We’ve featured quite a few articles on how to choose a kayak paddle but we haven’t touched on kayak fishing paddles, till now.
It’s true that almost every regular kayak paddle can be used when fishing from a kayak, however in today’s age of specialization, there are nuances that you should pay attention to for the optimum choice of a kayak fishing paddle.
Jeff Little, regional pro staff director for the Wilderness Systems Fishing Team, released a video that shows you the different designs and their pros and cons as well as discussing the quality levels of the paddles that are on the market.
If you are new to fly fishing or want to keep up to date with new information, then you should check out the video series, Fly Fishing From The Ground Up. Jeff Carmichael, a very active fly fisherman and part time writer, has put the series together in an effort to help out novices and even advanced fly casters. Jeff loves to fly fish from a float tube, but the information covered in this series applies to whatever method of fly fishing you prefer.
The series is broken down into six parts, covering the basics, as Jeff puts it, “from the ground up” starting at the fly fisherman’s feet with wading boots. Here is a synopsis of each of the videos and links to Jeff’s blog where you can watch the video and read the additional information that he provides
1. Wading Boots – The do’s and don’ts, what, where and why to buy a particular type and some additional information about the trend to ban felt boots in many states.
2. Waders – Which waders will keep you dry and warm and why they work the way they do. Jeff also looks at the technology of waders from neoprene to breathables.
3. Wading Belts & Safety – How a good wading belt can save you life and why you should use one. Also a few tips on safety in general when fly fishing.
4. Fishing Vests – For a fly fisherman, a fishing vest is essentially their tackle box. Jeff checks out a few vests and talks about fanny packs, fishing packs and lanyards.
5. Clothing For Fly Fishing – What’s crucial in keeping you dry and warm or dry and cool depending on the season. You’ll learn about jackets, rain gear and other clothing that goes beyond whatever fashion statement you want to make while landing those lunkers.
6. Additional Accessories – Jeff started at the feet and ends up with the head. He’ll talk about the proper hat for protection and functionality as well as other accessories such as gloves and stripping guides to wrap up the series.
Jeff is very personable, passionate and most importantly, very knowledgeable about fly fishing. His favorite quote about the sport is from an unknown author … “The reason I fly fish for trout is because they live in such beautiful places.” I think you’ll enjoy the Fly Fishing From The Ground Up video series. It’s a must for beginners and enlightening for anyone who has been fly fishing for awhile.
No matter where you fish from, the shore, a dock, a float tube, pontoon, kayak or a $50,000 bass boat, sometimes you want to save the memory of landing that lunker with a photograph. It’s especially crucial for fishermen who practice ‘catch and release’. It’s tough to brag about the ‘big one’ when all you have is your word, which sometimes can be interpreted as simply a “fish story”.
Taking good pictures can be difficult. Not because it’s hard to take a “simple” picture. It isn’t. But in order to take a “good” picture you need to make some observations of the environment and do a little planning.
No matter what the subject of your photos is, the same principles apply. The subject needs to be the main image you see, the amount of light shouldn’t wash out or put the subject in a shadow and, of course, you shouldn’t move the camera and blur the shot.
All of that is the basic stuff, however there are a few tips that pertain specifically to taking pictures of fish that you might want to check out. An article that was featured in a previous “Paddle The World” newsletter, features 15 tips on how to take better fish photos. Check it out and next time you land that lunker, you can capture the ‘proof’ for those ‘fish story’ doubters.
By Sam Wright
It is four in the morning, and I have never seen the boys so excited. I was excited, too, since it was the first time I was going fishing with my sons. We borrowed a larger inflatable fishing boat and extra life jackets for my two sons. We are heading out on an adventure. Our plans entail a short road trip to our local dam that has some of the best crappie fishing around. My buddy Tom wouldn’t eat a crappie. He is sure it is beneath his refined taste, and he brags of his expertise fishing skills and his luck with bass. I, however, am pretty sure I am easily as good a fisherman as my pal Tom, and my taste buds sure like a good cornbread battered crappie.
Riding to the dam, I decided I needed to educate the boys so they would learn to appreciate this time. “Boys,” I said, “Zane Grey, my favorite outdoors writer, once stated, every fishing water has its secrets. A river or a lake is not a dead thing. It has beauty, wisdom and content. And to yield up these mysteries it must be fished with more than hooks and for more than fish. Strange things happen to the inquiring fisherman. Nature meets him halfway on his adventure.”
My little guy spoke up, “Daddy, will there be mysteries like aliens? Is that the strange things that we will see today?”
“Not likely son, Mr. Grey most likely meant that we need to pay attention to all the noises, all the sights, all the smells, and all the animals. You will see and hear things today you probably have never seen or heard before. Watch for that.”
My oldest son eagerly interjected, “I saw frogs and a turtle the last time I got to go fishing.”
The conversation continued as the boys imagined all sorts of varmints and critters they might spot today. The boys asked me why I liked to go fishing, and that took me back to my dad and grandfather, and the rest of the trip they listened intently as I told them of other fishing trips. They understood this was a family tradition that someday they would pass on to their children. Pride and smiles flourished as much as the new fishermen’s souls that were being cultivated.
We arrived and I showed the boys how I picked out the best spot. We looked at the clarity of the water, the type of cover, and even the temperature of the lake. If the water is warmer, the fish are more likely to be closer to the surface. If the water is clear they also are also more likely to not be as deep. Continuing to enlighten their fishing minds, I explained that in murky waters, the fish are more likely to be tighter together as their visibility is decreased. Understanding the season is important as well. As the season gets warmer, the fish migrate to shallow protected bays and coves. They will eventually spawn in these areas.
“Dad, what is spawning?”
Answering my oldest son, “That is when fish make babies.”
“Oh,” my son continued, “Dad, how did you learn all this stuff?”
“Many trips with grandpa and you will learn by many trips with me.”
“That sure sounds good. I like learning all this stuff. Do you think I will catch a fish today?”
“Son, we never know, but we sure hope we each catch many fish. If not, there is always another day.”
Arriving, unpacking and getting on the lake went quicker than expected. I was surprised how quickly the inflatable boat pumped up with only a small foot pump. This was a bigger boat than I had used before and it worked out very well. The boys eagerly followed instructions and baited hooks. Then we waited. Waiting proved to be the hardest element for the boys, but we found that a few stories helped to pass the time. In the middle of one of my yarns, the littlest boy got a bite. Instructions flew as the little guy hung on and was a real trouper. He listened well, and with a little help, he reeled in the first fish of the day. “What is it,” he screamed. “Son, you have your first crappie and he will be mighty tasty for tonight’s dinner.”
Hours passed before another fish was boated. Thankfully, my older boy got a bite. The little guy was issuing instructions like the new found pro, and luckily it was one of those days when the older brother kept his mouth shut and let the little guy beam with his pride of his new knowledge as the ‘expert fisherman.’ Both boys landing a fish made it the perfect day on the lake.
The author, Sam Wright is Kentucky born and bred. Sam lives with his wife and two sons and often enjoys the many lakes and rivers in his beautiful state. Sam occasionally writes about his adventures and enjoys sharing his journeys.
Fishing season is getting into full swing and, if you’re a fly fisherman, you’ll probably be interested in this new blog … FlyFishingWithJeff.com.
The blog is written by Jeff Carmichael, an avid and very successful fly fisherman. Jeff’ has been fishing since he was a kid and over the years has accumulated a vault of information and techniques that he’s decided to share with his fellow fishermen and women.
Jeff purchased a float tube a few years ago and enjoyed fishing from it so much that he wrote an article about float tube fishing for us. We published it in our monthly newsletter. Recently Jeff and I were talking about his desire for sharing his knowledge about fly fishing and decided to launch the new blog.
So far there’s only been a few posts, however, with the season upon us, Jeff will be posting regular reports on his fishing trips, as well as fly fishing tips, product reviews and sometime in the near future some “how to” videos.
Check out FlyFishingWithJeff.com. I think you’ll enjoy the reading and, most importantly, benefit from his extensive knowledge of fly fishing.