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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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Sage TXL #00

Almost too big.

Matt and Kenny from Moscow Idaho were running around Montana this past week spending taxpayer money on BLM fencing projects and still had some time for fishing.  We met up for dinner last night in Great Falls and planned to head to the river early.  I almost spun out towing the boat over a frosty bridge on I15 by Cascade on the way to the river, but the fish gods prevailed and we got on the water with a chill in the air, snow on the ground, but calm wind.

Double Rainbows

Matt and Kenny were not sure if there were fish in Montana.

The subsurface bite was savage and it was hard to drag the boys away, but we headed further up the Canyon mid day and found some dry fly action.  Matt had a new TXL #00  to break in and after hooking a hot mid sized bow, he was worried it might frag out.  I said, “Hey Matt, that is generation 5 graphite, so put some PSI on that fish.  Why is it that grown men get so excited catching trout on featherweight rods and diminutive dry flies?  Who knows and who cares.  It’s just fun.

brown trout

Perfect #00 fish.

The wind started picking up around 2pm, so we went back to nymphing.  It got colder, windier and looked like snow again.  The hands started to freeze, so we decided to call it a good day.  Matt and Kenny headed toward Wolf Creek to pick up the interstate and I headed back down the Canyon.  I stopped at Mountain Palace to dehydrate and the wind was not too bad.   My brand new TCX 7126 was strung up and ready in the Yukon, so I decided to practice a few launches.  I fired my best “Death Star” spey shot and it made me smile and giggle the way Matt’s trout on the #00 made his day.  I also noted some little sails above the midges and a few fish rising off the island.  I figured I’d make one more stop.  I must apologize to Matt for what I am about to say, but I stopped at our first day maker dry fly spot and sure enough, a few heads were poking.  I managed to land three sizable browns before pushing back into the nasty north wind rolling off the plains on the way back to Great Falls.

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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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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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