Chasing fish on Black Friday while I initiate my $250 kayak

While most of the country was chasing deals on Black Friday I was chasing fish.

For a couple years now, Washington state has closed a handful of lakes the week of Thanksgiving and stocked them with larger trout. The lakes and ponds open on Black Friday providing a chance to skip the shopping crowds and catch some fish.

I was looking forward to the day because if offered the chance to catch some nice trout while initiating my $250 fly fishing kayak.

My destination was Kress Lake outside Kalama. There were a couple small lakes close to Portland but because I had never fished Kress, I decided it would be a perfect location to spend a couple hours while testing my latest kayak project.

I woke up a little later than expected and drank my coffee while watching the rain poor down. Oh well, I thought to myself, it was the Northwest and I had everything to stay dry. Besides, the rain may reduce the number of anglers on the water.

I loaded up the kayak and within 90 minutes was on the lake. Within five minutes of launching I was on a nice trout. The next one took about 40 minutes to catch but after that I was hooking into them consistently. I say hooking because I lost several while paddling forward but failing to keep tension on the line because the kayak turned towards the fish while stripping in the line.

This was the primary reason I bought a Hobie. I decided I would try paddling backwards. Within a couple minutes I had the hang of it. For the next hour and a half I hooked and released four fish and was able to keep the line taught during the strike and the fight.

The longer I stayed out, the heavier the rain came down and after half an hour in a constant rain, it was time to head home. I was able to easily haul the 40 pound kayak back to the Escape and toss it on the roof racks before getting out of my drysuit.

Overall the day was great. I learned some new water that was close to home, caught some fish and had a new appreciation for the paddle kayak.

But don't expect to me to give up the Hobies.

Check out the video on Kress Lake (above) or click here for the recap on my $250 kayak.

And if you are thinking about getting into kayak fly fishing, quit thinking about it and get into it. Christmas is here. and spring is right around the corner.

Go Farther. Catch More.


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