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Simms Ice Out Guide EventIce Out is more a state of mind than an actual occurrence this year in Montana.  Simms has a great motto: What’s the weather forecast?  Who cares…  When it comes to being ensconced in the best gear in the industry, Simms has us covered.  If it was December, I’d be fine with today’s weather, but I’d really like to fish in some water that at least pushed into the mid 40s.  It’s been snowing since I got back yesterday evening. This morning, my truck looked like a cripple with a white shuck that would not break free.Madison River Brewing Company

This years event started on Thursday with a stop at Simms for registration and factory tour followed by an open house (with Montana Beer) at the The Rivers Edge Fly Shop.  The Hop Juice IPA works for me.  Then it was on to the Ellen Theater for an evening with Brian O’keefe and Todd Moen from Catch Magazine.  If you fly fish, you likely know about Catch Magazine, but if you don’t, here is an example.

On Friday, we had several morning sessions and then it was off to the Copper Springs Ranch for the Guide Olympics.  No one was really quite sure what to expect and there were a few spectator only guides.  I tried two events and made it to the final round of the rod rigging.  Thanks to Eric Neufeld for heckling me and saving me from a possible win.  As it turned out, there were great prizes for each event and a gold, silver, bronze award for the most points accrued. Congratulations to Mike “AG” for being the 1st guide gold medal winner.

Saturday was packed with informative sessions and a product feedback working group.  I submerged the urge to sneak out and fish the Gallatin and attended all the sessions throughout the weekend.  I also talked with Andrew Bennett from Deneki Outdoors.  Who wants to join me at Andros South March 24-31, 2012?  The final evening wrap up was again at the Ellen Theater.  It included the Simms Shootout, co hosted by Tom Bie and The Drake along with the awards for the guide olympics.  There were also a few articles of flying swag.

RA Beattie took first place, but all four films were great

Adopose Boat WorksAfter the films, we hit the street in Bozeman for late night fun.  Mike Ward from Adipose Boatworks brought along the wheelchair from his Project Healing Waters Driftboat to keep things interesting.  My friends  Stephen Paulding and  Natalia Aulenbacher from Cooper Landing, AK managed to duck out about midnight, but I was still ready to take them fishing by 8am.  We cruised up past Helena and walked into some good water on the Missouri.  I got a chance to break in my new G4Z waders and River Tech boots. Missouri River Rainbow It was fun watching Steve and Natalia catch fish in Montana.  My Sage 6119 has been officially broken in and is sweet with either the Rio 6/7 Switch Line or a 425 grain Rio Skagit Flight.  We fought some wind, but caught plenty of fish to polish off a great Ice Out weekend.

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It may not feel like spring in much of the country (I awoke to snow flurries), but the days are certainly getting longer. Fred is still in Montana and keeps fishing the Missouri River between Craig and Great Falls. Stacy is stalking the beaches and off-shore reaches of the southern Baja Peninsula, chasing Rooter Fish and whatever else will eat a fly.  Baja Beach Rooster FishHe now has a 23’ Cobia in the Cabo harbor to base from.  I know he made it down safely, after driving up and back from Tucson to fetch it.  I’m waiting for the first fishing report.  Stacy will be ready to host some trips on the Baja in 2012 and I hope to join him along with some of you.

Get Connected

Facebook for those that fishMystic Waters is connected on Facebook, Twitter, WordPress and Blogger. The Social Network is unavoidable these days and truly is a useful way to follow and connect with your friends, the businesses you support and the topics (like fly fishing) that you love.  If you are on Facebook, please stop by and “Like” Mystic Waters Fly Fishing. Even if you are not on Facebook, you can still check out the Mystic Waters Fly Fishing Page to see what is happening.

I have been maintaining this blog for a couple years now. I also feature a site for seasonal fishing reports at http://www.kenairiverfishingreport.com Using a smart phone, I will be able to update regularly this coming season.  Over the next few weeks, I plan to rebuild mysticfishing.com to include the blog and a storefront for some upcoming logo apparel.  I hope you follow along.  Look for the new mysticwaters.com very soon.

Dates to Consider for 2011

Searching for SalmonYou are going to need a shoe horn to find space from mid August through September.  There are still some open dates scattered between June 11 and August 18. October remains an excellent month to fish the Kenai and we are taking reservations to the 15th.  Some of our best rainbows come in the late fall as well as some impressive silvers.

I am entering my fourth spring in Montana. Despite some lousy weather this year, I love it here. Several Mystic Waters guests and friends have dropped by and fished with me on the Missouri River.  I will soon have my Montana Guide license and plan to do some guiding here before the Kenai calls again.

The Good Stuff

If you fish often, then you certainly love great fly fishing gear.  When you join Mystic Waters, you get to use the good stuff.

For 2011, our primary brands are SageRossBeulahRio, Airflo, and Simms.  This is not to say we don’t use others, but that we feature these premium brands to help make your time on the water more enjoyable.

Deathstar RainbowLast season, I picked up a Sage 10’7wt TCX.  It fished great for large trout and silvers and was my favorite single hand streamer rod.  I also fished with the infamous “Deathstar”; the 12’6” 7wt. spey rod that George Cook nicknamed, because it can cast line to a far off galaxy.  It worked on everything from Anchor River Kings to Sockeye and big Rainbows and Silvers on the Kenai.  It even pulled some nice browns from the Missouri River in Montana.  This year, I am adding the new TCX 11’9” 6wt Switch Rod.

Ross has unveiled the new “revolutionary” F1 Reel.  Can’t wait to see how it rolls. We feature many great Ross Reels on our fly rods.  I’ve been fishing the 8wt Essence FW for several seasons and it continues to be one of the most pleasant casting 9’ 8 weights I have thrown.  We also fished the 12’6” 6wt Reach Spey rod.  It was deadly for sockeye salmon and worked out well for a fair number of big trout and silvers.  Ross also added some new 5 and 6wt Reach rods to the line up that look interesting.

Leaping Silver Salmon on the Kenai RiverBeulah is a great company for switch and spey rods at a reasonable price. I fished the 11’7” 5wt Platinum Spey last season.  It quickly became my favorite trout rod for nymphing and swinging lighter streamers.  From the drift boat, it became the favored rod of any guest who fished it, and was responsible for landing some impressive fish throughout the season. I’ve had the pleasure of spending time on the Missouri River with Bruce Berry (pro staff/rep) for Beulah, and had my spey casting tuned up a bit.

Rio continues to offer the largest variety of specialty lines. I had great success with the clear intermediate Outbound.  I have also found that the 8wt Rio Grand works well as a switch line for spey casting with my 10’ 6wt XPs.  This year, Rio has added a Switch Line to their inventory, and I can’t wait to run it.  I just ordered the complete set of MOW (spey) Tips in the Medium and Heavy weights to cover all water levels and sinking tip needs.

Airflo – Ridge lines have become my standard on the trout rods and I love them.  I started using the Supple Impact last season.  The ridge design works very well and they are durable and perform day after day without constant attention.  They cast and fish like no other.  On the spey side, the Skagit Compact designed by my friend Tom Larimer is the bomb for launching sink tips.

Proudly wearing Simms WadersSimms – Simms is the king when it comes to the soft gear that I rely on day in and day out.  I can’t imagine working through the fishing season without them.  I use the G4 waders and jacket. I rotate several soft shells and the River Tech top is one of my all-time favorites.  The Rivershed Boot with the new streamtread soles has been my footwear of choice.  I like the long sleeved solarflex shirts for any day of the season.  They work for layering in cold weather and as the perfect sun shield layer when it gets hot.

What Else:

I’m becoming a regular contributor to Fish Alaska Magazine.  My third article is coming out in May, with others soon to follow.  Since you enjoy Alaska Fishing, you might enjoy checking out Fish Alaska’s interactive website.

Simms Fish BowlI’m heading down to Bozeman in a week for the 2011 Simms Ice Out Guide Event.  It was great fun last year and looks to be even more action packed this time around.  I look forward to meeting up with guide associates and friends from Alaska, Montana and around the country.

At the end of the month, I am flying to Florida to meet up with my buddy Captain Eric Lund.  Eric and two other guide associates will be hosting me along with a small party of Mystic Waters Fly Fishing guests.  We will be chasing Tarpon on-the-fly along with all the other inshore and flats glamor species.

Roland Martin

We will be staying on a property owned by Roland Martin.  Talk about legendary.  I can’t wait, and I’ll be providing blog and social media updates during and after the trip.

In 2012, we are planning a trip to the incredible bonefish flats of Andros South. We are also considering a Fly Fishing for Kings option in Western Alaska and of course Stacy will be dialed in for Baja.  Stay tuned and let us know if you would like us to put you on a list for specific details on any or all of these options.

Let’s Stay Connected

Kenai Moose CalvesIf you avoid all the social connectivity tools, you can still fire me an email or a text. Even if you are not planning to fish with Mystic Waters this season, I’d love to hear about where you are going.  If you have time to share a story from a previous trip, I’d love to hear about it and possibly use it for a new blog post.  I know there are lots of great stories and pictures out there among you.

Tight Lines and I hope to see you on the Mystic Waters very soon!

Mystic Waters Fly Fishing
Call or Text 907-227-0549
Website: http://www.mysticfishing.com
Stay Connected: https://mysticfishing.wordpress.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MysticWatersFlyFishing
Twitter: http://twitter.com/MWflyfishing

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Riverside Ring Tone

Answer your phone...

“Thanks for getting right back to me.”  “No problem Paul.  Sorry I missed your call, but I had to release a fish.”  “Where are you fishing?”  “On the Missouri River near Cascade Montana.”  After finishing the call and arranging a booking for several days in Alaska, I got back to work fishing.  On Wednesday,  The River Damsel posted that her android smart phone was her favorite piece of outdoor gear.  Some readers appeared confused by that, but her reasoning was sound.  For me, when it comes to justifying a fishing trip mid week, I must concur.  I specifically picked my spot knowing that I had cell coverage and could answer calls and email between sessions of catching fish in my favorite office…outside on a river.

 

Streamer Eater

Caught Shadow

I had anther reason for being on the water yesterday besides it being a better office and the fact that I have an incurable fishing jones.  Rich Strolis from Catching Shadows sent me some streamers to try out on the Missouri and the Kenai.  If the fish above taken on my first cast of the morning is any indication, then mission accomplished I will have to keep testing them.  You can see great videos of Rich’s flies on his Catching Shadows blog as well as some patterns featured on Midcurrent.

Another Ice Pick Eater

Ice Pick Eater

Thanks for the great flies Rich.  If you need to R&D any new patterns in the west and/or Alaska, I’m your man.  I’ll let you know how the caddis fish come May.

Cold and Hungry

Ice Pick Eater off an Ice Shelf

Look out for the frozen "jaws" of the Missouri River

Ice Fish - Look out for Frozen Jaws

Chomp

Get outa my face!

Splashes with Fishes

Turn and Burn

Colorful Shadow

Vibrant Rainbow

To anyone reading this post who might be momentarily envious of my office work yesterday, let me tell you about my karmic payback.  In my mad dash to quickly access the river, I plunged (glissaded) down a long steep hill to maximize my fishing time.

Bring crampons next time dumb ass

Payback Mountain

The trek back was anything but quick and accompanied by cursing and peppered with crazy giggles followed by more cursing.  I wondered if anyone across the river was witness to my madness.  I imagine a retired couple drinking tea and playing cards, suspending their game to gap in fascination at my plight.  In the time it took me to ascend, they could have called the neighbors and started a betting pool.  Will he or won’t he make it?  How long will it take? Oh, he went down hard.  Should we call 911?

I can clearly state that un-studded rubber soles worn smooth from too many trips by a cheap ass angler, are not great for steep snow covered hills (without crampons). I would guess that felt would work about the same, but you could not pay me enough to test that theory. To say that I slipped is laughable.  I went down at least a hundred times.  My fly reels looked like giant snow balls.  I slid around like a clown on a banana peel, changed course, post holed up a gully until I hit smooth rock, lost elevation, grabbed some prickly bushes, slid down ten precious feet on an old Bud Light can, froze my fingers, cut my jacket on some barbed wire and finally summited the meager hill, sweating like it was July.  It was great exercise.  When I tell my wife I am going to get some exercise, she gives me that knowing look that say’s; Nice try lazy fisherman.  She has no idea.

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Friday through Sunday, I joined in the Simms Ice Out Guide Event.  It was a blast.  Since I only have about a 3 hour drive south from Great Falls, I stopped at a spot on the Missouri for a little morning session with some rainbows.  It was a great way to start a long fun weekend.  I pulled into Simms in Bozeman and immediately was welcomed with a packet of some swag and a cold yummy Montana beer.  I quickly spotted George Heim from Cooper Landing and owner of Alaska River Adventures.    I have known George for about 15 years but never had a chance to enjoy his company outside Alaska and away from our busy Cooper Landing summers.   Moments later I was on a tour of the Simms factory of which I can show no pictures.  Suffice it to say, they are doing great work back there and they truly care about making the best waders in the world. A big thanks to all of you who have a hand (there are many) in producing my waders and keeping me comfortably outfitted for business.

Ice Out Bow

Missouri River Rainbow

Gallatin River

Eric on the Gallatin

As soon as I came out the door, I ran into Eric Neufeld who is now the Simms Representative for Oregon and Washington.  Eric came east with Tom Larimer of Larimer Outfitters. Tom was getting his Deschutes guide boat signed up by Simms.  They somehow talked me into a quick trip to the Gallatin before the evening entertainment.  I decided not to wader up, so I drank a PBR and took a few snap shots. The weather was fantastic all weekend and if there was one problem from the Simms side, it was that guides and employees kept sneaking out on little fishing hits.   I’m sure they had that figured into the master plan in addition to having most of Sunday set aside as a fishing day.  Tom’s boat was ready after we got done fishing. He picked it up and parked it in front of the Hilton Garden where Simms was hosting most of the sessions, meals and entertainment.

Wille Predator Simms Styled

Tom Larimer and Fred Telleen

After Simms put on a great sale and social event Friday evening, we took a cab downtown to check out a few local watering holes.  It did not take Tom and I long to realize that we are not college students anymore, but we were with Eric who knows how to keep things lively.  We were also joined by Sean Visintainer of the Silver Bow Fly Shop in Spokane and Tom Randall of Emerald Water Anglers of Seattle along with a few other event goers.  Things got a bit hazy in the wee hours.  There was some fishing flap, some gaping, lots of drinks that seemed to appear and disappear and a loud cab ride back to the hotel after a trip to a Pita Pit.

After some morning sessions at the Hilton we headed over to Livingston in some borrowed drift boats.  Tom and I have not fished together in ten years, so it was fun to be in a boat with Tom and on a new river for both of us.  We drove around for awhile, had some dispute on which landing was the put in and which was the take out and Eric finally called a shuttle and we just put the boats in at Mayors Landing and floated to Highway 89.  We were short on time and on new water with no idea how long it would take to the landing. We had heard that the Yellowstone is hit or miss, so we decided to throw streamers, nymph and fish dries.  Got a few taps on the streamers, hooked a whitey nymphing and threw several flies to some rising fish in a scummy eddy that just gave us the middle fin.  Sean, Lexi and Eric did a little better, landing several whities and a 16″ cutt.  Lexi works on Tom’s Deschutes overnight trips and took over rowing for the boys, so they had the female advantage.  They also nymphed the whole way which was way smarter but could not have been as much fun as our shotgun approach.

We took out and blazed up highway 89 for about 12 miles before we realized we were heading to White Sulfur Springs and not back toward Bozeman.  After some correction, we found our way to I90 where one of the drift boat straps blew off, as they are want to do when you are borrowing someone else’s boat.  We rolled into the Bowling Alley in time for Pizza and the beginning of the festivities.  Simms Fish BowlOur team the “Carpet Backs” which Eric figured was some kind of Moldy Chum theme took a solid second to last place aided in part by my 89.  I may be from Wisconsin, but that was 22 yrs ago.  Hats off to the boys and girls from Great Falls who represented the Big R Fly Store anchored by Sam Wike.  They looked awesome, but were unable to repeat their win of last year

On Sunday, after a morning session and farewell to Tom, Eric, Lexi and Sean, I scooped up George and Gary Mcfadden for a trip to the Gallatin. Gary flew down from Cooper Landing which was a long distance, but there was a guide who drove from New York who was awarded a new pair of G4Z waders.  No matter, Garry, George and I were all sporting new boots, waders, a vest, some shirts etc. when we hit the Gallatin.  Since I had a truck full of rods, I had enough gear for all, but we had to stop at a fly shop for some stones and baetis nymphs.  We hit an unmarked bridge south of Gallatin Gateway that only had 7 cars parked at it.  No one was fishing at the obvious bridge hole, so we dropped in and hooked some fish.  Nothing big, but again, a new river and the first time I have ever fished with George and Gary despite seeing Gary on the Kenai for the past 21 years.

Gary McFadden on the Gallatin

Gary McFadden on the Gallatin

George with a Treasure

Hats off to some Boston Fan

George landed a Boston Red Sox Championship baseball cap covered in March Browns.

Thanks to Simms for a great weekend.  Tom Larimer is out rocking his new paint job on the Deschutes right now.  I hope to join Tom for some swings and tugs on the Deschutes next fall.

Tight Lines,

Fred Telleen

Mystic Waters Fly Fishing

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Mystic Fly Rod

Mystic Waters Fly Fishing, Mystic Fly Rod

Dennis Klein of Mystic Rods just sent me an M 693-4 fly rod to demo on the Missouri River.  With the mutual business name of Mystic, it seems like we might have a nice fit and I have been wanting to put one of these rods to the test.  My first impression of the rod on looks alone was very good.

Mystic Rods Handle and Website

I like the handle!

The cork is premium and the handle is very cool with a ported aluminum sleeve over a stylish wood insert.  Functional and good looking. I was also glad to see that it had a fighting butt.  Even on my lighter trout rods, I like the butt for protecting the reel.  My first thought on seeing this rod was streamers.

I set the rod up with a Ross Evolution 3.5 and a brand new Rio LT 6wt line.  The combo balanced very nicely and feels light in the hand and really just makes you want to cast it.  My first day with it on the river was not ideal.  Spring winds were blasting along the rockies and funneling througth the Big Belt Mountains and the Canyon on the Missouri River below Craig, Montana.  Despite gusts exceeding 50mph (I’m not kidding, I almost lost my boat), I managed to work some side arm casts to a juicy seam and hook some of the MO’s nice rainbows.  The rod performed very well despite the presentation taper line and extreme conditions.  Mystic seems to have something with the 9′ 3″ length.  I will report again after I get a chance to fish the rod in fairer conditions.  I am hoping to fish the LT line with some dries and then I am going to load the reel with a heavier taper and try the rod with streamers.

Check out the Mystic Outdoors website for the full line up of rods and reels.

Dennis Klein
Mystic Rods & Willow Classic Reels
PO Box 211
Clarkston, Michigan 48347
Phone:  248-672-9375
fax: 248-209-7761
www.MysticOutdoors.com

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