That feeling of being alone… There is something inside of us that varies from person to person; heck, even moment to moment. That moment alone, by yourself; what will happen if you had all the power to succeed in your hands? No one to blame, no one to count on, just you, your fly rod, a paddle, and the world.
That in itself is what drew my curiosity. For me, fly fishing is about the challenge. Essentially, to make something as difficult as possible, purposely, and then succeed. It’s that moment of accomplishment that makes me a fly angler; isn’t that why most of us do this?
When fishing on a skiff, there is a bond created by the angler and the person poling; together, they can achieve their goals for the day. But if one person isn’t holding up their end of the bargain, it can make for a long day on the water. Some of my best days on the water are with a select few specific people. We just understand each other on a boat, which in turn translates to some great adventures. You know how that person like’s the boat when approaching tailing fish, cruising fish; and in turn, they know the same about you.
Then, there are the people that are great anglers in their own right, but you guys just don’t quite sync up. You know who I am talking about; the guy’s who have success when fishing with other buddies, you have success when fishing with other buddies too. But when you two go out and fish together, it’s always a slow day. You see fish, but they just aren’t eating well, the fish are extra spooky, but it’s always the case when you fish with that one person.
All of this can easily be eliminated. Fly fish from a SUP! When fishing on a SUP (stand up paddle board) you can go out in a group, yet still be alone. It gives you that little bit of space and disconnect from the person you are fishing with. Disconnect from those around you, and you will connect with the fish on another level. You do your thing, they do their thing. Yes, there is a big challenge in fishing on a SUP, but you can only hold yourself accountable. You will be tested immediately. How do I put the paddle down, grab the fly rod, while maintaining a visual of the fish and making a cast before it’s too late? After a few trips, you’ll start to figure out what works best for YOU.
Disconnect from those around you, and you will connect with the fish on another level.
Everyone is different. Everyone’s comfort and ability levels vary. What works for me, might not work for you, and vice versa. I have tried out different “solo fishing vessels” throughout the years; I have found the best that work for me and my adventures. I have been fishing the Live Watersports L2Fish for two years now, and don’t know how I fished anything else before these.
They are the most stable, easiest to maneuver paddle craft I have ever fished. With the paddle-crafts I fished before this, there was always a compromise. One was super fast and light weight, but it had nowhere to attach things, and was super tippy. It was also extremely fragile, cracking in several places. Then there was the other hybrid SUP-YAK’s which were super stable, had plenty of space for storage and attachments, but paddling was like trying to walk through thigh deep mud; extremely slow and difficult, and they were extremely heavy. The L2Fish has been a nice merge of all things right. It’s not the lightest (coming in at around 48lbs) but it’s built like a tank, paddles better than the ultralight boards, tracks incredibly, yet super stable like the bigger heavier yak-counterpart, while still being able to pick it up under my shoulder and carry it to the water by myself. Another great thing is that it is completely outfitted with YakAttack’s GearTracks to mount as many accessories as you need to be comfortable for a day of solo-fishing. I have made adjustments as to how I rig it out every few trips, and that’s part of the fun. Find a set up that I think will work, some work out great, while others don’t; so I just make adjustments my next trip. I do this all for the sake of efficiency when fishing on my own. The connection I feel when I paddle to a fish, make a cast and come tight, is like nothing else.
The connection I feel when I paddle to a fish, make a cast and come tight, is like nothing else.
It’s no coincidence I have caught more black drum on a paddle board than I have on a skiff.
Fly fishing from a paddle board isn’t for the faint of heart. It will be difficult; it will be a lot of hard work. But trust me, if you like a challenge, challenge yourself to catch fish on a paddle board. You will thank me for it!
Until next time!