From the Field: Curtis Ciszek

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Some might say that being a professional snowboarder and fishing bum is the perfect life. Curtis Ciszek might be proving that out.

Simms team member (and awesome photographer) Cameron McDonald follows his passion of fishing and riding by connecting with those pushing the limits on snow and in the water.

The thing about fly fishing, as we know, is that it is extremely addicting. And this addiction spurs a year round passion to chase fish – be that in Belize for permit and tarpon, or stateside swinging for Steelhead in the Pacific Northwest.

We had a chat with some guys that know something about chasing their passions…and chasing fish all year long.  The first one happens to be a professional snowboarder. He puts in long hours on the road or in the air (or by snowmobile) searching for prime pow turns, pillows lines, or sometimes hunting for unique features on city streets. But we wouldn’t be talking to him unless he also fished a ton!

I caught up with Oregon based pro snowboarder Curtis Ciszek.  As I found out, he has a passion for mountains and rivers and constantly striving to keep progressing, and seeking adventure.

Name: Curtis Ciszek
Age: 26
Location: Bend, OR

How has the winter season gone so far?  Really good. I have been traveling all over chasing powder.

Where are you currently these days? Baldface cat skiing lodge outside of Nelson, BC.

When did you get started/learn to fly fish? Who taught you the ways of the water?
I started probably in 2006. My good friend and snowboard buddy Troy Garcia got me into it.

Do you see any similarities in snowboarding and fly fishing? Is there a correlation? Yes and no, snowboarding is definitely a bit more intense and action packed. Fishing is more laid back and relaxing but there is definitely those intense moments, especially when you’re laced into a 10 pound wild steelhead.

Do you have a “go-to fly”? Or favorite fly? Or tie flies yourself at all?  I love tying flies. I tie most of my bugs. Go-to fly? Totally depends on where I’m fishing, what for and what the bugs are doing that time of year.

When traveling about to shred, do you often take notice of the waters of the area? Perhaps think about fishing them, or making plans to fish them another day?  Absolutely, Ill bring my fishing stuff on most trips. On any down days or weather days I will usually try and get on the water. It’s a bit more appealing in the spring when it starts to warm up a bit.

Do you have a favorite time of year to fish? Or favorite destination? Skeena tribs in late September.

What is your current setup, or favorite setup to fish with? I really enjoy casting the two handed rods. Especially Scandi lines.

What would your ideal fishing trip be? Who would you take, and where would you go? Rainbows, steelhead and salmon in Kamchatka with my brother Martin Ciszek, Troy Garcia, Jess Gibson, Eric Jackson, Iikka Backstrom and Andrew Hardingham.

Why do you fish? What does it do for you? It gets me up at 4am, makes my girlfriend hate me, shows me some of the most beautiful places and gives me some of the best experiences.

Do you bring along your fishing gear on all your shred trips? Most of them.

Do you own any Simms gear yourself? If so what is your “go-to” piece and/or what is your favorite piece of gear we offer? I have a bunch of Simms gear. The G4 Pro waders are pretty much bullet proof.


Photos used with permission of Curtis Ciszek.

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About Cameron McDonald

Cameron works at Simms and was born & raised in good ol' Bozeman Montana. He is a fifth generation Montanan with roots spreading out to the eastern reaches of the state. Like many born or raised here, he spent his entire childhood outdoors. His love for adventure still burns fierce, and so out on the water, or in the forest, is where you will find him. It wasn't long before he started to develop a passion for getting the shot and thus spawned his passion for great photography.