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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
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Tie more flies!

Get my family on the water more (regularly I hope).

Add a bit more content to the internet through the Website, Blog, and Twitter to stay relevant in the new information age.

Spend more quality time on the water so as to have more fishy content to share.

At least one destination saltwater trip

At least one destination steelhead trip

Buy more spey rods and lines because there are so many options.

I’m getting a Montana Guide License and extending my season by offering trips on the Missouri River this spring.

Help facilitate many anglers to great days on the Kenai River Alaska and Missouri River Montana.

Keep learning more about this crazy passion we call Fly Fishing.

I have involved myself with the Missouri River Flyfishers Club in Great Falls Montana.  Here is our next big event.

Fly Fishing Festival

Great Falls Fly Fishing Festival

Speaking of Saltwater fishing, I am planning to host a small group for Giant Tarpon in the Florida Keys this May.  Stacy will be in Baja in April and May and available to host anglers wishing to chase rooster fish.  More details on these trips will follow, but please let us know if you have the time and desire to join us.

Tight Lines and Great Fishing in 2011

PS.  Don’t forget to plan your Alaska dates soon.

 

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Hey Fred,

So as you can see from the pics, this will be a good Baja fishing report. I drove up to Los Barriles yesterday to look at a used panga for sale, and meet up with Jeff DeBrown www.thereelbaja.com for some more chasing fish from the beach. He had a trip that morning, so it was perfect timing to meet for a fish taco at our favorite cantina in La Ribera, and then head out to “the beach”. The tacos were especially good this day, the beer colder than normal – it was a day that just had that feel to it (remember the morning down on the Anchor when we put the hurt on those kings). We also had a new fly to try out that is completely out of the box from what we usually throw. We drove to a certain beach that you are somewhat familiar with, stretched the line, and began to walk. We weren’t ten minutes out of the truck when I looked out across the water and here they came. It looked like tarpon coming across the flats in Islamorada. They came into range, but line caught on my big toe (NOOOOOOOO!) and they never saw the first cast. The teaser kept them close enough for me to make a second shot, but they were losing interest. When that fly hit the water, five of them spun and rushed, combing and lit up. I got low and did our tarpon worm strip, focusing more on the action of the fly, but aware that a group of five big roo’s were competing for the fly. Then it came tight. It was like the permit pause, where the fish is almost confused that a snack is pulling back. Then the comb folded back, and the fish hit the afterburners. Line cleared, backing that has never been exposed saw the bright Baja sun, and 30 minutes later, we got her. I hope the next one comes quicker and easier than this, but it was sooooo sweet and well worth the wait. And yes, the tequila did flow last night.

Stacy


Landing a rooster fish in Baja

Tan cerca…
A Rooster by the tail

Un pez gallo por la col

Very happy angler

Angler muy feliz

Pez Gallo Baja Rooster Fish

Adiós mi amigo de pescado


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I spent about six hours in the Missouri River near Craig, Montana with various fly rods in my hands and nothing but yarn on the leaders.  The day was in the mid 50s with moderate breezes.  A perfect spring day for fishing.  The trout got a break that day as all of us would otherwise have been hard at work to exercise some .  We were in the river to learn from Bruce Berry.  Bruce works with and reps for Beulah Rods and did a great job showing some single handers how to make several spey casts.  By the end of the day, all were launching lines across the river and smiling with anticipation of future swings with actual flies on the leaders.

Bruce Berry Spey Casting In Montana

Bruce Berry on the MO

Bruce was invited by Sam Wike from the Big R Fly Shop in Great Falls.  Bruce tied some steelhead flies and gave a fine technical presentation on all the rod and line styles for switch and spey for the monthly meeting of the Missouri River Fly Fishers last Thursday.  On Friday he got to fish with Kris Keller who works at Big R and Saturday and Sunday were spey clinics.  We hope he had fun in Great Falls and will come back next year.  I can’t wait to get my hands on the 11′ 7″ 5 wt Platinum Series Trout Spey from Beulah.

Got another email from Stacy in Baja today.  He spent 5 days on the East Cape running down the rooster and fished with Jeff Debrown of thereelbaja.com for a couple days.  Stacy has been catching some roosters, but is still trying for the holly grail Grande.  I am sure it won’t be long before I hear about it.

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“Excuse me sir, I see the tarpon. You cast.” I cast. “Strip, strip.” The tarpon ate my fly. Years of tarpon fantasies culminated in an adrenalized hook set. I had visualized the powerful stripping motion and my brain and body actually worked together. I connected solidly with the Tarpon’s jaw. I was so juiced and excited and the fish must have been turned just so. My leader came back with an abraided and severed 40# shock tippet.

Enrique had a puzzled look. “Sir, it’s a baby. You pull like this.” He gave a little strip set motion. “Not like that.” Point taken. It was no giant tarpon. I was casting an 8wt to a fifteen-pound fish.  “Excuse me guide.”

Over the next couple days we landed a bunch of baby Tarpon and had a blast. We will never forget this saying, so here it is on a shirt.   Soon, I hope to use my power set on a giant tarpon.

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