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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: Today 01:20 PM
  • Join Date: 10-18-2007
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Activities

Activities 05-24-2017
   01:20 PM Ard Stetts has earned 17 Experience points

05-23-2017
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05-21-2017
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05-20-2017
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05-19-2017
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05-18-2017
   11:40 PM Ard Stetts has earned 2 Experience points
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   01:20 PM Ard Stetts has earned 19 Experience points

Blog

Latest Blog Entry

Posted 05-14-2017 at 04:47 PM by Ard Stetts Comments 0
Posted in Uncategorized
I think it was in 1985 up in Newfoundland that I saw my first Wild Blue Flag. That's what they called the wild Iris up there. I found them along a very cold shore way up near Gros Morne National Park while walking the beach. Since then I began noticing them all over the continent and I think they are among the most beautiful wild flowers we can spot.

These are here in AK.


...

Posted 05-14-2017 at 03:04 PM by Ard Stetts Comments 1
Posted in Uncategorized
Oh I've been at it quite a bit but thus far haven't seen any fish not salmon or trout. They can be a mystery here, that is until you seem to be surrounded by them.

Just a couple days ago Boss and I went up a river and spent 8 hours sitting on good salmon water over a 4 mile length of the lower river. I fished some but one of the things you figure out after years of doing this, and I mean whether fishing dries back East or salmon here is that there's not much sense in casting until...

Posted 05-14-2017 at 01:34 PM by Ard Stetts Comments 4
Posted in Uncategorized
I spotted a thread about a fella's first fish caught, he showed a few fish in a really nice net but ended by saying he left the net on the car roof and drove away. The net did not fare well.

So I replied

It was going along good until I got to the part about your net, that's a bummer. I'd tell you that you probably won't make the same mistake twice but if I remember correctly........

I think the year was 1977 or 78 and I was fishing with a guy named...

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 3
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...
Recent Comments
Since I posted this...
Posted 05-21-2017 at 01:39 PM by Ard Stetts Ard Stetts is online now
Those flies were the...
Posted 05-21-2017 at 12:00 PM by Ard Stetts Ard Stetts is online now
One Happy Puppy ! ...
Posted 05-20-2017 at 07:29 PM by eastfly66 eastfly66 is offline
Well, at least you have...
Posted 05-20-2017 at 07:23 PM by eastfly66 eastfly66 is offline
Hey Paul
...
Posted 05-14-2017 at 06:02 PM by Ard Stetts Ard Stetts is online now













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