bear spray" place! Mike and I kick ourselves when we think of time we wasted being bear afraid here in sw MT and not fishing certain "beary" places. We were in one such place yesterday and laughed at how much our heads were on swivels our first time there (one of the places the Park Service recommends groups of 4). Not that we aren't staying vigilant, but not the hyper vigilant, heart in your throat kind!
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    Posted 07-22-2015 at 10:04 AM by h2ofishfloatski h2ofishfloatski is offline
  10. Old Comment

    A Guy Fishes Streamers & Get Skunked;

    Just venturing into the blog part of the forum after a few years on the site and my very first read has me doing some deep thinking! From the time I began using streamers in CO and for many of the years here in MT, I went with prevailing attitude that if you are going to fish streamers you 1) will likely catch fewer but larger fish, and 2) you need to cover lots of water. Initially I did lots of walking, chucking and swinging and did just that, caught fewer but larger fish. I eventually got a bit smarter about it and figured out that prey doesn't swim into the mouth of the predator, it flees, that I could add mends to gain depth, etc. But it has been the past few years of four fishing related orthopedic surgeries that slowed me down and created some limitations that has forced me to be much more thoughtful in my approach to fly fishing overall. If I can only cover a certain amt of water, I better make best use of it! I fish more soft hackles (time wise) than streamers, but early and late season they are a staple. One of my favorite times of the year is hunting the fall run browns on the Madison in October-November. Periodically there is a new "it" streamer. Every guide and fly shop is carrying it. It is along the lines of your thought that something new entices the bite, but pretty quickly that is what the fish are seeing all day long! I like going to "oldie but goodies" sometimes...like the light and dark Spruce Flies that I used in the 70's on the upper Colorado river. Not too many people used them here in sw Mt, at least not until Yellowstoner began featuring them in his blog!
    Bonnie
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    Posted 07-22-2015 at 09:45 AM by h2ofishfloatski h2ofishfloatski is offline
  11. Old Comment
    jaybo41's Avatar

    A Guy Fishes Streamers & Get Skunked;

    If that isn't proof that you are a streamer junkie Ard, I don't know what is! That's a lot of knowledge that an intelligent person ranging from aspiring to experienced angler would benefit from reading. If they aspired to be a streamer fisherman of course
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    Posted 04-27-2015 at 07:13 PM by jaybo41 jaybo41 is online now
  12. Old Comment
    mcnerney's Avatar

    The 2012 Bear Encounter;

    Ard: That was an awesome read, even after you had told it to me first hand a couple years ago!
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    Posted 04-22-2015 at 08:08 AM by mcnerney mcnerney is online now
  13. Old Comment
    milt spawn's Avatar

    The 2012 Bear Encounter;

    Showed him who the real boss is dincha? Great story!
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    Posted 04-16-2015 at 01:05 PM by milt spawn milt spawn is offline
  14. Old Comment

    Streamers, Where & When Part 3;

    Excellant article, as usual for you. Very good advice that I will have to try this season.
    Like others, I'm looking forward to the book.
    Joe
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    Posted 04-01-2015 at 04:21 PM by gunner gunner is offline
  15. Old Comment

    What I've Learned About being A Guide;

    I remember the first time I fished in Alaska. I was in the navy and we went to Kodiak island for 2 days in 1992. We rented gear, bought licenses and hit the stream. I got a few salmon and was 'hooked'. I dreamed about returning and finally made it happen in 2005. I spent 2 weeks on the Kenai river trying to perfect my Kenai flip. I got a few reds along with halibut on a charter out of Seward.

    I went back the following year and targeted the pinks & silvers. I caught a lot more fish since I had eliminated the learning curve. I caught pinks from the fishwalk behind the Soldotna visitor's center until my arms were tired.

    I took 2007 off then headed back up in 2008 after taking a leave of absence from work. I caught all kinds of fish and fished all over. Homer, Ninilchik, Anchor river, different lakes. I caught flounder, irish lords, Pollock, halibuts, salmon, trout, dolly varden, grayling and pike.

    2009 & 2010 I spent the summer in Seward and Ketchikan respectively. I plan on returning next year. Alaska is a magical place for someone that enjoys fishing as much as I do. The place is aesthetically beautiful. My wish is that everyone experience Alaska at least once in their lifetime. I went and it changed me.
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    Posted 03-26-2015 at 04:41 PM by Monello Monello is offline
  16. Old Comment
    Hardyreels's Avatar

    Streamers, Where & When Part 3;

    Hi JP,

    I did this and plan to add more because we get new members who are asking questions about streamer fishing. I know we have lots of folks who use streamers but I'm putting some of my ideas and experiences forward in case they may be helpful to the new fellas.

    I used them a great deal from the early 1980's until 2004. After 2004 and my move to Alaska it is the only way I catch fish so I'm hoping some of what I can share is useful.

    Book..............I have written what can be the book. What it all needs is to be edited into a final draft manuscript. I have an agreement with a layout editor who will put all the text and imagery together into a nice copy but I am the editor in general. It is a very big thing to try if you want a quality finished work. I have put wiring into the cabin, this summer I will install a solar system there to augment the generator and battery system. I really believe by winter of 2016 / 2017 I will spent the entire winter out there and finish the edited version.

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    Posted 03-15-2015 at 01:38 PM by Hardyreels Hardyreels is offline
  17. Old Comment
    jpbfly's Avatar

    Streamers, Where & When Part 3;

    I've already told you you should write a book....when is it going to be printed?
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    Posted 03-15-2015 at 06:12 AM by jpbfly jpbfly is offline
  18. Old Comment
    markg52's Avatar

    What I've Learned About being A Guide;

    I hear ya Ard! My dad keeps reminding me about how much things change with age. He just turned 80. I'm currently dealing with a torn bicep on my right arm. Got about 3 more months before I'll be doing any fishing or kayaking. It'll probably be an epic white bass run this spring too!
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    Posted 03-13-2015 at 10:02 AM by markg52 markg52 is offline
  19. Old Comment
    Hardyreels's Avatar

    What I've Learned About being A Guide;

    Hey Joe & Mark,

    I'll be doing this for 2016 yet and we'll see how I feel about the hours and the work at that time. It is getting harder to hike through the river rock day after day and part of what I do is to help others wade the dangerous currents we sometimes have to deal with. Once I feel that I can't really keep others safe I'll hang it up.

    It really is tough on a guy once you are getting older. Crawling around on your knees pounding in tent stakes and building fires. Cutting wood for a camp and driving a riverboat for many many miles all add up on those knees.

    Combine all the stuff you gotta do to provide a decent experience for people with the fact that I don't do much fishing because I'm working and it makes being a regular guy sound attractive.
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    Posted 03-08-2015 at 06:59 PM by Hardyreels Hardyreels is offline
  20. Old Comment
    markg52's Avatar

    What I've Learned About being A Guide;

    Great insight Ard. Like Gunner says, looks like I need to get it in gear to get up there and book a trip with you. Maybe I can convince the wife and son that it would be a great college graduation gift for him. That would put us summer of 2016.
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    Posted 11-18-2014 at 03:02 PM by markg52 markg52 is offline












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