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Ard Stetts Ard Stetts is offline

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About Me

  • About Ard Stetts
    Biography
    My real name is Ard Stetts, because it's a small world you may either know me or we've fished the same rivers & creeks at some time in our lives.

    I was born in 1954 at Williamsport Pennsylvania. I began fishing in the sixties and was fascinated by the television program “The American Sportsman”. This program often featured Lee Wulff and Curt Gowdy fly fishing all over North America. My young mind was indelibly etched with images of Pacific Silver salmon cartwheeling through the air when they were hooked by a fly. At my young age I could not really conceive of exactly how far I was from Alaska where that show had been taped but I knew I wanted to go. Fishing was a fascination, a dream and I had rather humble beginnings at it. I started fishing when I was eight years old in the West Branch of The Susquehanna River with a throw line and used stones as sinkers with red worms for bait. A throw line (if you’ve never seen one used) works along the same principal as the sling that David used on Goliath. The difference is that the axis of the spinning rock is on a vertical plane and the stone has a fishing line attached. By the time I was twelve I owned a spin casting rod and reel. My father was an amateur naturalist and a Geology buff but not a fisherman. After I was confirmed by our local YMCA as a 'Shark' in the swimming classes I was permitted to join my neighborhood friend and his Father on a trip to a trout stream. I caught a stocked Rainbow on my first cast, and like that fish I was hooked.

    By the time I turned fourteen I had a fly tying kit and a 1968 entry level Ike Walton solid fiberglass rod & South Bend #1200 reel with level line. My Father had passed away and fishing time had become even more important for me. My sister’s employer, C.W. ‘Bill’ O’Connor, a prominent angler, and the owner of “E. Hillie’s Angler’s Supply House” of Williamsport Pa. became my fly tying mentor. It is to him that I owe my tying skills. Bill taught me how to create a good wing whether it were quill for a dry fly, saddle feathers for a streamer, or marrying swan, turkey, and pheasant for the wing of a classic Salmon fly. He always had time for me. It was from him that I learned how to select the best when I was shopping for materials for tying. I enjoyed tying feather wing streamers because they set me apart from anyone I knew. Other fishermen I came to know avoided them as being too difficult to tie. They acknowledged that streamers were said to be quite effective but most didn’t tie any. I eventually adopted the streamer as more than a “default fly” to use when other means of catching fish failed. I made streamer fishing my primary plan and only changed strategy when the rising fish made it obvious that dry fly fishing was certainly at hand. My success with the “Big Wets” has been great and I continue tying and fishing them even here in Alaska where I catch Trout, Char, Grayling and Pacific Silver Salmon on them.

    Like my childhood inspiration the late Mr. Wulff, I have traveled and fished from the far northwest shores of Newfoundland to the Gulf of Mexico, from the Great Lakes to the Rocky Mountains and finally here to Alaska. I have spent a lifetime fishing, floating, and walking beside the waters of this continent. I don't quote many people but John Denver could have been talking about being alone on a river when he wrote; "You can talk to God and listen to the casual reply".
    Location
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Interests
    Outdoor Activities; fly tying, photography, cross country sking, snowshoing, motor cycling, etc.
    Occupation
    Licenced professional fly / Spey fishing guide and outfitter.
  • Signature
    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard

    The Alaska Fishing & Outdoors Blog;

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  • Last Activity: Yesterday 09:48 PM
  • Join Date: 10-18-2007
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Activities 04-24-2017
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04-23-2017
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04-22-2017
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04-21-2017
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Blog

Latest Blog Entry

Posted 04-22-2017 at 04:39 PM by Ard Stetts Comments 0
Posted in Uncategorized
I saw the post from Scottish Salmon Fishing Surgery and began to write my own take on hooks and lost fish. Within a short while I realized my comments amounted to a thread hijack and were out of place on someone else's thread so I 'Cut & Pasted' to here and then went on at length. Maybe it can be helpful to others, I should say that I do the same thing with trout and steelhead as the salmon.

I feel compelled to add this thought for you before you would go on to read what I am...

Posted 04-04-2017 at 07:01 PM by Ard Stetts Comments 2
Posted in Uncategorized
Boss's nose that is........

It's been a week now since Boss and I came back from our last winter stay at Hewitt Lake. Because I have been a life long dog lover I always take pictures of him while we're there, not so many at home but always while fishing or at the cabin. I believe those are his happiest times, his ears perk up at the word 'fishen' but I'm not so sure he enjoys the 3.5 hour freight sled rides to and from the cabin. One thing I am sure of is that he really loves being...

Posted 03-16-2017 at 01:10 PM by Ard Stetts Comments 0
Posted in Uncategorized
Larry posted this article to AK. general Discussions: https://www.adn.com/alaska-life/we-a...i-king-salmon/

If you were to read that it may provide some context for something I wrote into a PM to send to another member. The writing below refers to part of my own experiences on different rivers.


The article about the kings in the Kenai & Kasilof Rivers pretty much details what has happened all over Alaska. Every...

Posted 03-14-2017 at 06:57 PM by Ard Stetts Comments 2
Posted in Uncategorized
Sometimes I feel I have to explain an occurrence and this is one of those times. This is a different type post into this blog, I will write here because only those who may have an interest in what I may have to say ever read here.

Back on the 23rd of January 2017, a member contacted me to ask advice regarding a Spey rod. I was busy getting ready for a trip to the cabin and had no time to begin writing about rods so I suggested we talk by phone. It was three days before he replied...

Posted 11-27-2016 at 03:40 PM by Ard Stetts Comments 4
Posted in Uncategorized
I am now using Intruder Wire for the connector loop because of a missed steelhead due to the hook getting fouled into the body materials. This happened with a different pattern in Late October 2016 but made a distinct impression on me. I fished hours to find the one that would hit me and when it happened I had no hook trailing the fly, it was looped around and stuck into the body!

All other aspects of tying are the same but I suggest wire and not the Power Braid shown here.
...
Recent Comments
Hi Jason,
...
Posted 04-22-2017 at 04:53 PM by Ard Stetts Ard Stetts is offline
While something could...
Posted 04-20-2017 at 12:12 PM by Ard Stetts Ard Stetts is offline
what would happen if...
Posted 04-20-2017 at 11:18 AM by cb cb is offline
That is one happy looking...
Posted 04-17-2017 at 03:07 PM by jaybo41 jaybo41 is offline
Actually at this time...
Posted 04-06-2017 at 11:29 AM by Ard Stetts Ard Stetts is offline










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