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FishHawk 09-10-2006 08:06 AM

Fly casting for your yak.
So I'm curious, do most of you use your yak for trolling, getting to point A from B or do you fly cast and fish out of the yak. I troll until I see busting fish and then cast to them . Normally this isn't a problem but in the conditions I was in lately it was rather difficult to fly cast and control the yak in confused seas.
Also, in your response please tell in your in a sink or SOT. Thanks FishHawk:smokin:

Adrian 09-10-2006 08:32 AM

SOT for me (WS Tarpon 160 old style).

I use the yak for transportation and as a fishing platform. I don't troll very much since I usually have a destination in mind when I get started. If I was fishing a brand new area I probably would since its a good way to cover alot of water and narrow down the search.

If I'm fishing from a drifting yak, I use a drift-sock (sea anchor or drogue). This makes a huge difference, especially for flyfishing. I use the same rig I use to adjust my anchor line. The sock slows down the drfit allowing a good presentation with flies and also helps stabilize the direction of the drift.

doogue 09-10-2006 09:10 AM

Necky Zoar Sport

I fly cast from the yak and I don't use a drift sock. However, perhaps mostly because I don't use the sock, I limit fly casting from the yak to generally protected areas (in terms of current and waves).

For example, when I fish the big water of the Piscataqua River there is no time to mess around with fly lines. I hide behind structure (sitting with the yak in the lee of the current) and spin cast into the rips. It can be a little dangerous out there and I need to be able to cut my line if a huge fish pulls me into certain rips (tough to cut off a trophy but even tougher to cut loose a trophy and a fly line!).

My favorite spot to blind cast with flies is in the open Atlantic but on the shore side of a long rocky point that curves out into the Ocean. The point acts like a jetty to slow down my drift and knock down the waves. Then, when I see busting fish (fairly often this time of year) I paddle like hell over to them and fish. The trick for me when I stop to fish is to paddle backwards and away from the fish before the 1st cast. Otherwise I am still drifting into the fish when I strip and I furiously watch bass eat my fly but cannot connect!

I also fish in Hampton Harbor (NH) but in that case I usually beach the yak on a sandbar and fish from the bar. But when I blind cast from the yak in the harbor it is fun and very doable. I don't mind fishing in current but confused seas are a pain in the butt.

That is just my experience. And I like my SINK!


FishHawk 09-11-2006 06:58 AM

Both good tips. Mike I never thought of paddling backwards , sounds like that is the answer. Your right about cutting the line if your headed for trouble. I was in situation where the seas were confused and it was kinda of tricky to handle the yak and cast at the same time. The rush of busting fish makes you forget that your in a yak. Things change rather quickly out there and I had to leave busting fish to get back in . I also have a sink. FishHawk

Dble Haul 09-11-2006 08:06 AM

I have a Tarpon 140 SOT, and with the exception of the drift sock you can pretty much ditto what Adrian said for me too.

Sean Juan 09-12-2006 07:20 AM

I have a SOT. One tactic I like is to sit side saddle with your legs dangling in the water. This creates some drag and slows you down a bit. Then the presentation is to cast "upstream" let the fly sink till you are about parallel to it and start the retrieve. I have also used a drag anchor (just a length of chain) but found it to be only useful when you have a long drift to make otherwise its a pain.


How does the drift sock work in a heavy current? I was under the impression that it was a tool for slowing you down if the wind is pushing you. How big of a sock do you use?



Adrian 09-12-2006 02:36 PM

SJ - the sock is 12" diameter. I've never used it in serious current but there have been times when current in opposition to wind direction has allowed me to remain stationary over feeding fish :smokin:

If the wind is light and I want to cover a lot of water I dont deploy it. Once I locate fish though, I wouldn't be without it. Being able to cast downwind and stay in contact with the fly without stripping like a maniac makes for a comfortable day.

In addition to slowing down the drift, I can also adjust the direction by altering the position with a sliding pulley system - forward/aft. I should note that my "pulley" system doesn't include any pulleys - just a loop of very stout nylon strung between a couple of eyelets at the stern and just forward of midships. About as cheap a setup as you could get - but it works.

doogue 09-12-2006 09:55 PM

Bottom line...
You know,

The more I kayak fish (with the fly) the more I find that I really only dislike one aspect of SWFF from the yak: stripping the fly

I find 2 main issues with the strip:
1. I cannot make long strips based on the allowed travel of my arm and the kayak cockpit in my SINK.

2. I always whack my hand into said cockpit.

For anyone evaluating a kayak for SWFF I would consider how you will handle the need for the good long, shock and stop strip needed in some SWFF environs.

My $0.02.


Dble Haul 09-13-2006 07:53 AM

Doogue, for the reasons that you list in your last post I have gone almost exclusively to the two-handed retrieve while fishing from the kayak. It's fairly easy to overcome drift, and it's very easy to set the hook with a strip set using both hands.

It's not my favorite retrieval method, but it really comes into its own when on the kayak.

FishHawk 09-14-2006 08:40 AM

I have no problems with stripping the fly. When I feel up to it I use a half size spray skirt which acts like a stripping basket.

Sean Juan 09-19-2006 03:32 PM


I'll have to give that a shot - I have a similar pulley system (I copied Dble Hauls) and a 12" sock seems like it would be a lot easier to deal with than a 5lb anchor and chain. Just having a fixed length of rope alone makes it a very attractive idea.


One other tactic you may want to try are circle hooks. They aren't perfect for every situation but they do give you a lot more leeway when it comes to hooking fish especially when drifting a fly through a current. The two handed retrieve is probably your best bet.

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