yak fishing

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Jim Wallace, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    somewhere around here W-F. Gotta get stuff done tomorrow, eat a lot of food, maybe take a nap, and re-coup from all the small-wave surfing I've been doing. All that paddling in the surf really beats up an old man. I need a day off.
    I'm going to try to work in one long day on the Elk estuary (W or Th), and maybe do some yak fishing out along the S Jetty on one of the other days. The Elk trip is a dawn patrol, paddling a long ways for some searun cutt action, returning at low tide. The jetty fishing should be do-able all day, due to the "neap tides."
    I wouldn't mind some company out yak fishing along the Jetty. Its a short paddle, only about a mile or so out (if even that far, if I run into fish closer in), and then back. I'll be jigging with gear. Paddling my Tarpon 140 SOT. A fly fisher equipped to cast for Rockfish or LIngs might find it worthwhile, too. I won't be fly fishing out there, though. I still can't cast anything heavier than a 6 wt with a floater or clear intermediate sinktip without endangering my casting arm, and prefer to stick with my 4 wts. Trying to haul a heavy 8 wt sinking line or sinktip would be suicide for my fishing right now. My jetty gear rods are set up to cast two handed and hold with my good arm (or I just free-spool line down to the bottom for jigging), with the reels set for R-hand drive.

    The Elk involves continuous paddling except for when I'm anchored to fish a decent piece of holding water, and might be about 12 miles or so RT. A baitfish pattern might be good for trolling on the way in or out. In any holding water, I like casting and stripping Reversed Spiders, up to size 8 on my 4 wts. The water is often a bit discolored like you'd see most brackish coastal estuaries, with visibility maxing out at around 4 or 5 feet.
    I'll be in my Ultimate 12. I'd rather go alone than tolerate a weak paddler. Its important to make it to the "top end" in time to fish it before the tide starts running out too much. If I find that I'm running a bit late and the last of the incoming push is fading, then I just reel in and power on in without missing a stroke, until I reach some good cutthroat water. If I'm on time and still have some incoming push to ride, I usually troll when heading in, and I have to pause sometimes and strip in to clean gunk or eel grass from my fly. I'm much rather be early, than late on the tide going in. Heading back out, if I'm at all running late on the tide change and i'm paddling against the flow, and/or the onshore wind is building, I try to cover the last mile or two without breaking rhythm or missing a paddle stroke, maintaining momentum. Launching involves a 100 yd portage. There's $25 fine for whining.

    I'm going any way. I should probably tie up a couple of Reversed Spiders, and maybe a baitfish pattern.

    Reply here, or pm me, for experienced paddlers who might be interested.
  2. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    Elk tomorrow, arriving at launch at 6am in the fog. Hope to be launched and paddling by 6:30 am. Should start out as a mystical and foggy sheet of glass. Bay City high tide is 7:15 am, so the change at the top probably won't happen until after 7:30 am or so. Thats kind of a squeeze on the timing, but still OK, as long as I don't end up "running late."

    Thurs tides allow for a little more leeway. By Friday, the high looks too late in the day already. Early morning high tides are better. I'm going to maybe use a cart for the portage over the pickle grass and uneven terrain.

    Winds look OK for paddling the Harbor entrance out along the jetty from Half Moon Bay W thru F, unless the forecast changes.
  3. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    I see rain is headed this way. Looks like the front won't move in until between 10am and 11 am W. Until then, the winds should be light. By 11 am, its supposed to pick up from the S to 10 mph or better. That is no problem when paddling back out withthe last of the falling tide, as one can hug the southern shoreline of the estuary and not have to deal with much wind chop.
    The foggy mornings, cloud cover, and rain are all very much preferable to clear and sunny weather. On bright days with the falling tide, the trout hide, and there's too much UV and reflection when its sunny.
    Sunny weather usually is accompanied by stronger onshore winds, which are headwinds when paddling back out. That makes for a good paddling workout, though.
    With no headwinds and when moving with the tide, this is a cakewalk.
  4. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    Last call. I will check in here again this evening. I note that the winds are forecast to be from the SE here tomorrow late morning. SE can be a tailwind for the paddle back out. Sure, there will probably be some warm summer rain with this weak front, but otherwise the paddling doesn't get much easier than Its looking to be.
    Rain gear is good. I don't wear waders for this, as there are only a few (widely spaced) spots to get out if you have to visit the bushes. Most of the estuary is surrounded by extensive mud flats or high muddy banks.

    As long as its strategically planned, and one does not let the triplet sirens of tide and wind and biting cutthroat mesmerize one into complacent idiocy and make a fool out of one's self, then the most difficult part of this estuary tour (with cutthroat fly fishing) is getting all the gear (minimal) organized and getting up early enough (have to set the &*%$#@ alarm), and making it to the launch site in order to get launched in time. The 100 yard portage from the off-loading spot to the water's edge is the next most difficult.
    Of course, this thing is probably more of a paddlefest than most fly fishers would want to get involved with. You'd have to like flat water paddling in order to enjoy this. It isn't necessarily the easiest venue out there. I'm not a guide. I don't provide lunch. I don't tie on anyone's flies for them, nor necessarily tell them exactly where to cast. Its better to keep a little distance between the yaks, anyway.

    This has been yet another really grand conversation with myself. I probably won't even open my mouth to talk all day tomorrow!
    holtad and underachiever like this.

  5. Haha, I wish I lived nearer I'd go out there with ya.
    Jim Wallace likes this.
  6. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    I don't mind going alone, but I'd like to share this with some fellow cutthroat fly anglers who like to paddle flat water.
    Right after I built this gargantuan albacore sandwich that I am now in the process of devouring, I got invited to an "albacore feed" over at a friend's house. Ha! I said I'd be there after I ate my tuna sw, and I'd be bringing another quarter of a tuna and some beers. We got albacore! Coming out of our ears! Don't know if I'll survive the night and still get up early enough to make the estuary. Maybe Th. Maybe I'll just end up gear-fishing for bottom fish along the Jetty. Sat was also looking do-able for that, last time I checked the wind forecast. Gotta go!

    I'll check back here tonight, if this thing doesn't turn into a party.:D

    Our 'hood got hit by a tunado!
    Nick Clayton likes this.
  7. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    The tunado did its damage, left us all staggering:eek: , or maybe it was the beers:D , and now I am paddling the Elk tomorrow morning. 6am.