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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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Simms Ice Out Guide Event 2011

On my way down to Bozeman.  Might drop a line in the MO for a few fish first.

I had a great time at Ice Out in 2010.  I’ll be meeting up with a few fellow Alaskan guides and plenty of folks from Montana and across the states.  The beer will flow, the flap will be interesting and the energy will be fishy.

Tonight’s program is an “Evening with Catch Magazine” hosted by Brian O’keefe and Todd Moen.

Its guide fun time before the work begins.

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I support Ross Reels, because they are based in Colorado, stay in touch with the fly fishing public and guides, provide exceptional customer service, and make great products.

New for 2010 – Evolution LT Reel Series, RossTec® Rod and Reel Cases, Reach®Spey Rods, Journey® Youth Fly Fishing Outfits, Essence® Fly Fishing Outfits, Balance Reel Arms and MORE!

Evolution LT fly reel series2010 New Product Preview

An updated version of the Evolution series with all metal exterior components and improved sound. Fishes great and sounds sweet!

RossTec® rod and reel cases

A full series of rod and reel cases, custom designed and smartly built – best on the market today

Balance adjustable reel arm

A fully adjustable reel arm to accomplish prefect balance between a rod and reel

Reach® spey rods

Spey rods ranging from 6wt. through 9wt., designed by soulful spey junkies for all types of water.  I purchased the 6wt and I like it!

Journey® youth fly fishing outfits

Complete youth fly fishing outfits with instructional DVD by Tyler Befus

Essence® fly fishing outfits

Complete fly fishing outfits with instructional DVD by Mel Krieger

New Fly Reel Colors

New grey and green color options for the CLA and Vexsis reel series

New Durable Fly Reel Finish

New AGP finish is incredibly strong and more durable than any finish on competitive reels

AND don’t forget… all Ross products now come with a lifetime warranty, including all Essence FS and Journey Youth fly rods!


The weather sucks in Montana right now, but if all goes well, Brian Neilsen and I will float the MO for one last time on Wednesday, before I head for AK.  My Yukon is getting tuned up right now.  Not looking forward to the bill.

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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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Many people are familiar with Ross Reels USA. They make award-winning reels designed and manufactured in Montrose Colorado. I use Ross Reels on my fly rods and love their functionality along with the company’s philosophy and customer service.

Ross has also created a division called Ross Worldwide. Admittedly, the products are manufactured overseas. With the help of Mel Krieger, they are offering value priced fly rods for the first time. I just received a new 690-4 in the FW line. The rod retails for $199 and is the premium choice among their three new offerings.

I wanted to find out if indeed this $199 rod cast and fished like a premium rod. I started out throwing a dry fly in moderate wind. I kept the casts in the 20 to 50’ range. The rod is accurate, easy to cast and throws a very tight loop with a short stroke. It is very easy to cast from the tip. Next, I flexed the blank on some longer casts with a wooly bugger. Again, it performed very well with reasonable power. I would characterize the rod as comfortable on the cast, fishable (I caught a few fish) and a true 6wt. It seems to me that an accomplished caster indeed designed the FW.

I consider myself a good caster, but certainly no Mel Krieger. I love extremely fast rods like the Sage TCR for launching steamers and long-range nymphing. I actually have a hole in my quiver on the lighter side. It is a luxury to have multiple choices for variable conditions. I feel the FW rod embodies the qualities of a worldwide 6wt trout rod and that is exactly how I am going to use it. A great addition to any quiver of rods for only $199 and one I will be happy to share with my guests.

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