What is it that puts flyfishermen off about using a kayak for a fishing platform?

Krusty

Active Member
#16
Not sure if you have done this much, but I just don't see a kayak being able to anchor up in moving water very safely, at least not like a hard bottom boat or cataraft can. Anchors also have a way of getting stuck. A lot of the times they can be freed up with some work. I'm not sure how you would safely do that in a kayak.

Having floated with others in kayaks, i can say with confidence they are not the best craft for fishing out of on a river. If your just going from point A to B however they work fine.
I assure you that an anchor trolley system works quite well; they've been used for many years in the kayaking community. Remember, your anchor line isn't attached to the side of the kayak (you'd be broadside to the current....not a good thing in any boat)....it's attachment point is at the prow (you're facing upstream in the current) or at the stern (where you're facing downstream)....either way a pointy end of the kayak safely faces into the current. A simple float down the river with others in kayaks hardly justifies your confidence (no offense intended). As for getting a 'stuck anchor' unstuck....worst case you simply release the anchor line (it's attached to the cam cleat near your leg, it whistles out through the anchor trolley carabiner (up at the stern or bow)....you're not out much...and it's the same lost anchor scenario with any craft). This is really what I mean about these two outdoor interests generally not being found in the same people; it results in many faulty assumptions being bandied about.
 

Krusty

Active Member
#18
as with all fishing crafts there are pluses and minuses to every craft. i love fishing out of my SOT kayak, but i realize their inherent drawbacks as well as their attributes.

for me they excel in saltwater applications where long distances are not necessary (over 5+ miles one way when dealing with currents and swell). they are not the easiest to fish out of since they sit low in the water and there is not that much space to strip line (i use a shooting basket) but they work pretty well with some practice.

the quietness and ability to effectively navigate through thick kelp are huge pluses for me. they allow me to access water that most power boats cannot get to. they are certainly cheaper than a power boat and are pretty versatile.

for rivers though i prefer my cataraft or watermaster.

I wouldn't imply that they are the perfect flyfishing watercraft (no such beast exists!)....but just that they should be considered a part of the arsenal, for (as you mentioned) they are pretty versatile. If you've got a solid backcast the low perch isn't much of a drawback....especially with a longer rod.
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#19
"What is it that puts flyfishermen off about using a kayak for a fishing platform?"

Well, not much really, other than that I already have a float tube, Watermaster, canoe, and jet powered Lund to cover most of my fishing needs.

Sg
 

Krusty

Active Member
#20
"What is it that puts flyfishermen off about using a kayak for a fishing platform?"

Well, not much really, other than that I already have a float tube, Watermaster, canoe, and jet powered Lund to cover most of my fishing needs.

Sg
Then all you need for a 'grand-slam' is a fishing kayak!
 

LCnSac

John or "LC"
#21
I agree that certain kayaks can be an integral part of a fishing arsenal, but they are sub-optimal in most freshwater situations for several reasons mentioned:

1. Lack of precise control for positioning and holding
2. Necessity of using two hands for movement
3. They are heavy compared to frameless pontoons
4. The microdrives operate in one direction without reversing the mechanism, at least the Hobie mechanism does.
5. The microdrives are expert at catching fly lines

I used a (sea) kayak at times for fishing long before it was cool to do so. I love the improved access over my float tube and boat, but hated the hassles of the paddle and the fly line getting fouled in areas hard to access to free it.

For salt, like San Diego Bay, perfect, if you're a bait fisherman. If rock fish fishing on coastlines, excellent. For freshwater use, there are better options.
 

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
#23
Shapp, no doubt. I used to run a camp for at risk kids for two weeks each summer. We used kayaks all the time. I enjoy them, but don't own one. Can your kayak paddling 3 y/o neice fish while on the move and paddling? I'm not coordinated enough to trust myself to try it out.
 

Krusty

Active Member
#24
kayaks are easy to paddle, even my 3 year old neice can paddle the IK :)
Indeed, your neice, and other youngsters (such as the vast multitude of my fishing/kayaking grandchildren), represent the future of kayaks as another legitimate flyfishing platform!
 
#25
I've been fishing from a SOT kayak (OK Drifter) for several years. It's wonderful for fishing Puget Sound, providing access to some beaches that can't be reached on foot for a variety of reasons. When the Pinks are around, the kayak allows me to get away from the combat fishing scene at the easily accessed beaches. Last summer, the big pinks would usually take 2-3 trips around my kayak before I could net them. A lot of fun! Also, it's fun to paddle a kayak around and look at the scenery.

For lake fishing I prefer my Super Fat Cat over the kayak. It's more comfortable, your hands are free, it's easier to load into the truck and carry into the lake, and it's easier to cast without all the on-deck equipment you have with a kayak. For me, part of the charm of lake fishing is being in a float tube or U-Boat. When I fish larger lakes, particularly those with motorboats, I prefer the kayak.

Tom
 

LCnSac

John or "LC"
#26
I think an SOT would be really cool in Puget Sound, maybe Garabaldi and even outside when the bar is down and the crab are in, San Diego Bay, or even north of SF Bay in some areas. Some folks get bonefish out of SD Bay on their yaks. I will probably have to get one for the salt someday, but not for fresh water. What i don't get is the attraction of the SUPs for fishing. A good novelty, but I think that's the extent of the attraction. No?
 

Krusty

Active Member
#27
I think an SOT would be really cool in Puget Sound, maybe Garabaldi and even outside when the bar is down and the crab are in, San Diego Bay, or even north of SF Bay in some areas. Some folks get bonefish out of SD Bay on their yaks. I will probably have to get one for the salt someday, but not for fresh water. What i don't get is the attraction of the SUPs for fishing. A good novelty, but I think that's the extent of the attraction. No?
I wouldn't mind trying a SUP fooling around on a lake in the middle of summer....but I'm probably getting a bit too old even for that. Flyfishing from a SUP would be pretty complicated!
 

Rick Todd

Active Member
#28
I have a friend who takes his kayak on our fishing trips to Montana. While I'm in my Scadden pounding the bank on the Big Hole, using my fins, with both hands free, he is paddling from point to point, getting out and wade fishing. I guess that is why I don't have a kayak and have three pontoons! Rick
 

martyg

Active Member
#29
I've never found a canoe or kayak to be my preferred platform for fly fishing - although I have certainly done it on backcountry trips.

That being said there I get a ton of enjoyment out of trolling structure and weed beds in wilderness trips, looking for lunch or dinner. Throwing a plug out on a spinning rod and slowly and methodically paddling shore lines. Trolling and watching the scenery go by on a sunny day is a great way to slow down if you have been on a trip of long duration where you are cranking out miles five to the hour.
 

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
#30
I fish from either a 12' hybrid canoe/yak, a 14' SOT, a 10' fiberglass mini-drifter, or an aluminum 16' john boat, depending on where and what I'm fishing for. (Unless I'm hiking/wading, surf fishing in my wetsuit, or posing in hippers as a bank maggot). I attempt to be appropriately rigged for the occasion.
Uhh, by the way, you peeps are slippin! Am I the only one who noticed Mumbles' reference to "whole sack" endangerment in regards to owning yet another water craft?bawling::p Being single, I don't worry about that. However, it sounds painful and maybe irreversible. One would be wise to avoid that syndrome!
Having surfed the northern coast since 1979, (and once back in '69 wearing a really inferior wetsuit), I have had plenty experience with "shrinkage." It can be frightening at first, but it is only temporary, easily remedied with a hot shower.

However, I have never experienced "shrinkage" while fishing from any of my water craft. I have never used or owned a float tube, though. I agree with most, if not all, of the claims made by Krusty here about yaks as fishing platforms. Certain of my fishing spots are best accessed via paddle craft, so that is what I use to get there. If one of my other boats seems better suited to the venue, then I'll use that one. You can never own too many fishing craft, as long as you have a place to store 'em all! Dang! There's a new empty spot I just cleared out in my garage...

martyg, I get tremendous enjoyment (and a lot of strikes!) dragging a streamer as I paddle across estuaries and up the tidal reaches of the streams out here. Once I get into the prime water, it is only a little more difficult in a yak to anchor and set up to fish a lie than it would be in my john boat. No way would I ever subject myself to rowing back into an open estuary in my mini-drifter, though. Too much work. Paddling a yak is way easier and faster than trying to row a drift boat in a windswept estuary while fighting the tide. My johnboat would be the most comfortable way to go, but then I'd be limited in regards to where I could go. My Ultimate 12 (hybrid canoe/yak) only needs 4" of water to avoid running aground. And I can portage it easily enough, and slip it thru any gap wider than 30".

However, I think my Tarpon 140 (14' SOT) is way too heavy for a 14' yak at 78 lbs (30 lbs heavier than my U-12 bare hull). I load it on my canoe trailer now, instead of car-topping it. then I transfer it to my Wheeleez beach cart to drag it to the water's edge. It is much too bulky, heavy, and awkward to carry down to the water without a cart.

Generally, I think 12' is the best length for a fishing yak for all round use. Why? Main reason is that it is lighter and more maneuverable than anything longer. Anything shorter paddles too slow on flat water. The SOT manufacturers seem to be in a race to really trick 'em out with all the latest whiz-bangs, adding weight. Simpler and lighter is almost always better, IMHO.

I think SUPs are trendy fad, and way overpriced; but if you want to get one at half price or less, all you have to do is wait a little until the novelty wears off and apt dwellers need to create some space for the next fad item. I predict many of them for sale cheap on Craigslist in the near future.
 

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