As anglers, we’ve all been in a situation where we think to ourselves, “Man, I wish I had a boat to reach inaccessible/un-wadeable areas of this river/stream.” Granted, there are many waterways where boats aren’t necessary, but in certain waters, having a boat is absolutely key to fooling fish. Kayaks are easily one of the most portable watercraft in the industry and can be a lot of fun to fish from. Along with the positives, there are also a few downsides to fishing in a stream/river with a kayak. While diving deep into the concept of kitting out our kayak, we found a few DIY tips and tricks to improve your kayak fly fishing experience!
As anglers, we all know that it can be very difficult to cast out of a kayak, especially sit-inside kayaks. If you are looking to get into kayak fly fishing, it is advised to get a sit on top kayak, as this will improve comfort and accessibility. Although sit on top kayaks are easier to use, they can still be tough to cast from. A key tip that will improve your ability to cast and land fish, is to invest in a pair of knee pads. Having knee pads gives anglers the ability to kneel comfortably with fewer restrictions when it comes to casting. Another key benefit to most sit on top kayaks is the ability to stand. If you are familiar with Drew Ross (@looknfishy) on Instagram, he is a very talented kayak fly fisherman who utilizes the ability to stand and fish. Incorporating these tactics on the water will provide more comfort and enhance your ability to catch fish!
Truth be known, kayaks are compact and can be tight when it comes to space. Kayak anglers require extra gear for safety during lengthy trips on the water. This gear can cause issues when it comes to managing your fly line between casts. Traditional stripping baskets can be shockingly expensive but we have an inexpensive and simple solution for you. Head over to your local hardware store and pick up a tarp of any size or material. With the tarp, cover all of the gear in the front of your kayak and tuck one end in your life vest or waders if you’re wearing them. This will create a slight ramp and will prevent your line from getting wrapped around loose gear!