Eventuel newbie on yakking
Fly fishing the salt out of an SOT looks very exciting. But how do you guys do it ?
I have seen SOT's being used for fishing, but not fly fishing. The people I spoke to mentioned that spin fishing was great out of the SOT but fly fishing was very impractical. To me too it seems like difficult to say the least (e.g. if only to remain stationary in a current for example) Still you guys seem to do fine. I don't have any experience with fishing out of a kayak. U-boats work fine for me but for SWFF these are hardly suited. So a SOT or a sturdy pontoon (with small engine) would be a possibility. What's the "secret" to fly fishing out of an SOT ?
Don't know anything about it but do have a web address that might help you get pointed some kind of direction.
I have been salt water fly fishing with a SOT for about ten years. I say "with" because I usually do not fish out of the kayak. I use the kayak to paddle to a flat or a point. Then I tie a leash around my waist or beach the kayak and start sight fishing or fishing whatever the situation presents. Sometimes the water is deep and I fish from the kayak. I do this maybe 30% of the time. Particularly in the fall when blue fish are busting. (I still have not gotten use to trying to unhook a blue fish while sitting on a sit on top kayak when a few minutes earlier the blue fish has jumped three feet in the air and is now looking at my lap). The rest of the time (70%) I get off my kayak. The beauty of a SOT is that you can get on and off quite easily even with waders on. Often I paddle in the kayak to find fish. Then I get out and start fly casting. I can't count the times that I have "found" fish by trolling a fly while going to a destination. Its great exercize and you see a whole new world below you and around you. enjoy the paddle.
I fly fish out of mine all the time and think its not to much different at all from spin fishing, except for the pile of line that accumulates on my lap. Casting out of it is pretty simple, and I find long distance casts are usually not needed as you can get pretty close in the Yak. Also, its great for when its time to move the yak. Zip a cast out behind , put the rod in a holder and start paddling. The "trolled fly" has caught many a fish on its own!
A bit of both for me.
I use mine a lot for access to flats and then wade fish but I also fish from it in certain areas - particularly shallow estuary mudflats where wading is not an option. The great thing about this type of area is the Kayak is the only viable means of access and as Nick said, long distance casts are not required. I sometimes drift across a shallow water area looking for fish and then anchor and wade or fish from "the boat".
Thanks guys for your replies.
Last friday I tried it for the first time at sea, together with a friend of mine. He is more experienced with the SOT.
We had a strong current along the coastline, going north. Fishing was manageable but compared to flyfishing out of a U-boat I found time spent on fishing was less and on managing the kayak more, but this is of course mainly due to my inexperience. These things do get blown away easily, especially if the wind and current work together. Getting back against the current was something different. We did manage but it puts an extra dimension into flyfishing. If I do this more regularly I will be able to cast effortless with #12 rods ;)
Although I did not catch anything that day it was great fun to do. I will keep your advise in mind next time and look for shallow water to fish wading and just troll on the way.
Things to consider
I have had my yak (Tarpon 140) for about a year and with work and all, have been able to go ouut abouut a dozen times. Here's what I have found from fly fishing in this thing. Keep in mind that I am in Oahu and mainly use it to transit the flats.
1. Lower point of view. As long as you're quiet in your paddling, you'll generally be within 10 feet of fish before you see them. Have your rod at the ready with some line stripped out. I have my stripping basket up on the bow by my feet.
2. Time to troll. Some spots take a while to get to. Might as well troll something behind you (plug on a spinning rod).
3. Wait about 6-9 months after you buy your yak before you put stuff on it. The fewer holes in you yak, the better. Do yourself a favor and get some of the bungees with plastic hooks (K-Mart sells these in the automotive dept). These things are invaluable in use (sticking a rod/extra paddle under the tensioned line).
4. If you're paddling around areas with shallow rocks or coral, buy one of those small paddles (aluminum pole, hard black plastic blade). I spent too much on my good paddle to use it to push myself off coral heads, un-beach myself, ding on something hard.
5. Buy a rubberized anchor. These things scoot fairly fast when you're not in them. I don't want to be THAT GUY that chases his yak across a flat.
6. Rudders...up to you. I like mine, but then again, it is a rudder system that isn't the recommended one from Wilderness Systems.
7. I like having an open tank well in the stern vice a dry-storage compartment (think old WS Tarpon 160). Easier access to some stuff I bring, like the cooler. It also serves as the seat for my 6-year old when he comes out with me.
7. You mentioned casting. Sometimes, I remove the back-rest and sit in the area just aft of the actual seat. Line is coiled in the seat portion and when I see a fish, I'm able to straddle the yak, make a cast and end up scaring the bonefish anyway. I'm working on it, but I've only done this method twice since returning.
Just as with anything, it takes a few times to learn the hows, whats, and what not to do's.
Thanks for keeping us up to date on your discoveries, although I've learned many of these lessons already your path through this reinforces things I've learned and teaches me new things as well.
Good to hear from you again. Are you targeting Hawaiian bonefish?
Affirm. There is a nice flat on some military property that is close by the house. I have been successful at hooking the smaller ones that cruise by the drop-off, however the larger ones (#12+) are very skittish. I'll post more in the Bonefish forum....
I too fly fish out of a v-boat - tube - I also now own an OK Prowler 13.
To fly fish out of it is really easy. All I do sit cross saddle- that’s both my feet - (in waders its cold out here in the UK) over the one side.
I normally fish a 10-6" Mieser switch. By sitting sideways with my back resting on the seat - I can strip the line into the leg wells. No hang up's - long or short casting comes easy.
Doing over head casting helps, Saves fanning around double hauling all day.
Stability - No problem –even in rougher water fishing like this - the Prowler is a really stable yak - plus its dry - has a slightly higher centre of gravity than most yaks. Mine doesn’t have a rudder, but with a sock - you can control you drift well over most situations.
Yak Fishing is taking off in this country - soon there will be a small flotilla heading out every weekend.
I am addicted to kayak fishing at this point. But keep in mind that I have caught tons of fish from the kayak this week. I am on cloud 9 after a great day yesterday and a good day today.
Anyway, I used to find fly casting from a yak to be a bit of a challenge. But I started in a very old whitewater kayak with a small cockpit. When I bought a new yak (both sit in kayaks not sit on tops) with a bigger cockpit I was much better off. The bottom of the boat (between my knees) is my new stripping basket. Line tangles are not an issue.
And I fully agree that you can get very close to fish in the yak without spooking them. So I leave the He-Man casts at home and rely on shorter casts with a focus on fly turn-over and fly placement (close to rocks etc).
And when in the yak you can get close to some pretty rocky areas that larger boats cannot touch. This can be handy when fishing for stripers.
I also really rely on my paddle clips. Having a place to stash your paddle is a plus. When the paddle is secured to the side of the boat you do not have to worry about it. Oh and buy a paddle leash. If you ever let go of your paddle and it falls over the side while you are fighting a fish then you will be happy that you have one. I made a great leash out of one of those plastic golf balls with holes in it and some nylon cord.
Ditto on the success of trolling the fly. I caught a nice striper this morning on the troll just before sunrise on a gummy minnow. After catching that fish I cast to some rocks nearby and caught a few more fish as well.
And finally, I do have some experience fly fishing in a major river here in NH (mouth of the Piscataqua). While fly fishing in very strong current while in the yak is not ideal I will say that this river is pretty wild and wooly yet there are areas of swirling eddy like current that offer some relief for the yak bound angler. When in these eddy areas my kayak really does not drift and I can still drop a fly into the raging rips and do the deep swing that can produce some decent fish here in the NE salt.
One last thing: if you are physically hauling the yak long distances when getting it to the water or to your car, especially across pavement, then forking over the $60 - $100 for a 2 wheeled kayak carrier (bungees onto one end of your yak) can save you a lot of effort.
I used to simply use the yak to access remote sand bars and such. But when the fish are schooled up and busting bait I love fishing from my little plastic kayak.
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