Kayak Fly Fishing

I get asked quite often about fly fishing from a kayak and the struggles that happen on the water. The right kayak plays a huge role in this. Most of it has to do with deck layout and the obstacles that catch and hang up your fly line thus messing with your cast. First thing to look for in the kayak is as clear of a deck as possible, you need to be able to control your line. The two kayaks that I use are the Coosa for when fishing the river and the Superfishal when I’m on slack water. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA559250_632790853419104_1839186390_n

While the deck layout on the Coosa is not perfect for fly fishing I improvise by laying a towel over my legs to hide the foot pegs and this allows the fly line to gather on the towel and not the deck thus keeping it easy to manage. I will also strip to the side and let it lay in the water if I have a good drift and the paddle is not needed as much. You can also add a small plastic basket between your legs when sitting in the high seat position to manage the line.

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The next question asked often is about casting from the kayak. Most of the rivers I fish have an abundance of trees with canopies hanging over the water and the fish are usually present in these locations. For this kind of fishing I’ve adapted a sidearm/underhand cast that is effective for me. It takes practice but can be done. If the river is more open then I will use a lot of roll casting. Most of the time you are fishing up close and this is my preferred method.

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On slack water the Superfishal gets the nod here. What a great layout with really nothing to get in the way of your line other than the occasional stepping on the line with your feet. Here you can cast from a stand up position and make over hand casts as usual. The hardest part of this is managing your paddle. I am using a belt clip to hold the paddle or the paddle stager in front of the SUP. The great advantage of this SUP is the ability to get up close to the fish and to get into some very skinny water. I’ve had it so shallow that the redfish had to dig their way under it to get away from me. You can fish standing most of the time and use a cooler as a seat when you need a break. If I know that I’ll have to paddle a good distance to fish I will take the Coosa seat or a Larry chair and sit to paddle. Then when I reach my destination just move it to the rear and slide the cooler forward. Another thing that I like is the ability to get rid of any hull slap by moving up on the SUP while standing to make your presentation quitter. I hope this helps out and if you have any questions just leave a reply and I’ll get back with an answer.

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