This is Ard Stetts’ Life On The Line, an Alaskan fly and Spey fishing guide service. We hope you enjoy the site and contact us about your next Alaskan fishing vacation.

Just a heads up; I do not fish with beads and bobbers. I am a very experienced fly fisherman specializing in the use of Scandinavian style flies most of which are made on tubes. If you are looking for a bead and bobber guide you’re on the wrong website. Sorry :(

My Double Braid Loops are Available Through Website Now
I am now offering my Double Braided Loops for sale. To read about them and to order yours please see the latest post on The Flies & Rivers Blog page here.

Just like many of you reading this, I began fishing as a boy; by my teen years I gravitated to the fly rod. In the year 1979 I began traveling North America with a passion; fishing for Trout & salmon and of course being spellbound by the incredible landscapes I saw. From home, situated among the mountains and trout streams of North Central Pennsylvania these many travels reached to the far shores of Newfoundland and here to Alaska. During the years traveling & fishing the countless rivers and creeks of North America I gathered a wealth of knowledge about fly fishing for trout & salmon. In late 2004 I left my beloved trout waters of Pennsylvania and relocated in South Central Alaska. In these new surroundings I put my 40 years of fly fishing experience to work on the wild salmon, trout, char & grayling that inhabit the rivers and creeks of this new range.


After 5 full seasons on the rivers it became clear that there was a need for ‘a dedicated fly fishing guide’ on these waters. It was to fill this void that I established  ‘Life On The Line Fly Fishing’ in 2009 My service is just that; a guide service specifically for fly fishermen. To help others who have dreamed of catching the wild fishes of Alaska on traditional patterns and tackle to fulfill their quest is the ‘mission’ of Life On The Line if you fish with me. Now in my tenth season guiding others I look very much forward to spring of 2021. 

The Fishing Trips

Beautiful Rivers
Fishing with Life On The Line may include any number of destination rivers. Because salmon and our rainbow trout are entering the watersheds on different days in varying numbers there is no hard fast rule on locations. A days fishing can be spent at one location fishing along just a few miles of river, or we may have to cover many miles of water to locate good numbers of fish. If river boat travel becomes more long range you will want a camera handy as we will be traveling through some incredible landscapes to find those fish.
The river boat is very effective for transport on the waters here and is the primary mode of transport. It is an ATEC Marine 18.5 foot tunnel hull built by ATEC right here in Alaska. Powered by a 2012 Honda four stroke 90 hp jet motor it is quiet and reliable. You'll notice it has only 2 passenger seats and that is the optimum number for this craft. If you have a large party of 3 or more this sometimes can be handled by making multiple runs to transport the group. This of course is dependant on the destination waters. Arrangements can be made when you would contact us.
For those who would be interested in more than day trips we have a cabin situated on Hewitt Lake. This location is 78 river miles from the nearest road and offers a more remote experience when used as a base camp. The lake is also one of the best Pike fisheries in this part of Alaska, so if you enjoy casting flies to large Northern Pike this can afford an exciting secondary fishery. Work on the cabin continues every year in an effort to make it more comfortable but as it is, it has many advantages over a tent.
Wildlife viewing & photography is perhaps the competing attraction here, for many it ranks right up there with finding fish in Alaska. Eagles, Moose, and the 'Safe' sighting of an Alaskan bear would fill the list for a days trip. The bears in my region are rather shy of boats and people because they are hunted and therefor well aware of the dangers associated with human contact. However, one can sometimes be seen from the boat as you travel the rivers.  Bald Eagle are the most common animals seen along the rivers with an occasional Golden Eagle showing up also. The landscapes you see here from the rivers is nothing short of breathtaking, you can visit the 'Photo Gallery' here to see some of what awaits you in this part of Alaska.

Why Ard

I have been a dedicated fisherman for 59 years, 50 of those years have been with the exclusive use of fly rods and traditional flies for many species. Since relocating to Alaska I have spent 16 seasons learning the ways of these rivers and the various species of fish that inhabit them. Now I am ready to share my Alaskan fly fishing knowledge with others. If you want to fly fish Alaska, you might as well go with another fly fisherman as your guide. Life here can be challenging,  the rivers are wild; winters are long and harsh but only by living this life, do I feel that I can be a useful guide to others. I begin scouting for fish every spring when the ice clears from our rivers and stay on the pulse of the fishing until winter comes again.  By doing this I am aware of what species will be available where, and when, as the seasons rapidly change.

An Alaskan Transplant Taking Root

I first came here in 1989 to work as a commercial fisherman on the Gulf of Alaska and knew I would someday make this my permanent home. I traveled back and forth between Alaska and my home in Pennsylvania until 2004 when I made the decision to come here for good, I only wish I had done so sooner.

A Fisherman

Ever since I was very young I have been infatuated by rivers and as I matured I made a conscious decision that rivers would be my life. This endeavor; guiding other fly fishermen is just another step along my own rivers course of life.

A Friend

Being your fly fishing guide here is not just business, I would like for people who will trust me to guide them, to become my friends. Alaska is a vast place and to find quality fishing areas can be a challenge. Why not develop a friendship with a local while you are here.