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Ard Ard is online now

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About Me

  • About Ard
    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
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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  • Last Activity: Today 09:31 PM
  • Join Date: 10-18-2007
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Activities

Activities 10-16-2017
   08:20 PM Ard has earned 2 Experience points
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10-15-2017
   11:00 PM Ard has earned 4 Experience points
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Post Thanks / Like

10-16-2017
08:55 PM - Ard clicked Likes for this post: Sharpie Mania! More fly box art by Joey Bagels
A cutthroat I drew last...
08:54 PM - Ard clicked Likes for this post: Re: What's In Your Yard? by ejsell
Ok, had to blow this up...
08:54 PM - Ard clicked Likes for this post: Re: What's In Your Yard? by ejsell
I'm going to buy a...
08:30 PM - ejsell clicked Likes for this post: Re: What's In Your Yard? by Ard
I'm going to buy a...
08:02 PM - karstopo clicked Likes for this post: Re: What's In Your Yard? by Ard
I'm going to buy a...
08:01 PM - Ard clicked Likes for this post: Re: how to break off a fish by dmwphoto
I recently hooked an 8...
07:18 PM - ejsell clicked Likes for this post: Re: how to break off a fish by Ard
That bears witness to my...
06:12 PM - flytie09 clicked Likes for this post: Re: how to break off a fish by Ard
My streamer rigs are...
04:40 PM - ejsell clicked Likes for this post: Re: how to break off a fish by Ard
My streamer rigs are...
04:30 PM - Lewis Chessman clicked Thanks for this post: Re: how to break off a fish by Ard
My streamer rigs are...
04:04 PM - Ard clicked Likes for this post: Re: Rod Love; the Fly Rod Picture Thread by rando
poor man's combo: st....
04:01 PM - dmwphoto clicked Likes for this post: Re: how to break off a fish by Ard
My streamer rigs are...
03:55 PM - Ard clicked Likes for this post: Re: how to break off a fish by ejsell
Flytie beat me to it. ...
03:54 PM - Ard clicked Likes for this post: Re: how to break off a fish by Lewis Chessman
Just a couple of tactics...
03:17 PM - scoutm clicked Likes for this post: Re: Help Needed: techniques for Coho/Kings in Oregon o by Ard
Having that stream right...
02:43 PM - fredaevans clicked Likes for this post: Re: Help Needed: techniques for Coho/Kings in Oregon o by Ard
Having that stream right...
01:44 PM - brokeoff clicked Thanks for this post: Re: First Big Streamers by Ard
I have transitioned from...
01:37 PM - hairwing530 clicked Likes for this post: Re: First Big Streamers by Ard
I have transitioned from...
01:17 PM - Ard clicked Likes for this post: Re: Question about fly line maintenance by Lewis Chessman
Have a look here...
01:08 PM - Ard clicked Likes for this post: Re: Rods You Just Can't Part With by rangerrich99
Right off the top of my...

Blog

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Latest Blog Entry

Posted 10-14-2017 at 09:41 PM by Ard Comments 0
Posted in Uncategorized
This is another copy from a post I made to a thread. The topic was in regard to buying a new streamer rod. I've been sorta quiet for almost a year when it comes to offering an opinion but I started writing and just kinda kept at it for a while. If you didn't stumble across this on the forums maybe you'll find it interesting, or maybe not

Comments welcomed of course............here's what I said.

Although I've seen several threads dealing with this same question over...

Posted 10-13-2017 at 11:28 PM by Ard Comments 3
Posted in Uncategorized
Although this may go down as the single worst fishing season I've experienced since I was just a boy using a hand line in Pennsylvania's West Branch of the Susquehanna River there's always reason for hope.

Yesterday I had planned to take my boat and drive 80 miles to launch into a river I haven't fished for 4 years. Fall fishing in this particular river is generally quite good but as I started rolling out the drive I had second thoughts. Generally good carries with it a certain cavet,...

Posted 09-28-2017 at 03:01 PM by Ard Comments 0
Posted in Uncategorized
This info is also posted to the Spey fishing sub forums here but why not go for blanket coverage, thread posts can quickly be buried unless there is a recent reply so...........

I made these last night, they are my take on the Dee Monkey Fly on tube. They are relatively simple but have proven to be worth having and having more than two. I'll make 8 more so that if I were to God forbid, lose one or two I won't be left with no Monkey with which to spank the fish :

...

Posted 09-27-2017 at 01:50 PM by Ard Comments 0
Posted in Uncategorized
Sometimes I reach out to folks who have ask questions either through the PM system or on threads. Often the writings that are produced are long and if one uses their imagination they might contain some substance. Recently I sent a few to a member who ask about whether I had actually caught lake Run Chinook salmon on flies. I did my best to recollect as accurately as possible my own experiences with fishing for land locked salmons. maybe what was said will interest you too........

...

Posted 09-25-2017 at 05:08 PM by Ard Comments 0
Posted in Uncategorized
No I haven't quit fishing and I will be doing a little guide thing next season however with the poor showing from the kings this past spring I had good reason to get some work done here. I was less than impressed with the silver salmon fishing in 2016 and 2015 and had a look at the records from 2012 regarding the king numbers that year. With all that in mind I only took a couple people this past spring and they were folks who were more interested in learning to cast and to fish than banking on catching...
Recent Comments
The river was absent...
Posted Today at 01:15 PM by Ard Ard is online now
Hi Paul,

...
Posted 10-14-2017 at 09:36 PM by Ard Ard is online now
Hey Ard, I think if...
Posted 10-14-2017 at 06:06 PM by eastfly66 eastfly66 is offline
It's been almost seven...
Posted 10-11-2017 at 11:54 AM by Ard Ard is online now
The Gypsum Hills are...
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