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Matt Pedersen, Fall 2004, Ontario, Canada
SE WI Fall King Salmon
SE WI Fall Coho Salmon
SE WI Fall Seeforellen Brown Trout
SE WI Fall Skamania Steelhead
Lake Michigan "Bluewater" Winter Fly Rod Brown Trout
SE WI Winter Centerpin Steelhead
SE WI Spring Steelhead (Arlee)
Inland Rainbow Trout
Inland Brook Trout
Inland Brown Trout

Rambling Reports Guiding Service - About Your Guide

Matt Pedersen

A lot of folks ask, so I figured I might as well share my background. I have been fly fishing for the last 22 years, primarily Lake Como in South Eastern Wisconsin. I have also tied flies for the past 20 years. For the first 15 years, I spent most of my time improving my casting abilities, targeting bass and panfish (mostly panfish), with occasional trips to Colorado, New Mexico and Montana as my outlets for the true drive behind ever picking up a fly rod in the first place - trout.

My other background is somewhat diverse. For several years I worked in the Tropical Fish Industry...first managing fish departments of pet stores and eventually running entire shops. I briefly studied Marine Biology at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL, where I did nothing but gripe about leaving my fly gear at home. I did however get to tangle with many coveted saltwater species - an experience I hope to revisit in the future. Upon leaving Florida, I looked into Aquaculture at Auburn U., where after spending a day with the Dean of the dept. it was suggested that I already knew more than most of the graduating students and while they'd love to have me, it would be a waste of 4 years. So, somewhat disheartened, I returned to IL and changed gears, focusing on Website Development and Multimedia while running a tropical fish hatchery in Bloomingdale, IL for a few years. Up until the Fall of 2004, I spent the last 5 years employed as the Exec. Sr. Multimedia Developer at Infotube Inc., until being laid off. I continue to instruct Macromedia Flash at the College of Lake County, as I have done for the last 11 semesters. As of September, 2005, I have come on-board full-time as the Senior Interactive Developer for Publishing Dynamics in Naperville, IL. In 2007, I founded a non-profit for the promotion of captive breeding of marine fish. In 2008, Publishing Dynamics went through a rebranding as Emerge Digital, and in late 2009, Emerge Digital has merged with Chicago agency Upshot to form Upshot Interactive.

Meanwhile, back to the fishing. In 2002, after a particularly uneventful outing in Montana, having FINALLY landed my first and only Montana Trout, I returned to SE WI and NE IL determined to target salmonids with a vengeance. Research quickly lead me to the SE WI tributaries. My first fall season out, I only landed Cohos and Browns, having decided that I should target tributary fish like trout - go light. Let me tell you, until you've gained some experience you're not going to land a King Salmon on 4X tippet with a 9' 6wt...you're just undergunned.

Rich Brown (www.fishinfatman.com) and others took me under their wings and let me in on the secrets of successful tributary fishing. Things came together pretty easily after that. 2003 saw the first steelhead come to shore, and by the fall, I had "oodles" of tributary fish under my belt. I learned that tributary fishing isn't all that different from any other fly fishing opportunity. In a nutshell, proper rigging, a good cast and a knowledge of fish behavior are the three main keys to success, and the only things truly differentiating the sport from any other fly fishing you may have done. Having these skills under your belt, all that remains is CONFIDENCE. Let me tell you, I have no shame about it, I'm confident I can get the job done when it comes to tributary fishing.

Meanwhile I was also exposed to the phenomenal fishery in the "Coulee" or "Driftless" Regions of SW WI, NE IA and SE MN. In short order I became hooked on fly fishing for small stream trout in Iowa as a way to pass the time between tributary runs (my true love). Based on my experience, I've been asked to author a book on the IA streams, but have opted to wait until I've put in more than a couple years....I feel I should pay my dues first.

In 2004 I also took up the hobby of fishing rod building as a new challenge (I admit it, fly tying had become more of a chore and had lost most of it's challenge). This has forced me to become much more versed in the tools we use to fly fish and how we fly cast. I look forward to placing a custom rod in your hands...you'll feel the difference from the beginning.

In the fall of 2004, I also finally "caved" and learned the art of fishing with a centerpin...usually you use bait but flies are equally deadly with this technique. I've spent much of the early 2005 season perfecting my centerpin tactics. In the end, whether it be fly fishing, centerpinning or whatever, there is always one thing driving me - the challenge to become a more effective angler.

You'll hear anglers who say they really don't go fly fishing for the "catching"... for them it's for the outdoors, the scenery, the birds, the animals etc. I think those folks should take up a different sport - it's called "HIKING". If you're not out there to catch fish, then please have some courtesy and let the anglers have the water! While I enjoy the scenery, the birds, the people, the entire package, if it weren't for the thrill of tangling with a feisty fish, I wouldn't be fishing. When the bite comes tough, I don't resign myself to "enjoying the day"...I get my butt in gear, analyze the situation and try to increase the odds! First and foremost, I'm all about the FISH!

Folks have asked how much time I've spent fly fishing...it's really hard to say. As of this writing, I've estimated the time covered by my reports (since late 2002) is probably over 1000 hours on the water with a fly rod in hand. I have at least twice that put in on the water prior to 2002. So maybe 3000 hours of fly fishing. Think about how many flight hours you need to be a commercial pilot. I'd say I've put in my time and a whole lot more when it comes to fly fishing.

Now I may not be the "best" guide out there - there's always someone with more experience or a different way of looking at things and I will forever be improving. That's not why I've chosen to become a guide; I'm not tooting my own horn saying, "come out with me, it'll be the BEST day ever 'cause I'm better"! Instead, I've decided that guiding is one of the best ways to share my passion with those who are interested. I have a lot to offer, it's yours for the asking. I knew when I started this some folks would find the idea that "MP is guiding" laughable, i.e. "Hey, you've only been fly fishing the tribs for how long...?" - If you want to see how the last 3 years of fishing have been, all you need to do is read my reports - let the experiences on the water speak for themselves. If you have questions, ask, and judge the answers.

Let me leave you with this - after teaching many of my friends how to fly fish, it's easier than most folks lead on! Nothing helps you improve faster than simply putting in time on the water and getting some help from fellow anglers. If I can feel confident about taking people out, you should feel as confident about your success. Sure, it may not happen today, maybe not tomorrow, but I guarantee it WILL happen if you put forth the effort. I look forward to spending part of our angling time together, making us both better anglers.

Fair Hooks, Tight Lines, Abundant Fish and Melted Drags,

  MP

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