Showing posts from August, 2011

They keep running but not into my net.

I have fishing the Columbia recently from the kayak in hopes of landing a king. The numbers are up and down but recently the king numbers are climbing while the steelhead are declining. Looks like this is going to be a good year for the steelhead, especially above Bonneville and The Dalles dams.

The highs and lows of hooking a fish while kayak fly angling

When I started fly fishing from my kayak, one of the first fish I hooked was a steelhead. Anchored in the Columbia River in my little Old Town Otter, the excitement was short lived as I set the hook, felt the rod bend and quickly lost the fish. I hooked two more that day and lost both. Another challenge to overcome.  What I realized that day is that the fish don't react the same way as they do when fishing from land or even from a boat. It may be because the leverage you have on the fish is different in a kayak than in other situations. On land, your feet are firmly planted on the ground (unless you slip and fall and, if you are lucky, you'll have a River Runs Through It experience). In a boat, there is some movement, but not much unless you hook a big fish and  happen to be in a little boat. In a kayak, there is usually a lot of movement and keeping the line tight is tricky especially when fishing with barbless hooks. Compounding the situation is that, rarely does a fish run

My kayaks

Here are photos of my kayaks starting from the little blue Otter, which was modified significantly, to the Future Beach Trophy and the Heritage Redfish 10. All were modified in some manner from their original state, primarily the addition of the anchor trolly and rod holder. The most difficult thing for me is drilling a hole in a kayak.  However, after the first one, I tell myself "it doesn't matter anymore," and I drill some more.   My kayaks

Learning to fish

Fishing from a kayak is different from almost any other type of watercraft. I have fished from boats, canoes, float tubes and pontoon boats. The one thing they have in common with most boats is that when you get a strike when trolling, you have momentum that helps set the hook and helps maintain a tight line through the fight and to the netting. The kayak is similar because as you paddle you have the same momentum as the other boats. However, when you get a strike, you stop paddling, lose the momentum and then, as you strip the line in, the boat is typically light enough to start turning towards the fish, thus increasing the chance for slack line. Adding more fun, are the piles of line that are being stripped in the boat increasing the chance that the line will catch on something if the fish takes a big run.  Needless to say, there is a lot going on when you kayak fly fish. In later posts, I will offer more tips on how keep those lines tight.

Let's get started!

Fishing is my single greatest passion outside my family. I fish nearly every weekend and if I am not fishing, I am thinking about fishing. I primarily fly fish but, as I explain in my other blog, Frugalflyfishing , I like all types of fishing. My interest in kayak fishing started when I bought my wife a kayak. I have a fishing boat but the family doesn't like getting up at dawn to sit in a boat and hope for a fish. So, I bought a canoe which sat on the side of the house with little use. When I pointed this out to my wife, she said should would rather have a kayak. So I sold the canoe and bought a 17-foot sea kayak for Christmas. During one of those cold, wet winter days, I was looking at the kayak thinking how useless a single kayak would be for family outings. So I cruised Craigslist and found two small Old Town Otter kayaks my son and I could use when we all went kayaking. Spring came and went and we took the kayaks out once. Summer was about half over when I realized family