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Thread: Kayak fly fishing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Newport, TN
    Posts
    36

    Default Kayak fly fishing

    Wanted to get some feedback from the kayak fishermen here. I am very interested right now in kayak fishing and wanted to get some honest opinions (good or bad). I live in an area that offers a lot of warm water fishing. At least 3 major rivers and one lake within 20 minutes. I probably would mostly use it for river fishing for smallies. I can wade fish some parts of these rivers but a lot of good water warrants some type of water craft. So my questions are....was obtaining a kayak a gamechanger for you? What elements of kayak fishing are challenging? Tips or tricks to smooth those challenges out and then you're overall pros to kayak fishing. I have my eye on several models right now that are geared toward fly fishing (i.e. smooth deck for casting and minimal snag points). Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Seymour, TN
    Posts
    1,482

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    I've been a kayak /canoe fly fisher for a long time now and recently upgraded a few months ago to my current one , a 2016 Jackson Coosa HD.
    I enjoy fishing from the kayak so much, that I sold my jon boat. It is definitely a game changer. You have access to a lot more water, more launching places in that you don't need a boat ramp. Non boat reg fees, unless you put a motor on it, No gas, no trailers, very low cost compared to motorized boats.
    It is great exercise and great for your mental health IMO, It's quiet and your low to the water, so wildlife seldom know you are there. I have seen coyotes chasing deer across shoals, floated within 5 ft of raccoons busily digging for clams and crayfish along the waters edge. eagles and osprey are often spotted close by.
    The most challenging element for me is battling the wind , while trying to cast and keep the boat in position. The second most would be trying to lift an 80 pound kayak onto my truck rack by myself. I usually just load it directly into the bed of my truck, but if in my wife's SUV, then it goes on top.
    Tips: The wind , you can't do anything about other than trying the least windy banks. I also use a drift chain to help keep the boat slowed and from spinning sideways but at times you just deal with it. Wait out the gust and learn to paddle using one arm to keep the boat pointed straight.
    Putting a heavy boat on top: If your young and strong, then you will probably just military press it. I did that for years, but now I usually lean the bow against the back rack and push it up . They make rollers for this also. I often have people / other paddlers at takeouts ask me if they can help. I have helped dozens of people load their canoes / kayaks over the years.
    What models are you looking at? I spent several years fishing from a 12ft solo canoe that I specifically rigged for fly fishing out of, so I had a pretty good idea what I wanted/needed in a fishing kayak. I could not stand and fish in my solo canoe, so I 1st wanted something that I could stand up and fish out of safely. It had to be stable in moving waters, it had to be able to turn quickly, it had to have decent storage for my fly boxes, lunch and drybag gear. It had to have the ability to mount an adjustable anchor off the stern that could be raised and lowered from the standing or sitting position. had to have decent hull speed for paddling against current and long trips upstream .
    I looked at several kayaks, the Nucanoe Frontier 12 and Pursuit models. both are excellent kayaks and meet my requirements for most of the things. The Old Town Predator MX. Made for river fishing, paddles well, smooth, great stabilty, good price. Old town makes a great boat no doubt. Jackson Coosa HD and Big rig. Jackson makes great boats also, they are paddlers and fishermen. Coosa HDs are designed for the rivers, and have some great features a fisherman wants. Big rigs are super stable and great for larger fishermen, but heavy and slow.
    I demoed these boats before I decided my preference, and I suggest you try to paddle several different kayaks also before deciding. You have some great Smallie rivers up there in Newport. I can't wait for the big cicada hatch to come back. The Big Pig is the place to be when that happens. Join East TN Kayak Anglers on facebook also and many of the guys would be happy to let you demo their boats. Jacksons, Nu canoes, OTs, Feel Frees, Wilderness ATAKs, Hobies, and many others

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Newport, TN
    Posts
    36

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    Thanks Troutman. You were one of the members I was hoping would comment on my post. Great info...thank you. As far as kayaks....I am looking hard at the pursuit, predator, feel free and diablos models. At this point I have not demoed any models. But your post has certainly encourage me to. I know that RiverSports in Knoxville will allow you to rent or demo any of their kayaks. I knew wind would certainly be a factor. So do you do a lot of solo fishing? If so, (dumb question) do you just paddle back upstream to your put in point after you are done fishing? This will be a purchase I make in the future. I know that the upfront expense for the kayak and accessories is not cheap but will last a long time. I am excited because like you said there is a ton of good water close to me. I hope other members take the time to chime in as well. Thanks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Seymour, TN
    Posts
    1,482

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    Quote Originally Posted by schimbo7 View Post
    Thanks Troutman. You were one of the members I was hoping would comment on my post. Great info...thank you. As far as kayaks....I am looking hard at the pursuit, predator, feel free and diablos models. At this point I have not demoed any models. But your post has certainly encourage me to. I know that RiverSports in Knoxville will allow you to rent or demo any of their kayaks. I knew wind would certainly be a factor. So do you do a lot of solo fishing? If so, (dumb question) do you just paddle back upstream to your put in point after you are done fishing? This will be a purchase I make in the future. I know that the upfront expense for the kayak and accessories is not cheap but will last a long time. I am excited because like you said there is a ton of good water close to me. I hope other members take the time to chime in as well. Thanks!
    Uncle Lems in Knoxville also demos their Jackson line on kayaks and they actually carry a full line of yak attack accessories in house. I drove over to Caney Fork Outdoors on the other side of Cookville for their spring kayak demo day. They had about 50 boats to demo that day on Center Hill lake. Check with Riversports to see if they are doing anymore demo days this year.
    90% of the time I am fishing solo, but have kayak fished with CinciVol, and my Son, wife and daughter. My wife and I go quite often. She does not fish, just paddles with the dog. I have plans to fish with several of the guys from ETKA.
    I do paddle upstream a lot and fish back to the launch and also float downstream and paddle back up. A good example of both would be a recent trip to the FB. I put in at 7 island kelly lane access and paddled upstream a few miles to the islands golf course and fished around it and floated back . another would be putting in at 7 islands mutton hollow access and floated down and then paddling back up. you have to get out and drag back through the shoals at times, so make sure you have a 10-12 ft piece of rope to clip to the bow handle for this. I also do float trips where we drop a vehicle off at the takeout and drive the other up to the launch.
    The initial purchase is high and the accessories can be also. I am pretty minimalist but do try to buy good quality gear that last. Don't skimp on your PFD. It is state law that you have one on the kayak within reach. I always wear mine and suggest you do as well. Things can happen quickly and you sooner or later turnover. practice deep water bale outs and getting back on the kayak, so you know how if it happens. Look at how many people have drowned this summer from not having a lifejacket on. Keep a basic first aid and TP in your drybag. I had to remove treble hooks from another fisherman this summer on the river. He had a treble hooked through his hand and the other hooks caught in his lifejacket. I had to remove the hooks and then clean up the wounds and bandage his hand. TP, Well that is self explanatory when out on the water!
    I know you are looking for open deck space for the flyline , but also look at how you will store your extra gear within reach. Fly boxes can be lost easily if not secured, along with your extra rod and lunch. large opening access hatches are great, for drybags and an extra rod tube and reel. I always have two rods, usually a 6 and 8wts. I use one of those waterproof lexan storage boxes to keep my tippet , extra leaders, and car keys in. It is on a lanyard attached to the boat. I glued a 6mm sheet foam to the lid to serve as a drying patch for flies as needed. you want to make sure if you flip the boat, all your gear is not just floating down the river. I also carry a small emergency paddle stowed in case the kayak paddle gets loose or breaks.
    Man , I could go on and on....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Newport, TN
    Posts
    36

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    Troutman, You have been a wealth of knowledge. Thanks again.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,351

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    Having seen Troutmans rig I would take all his suggestions. His is done right and set up perfectly

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