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Fishing from Kayaks and Canoes New Topic Printer Friendly Version

  Fly Fishing from a canoe
  Posted by: bangorme on Aug-30-13 5:53 PM (EST)

Keep in mind, that I'm a flat water level canoer. So I'm out fly fishing from my canoe, and I'm fishing over the bow. All of a sudden I get into some crazy harmonic and it's bottoms up! First time ever. Not really a problem, since I'm in Maine and I was the only one on the river (no embarrassment). But, here is my question: Which seat do you cast from when you fly fish? I was sitting in the stern seat facing the bow.

Second, anyone ever use an anchor when fly fishing? What did you use.

Thanks for the help.

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Messages in this Topic


  Canoe anchor
  Posted by: Djo on Aug-30-13 11:13 PM (EST)
I have spent a few thousand hours fly fishing from a canoe and never had that happen. I bet it was a bit of a thrill.

It is important to have your anchors off of either the bow or stern. If you have them over the side in the middle there is an excellence chance you will swim home. I use a double anchor system with one off of each end. You will need to have a loop to run the anchor rope through. I installed U bolts but have seen carabiners used. You then need to run the ropes to where you are sitting. I hold them with a spring clamp which makes it very easy to reset them as needed. The double anchor systems helps to keep the boat from swinging in the wind.

The nature of fly fishing is to keep moving. You will want to rig your anchors so that they are easy to raise and lower as you will do it a lot. I made my anchors our of five lbs of copper coated bird shot in a small nylon stuff sack. It is quiet when it hits bottom and does not scar the canoe when it is halted up and held against the hull. A friend uses a rubber coated dumbbell and an ankle weight.
  Solo in a tandem canoe?
  Posted by: Steve_in_Idaho on Aug-31-13 10:02 PM (EST)
The stern seat is the most unstable place to be - unless you have enough ballast in the other end of the boat to trim it level. You were sitting in the narrowest part of the canoe. With no ballast to trim the boat, you are trying to balance your weight and the weight of the boat (some of that elevated from the water) on a short and narrow waterline.

You need to have the boat trimmed more level to get the best stability. Either sit in the bow seat facing the stern, kneel just behind the center....or do what I do - stand up just behind the center. In a typical recreational tandem, standing near the middle is quite stable, since the boat is trimmed more even and you are in the widest part of the boat.

And of course - you could also just add ballast ahead of center to trim the boat flat while you sit in the rear seat (if you must), but that still won't be as stable as sitting closer to the center.

No - I do not use an anchor when fly-fishing. I would rather drift.
  Posted by: Bernie/cny on Sep-01-13 8:07 AM (EST)
would just add a center seat set as low as is comfortable for you.
  I sit in the stern seat ....
  Posted by: pilotwingz on Sep-01-13 4:47 PM (EST)
....... she sits in the bow .

If alone I'd have ballast in the bow . I like the way the canoe handles solo from the stern w.ballast in the bow .

I don't fly fish but I do stand up and cast all over the place . Only once did I "almost" fall out . Stepped the wrong way not thinking and near lost my ballance .

I anchor when I want to , don't anchor when I don't want to .
  Posted by: Big_D on Sep-02-13 9:51 PM (EST)

Bow anchor. Never in much current either. As you've learned, it doesn't take much pressure from current to make dangerous things happen.

Sit as close to center as you can when soloing in a tandem. Depending on your boat model, you can get snap in seats or something like a clip in hammock sort of seat. A lot of people flip the boat and sit 'backwards' in the bow seat (which is now the stern).

Also instead of an anchor, if you are fishing in mild current, then a drag chain may work for to just slow you down some. Hang a drag chain off the stern. It'll keep you bow down stream and moving slowly, allowing for some nice long drifts.
  let's see mentioned
  Posted by: bigspencer on Oct-16-13 12:25 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Oct-16-13 3:05 PM EST --

...forget that thought...;-) I'm already ramblin'.
Either sit in the middle or towards the tailend(with cargo in front)...but wherever, get the weight evened out...which is #Basic Paddling 101.
Anchor: Useful up on ponds/bogs up north as there's often a bit of wind..and very helpful when you want to stay on the edge of a springhole. Drifting into one can often spook trout, especially the larger ones. Some manufactured weights are fine and some are hooks, but I always worry about those hanging on bottom on something solid...maybe just $.02 of needless worry. You can usually find a rock or two around the shoreline, but when I used to flyfish a lot I bought & emptied a couple of coffee cans, one large...and other..a smaller one for additional weight. Fill them with concrete and add a ring in each for easy attaching of rope.
*EDIT: Agree with stability in a to grab some foam and cut yourself(or have Dave@SkiRackSports cut you) a WW-canoe "pedestal"(seat)...and glue it to a thin foam square which will sit you on the hull floor, wherever you want. Grab some foam for kneepads...but sitting on the pedestal doesn't make you knee...just use them to adjust your balance. You can get up high enough for bent knee comfort & casting comfort...just my preferred, but I've set on stock seats & flyfished for years. Yeah, the more you sit towards midships...the more stable.
There are no rules, just stay safe and prepared for the worst of weather = strong winds can often pick up towards late PM hours when on the water...
Steve(Bangor as well...everyone has to live somewhere)

  My $.02
  Posted by: taj on Oct-18-13 10:56 AM (EST)
Since it came up again I'll chime in, too. I used to fish from my OT Loon 138, in which the seat is just back of center. I tried an anchor but didn't use it enough to carry it along. Never felt unstable casting, ever. The Loon has gone into semi-retirement and I now fish from an OT Pack Angler. It is about half the weight and slightly shorter. The seat is lower than the standard Pack canoe and is just back of center. It might tip a little easier than the Loon, but probably not much. Casting feels quite secure. Though it came equipped with a bow mounted anchor I haven't used it much, either. Free drifting allows me to drop the fly over spots where I might not have spooked the fish with previous casts. I don't do "false casting" in the canoe as I don't find it necessary. I think that kind of motion makes too many waves and can lead to instability. Also, a short paddle close at hand is great for repositioning.
  Ya' sit where the canoe will be most
  Posted by: bigspencer on Mar-27-14 9:27 PM (EST)
stable....often closer to the middle than anywhere else, depending on how your weight matches up with the hull design. Now you've found out why the slower, heavier canoes make great FF platforms.
  fly fishing
  Posted by: ppine on Mar-28-14 6:09 PM (EST)
Turn the boat around and paddle from the bow seat. Train a dog to move forward and back to help trip the boat. Bring a cooler for ballast.

a suitable anchor can be made from a mesh bag with a few rocks in it on a piece of light line.
  agree; was trying to phrase right
  Posted by: OptiMystic on Mar-29-14 8:12 AM (EST)
Saying bow and stern on a canoe with two seats is confusing. Unless it is a block back, the stern is whichever end is behind me while seated, facing forward and paddling. I hate those stupid molded seats that try to force tandem seating even when solo. I sit in the near center seat facing the center.
  fly fishing
  Posted by: ppine on Apr-01-14 11:57 AM (EST)
The bow and stern in a canoe should never be confusing. In the bow the seat is 4 feet from the deck. In the stern it is 1 foot or even less from the deck. Try paddling in the stern seat just once facing the wrong way and it will be obvious.
  you completely missed my point
  Posted by: OptiMystic on Apr-01-14 12:28 PM (EST)
yes the seat towards the middle is usually called the bow seat, but when paddling solo the boat handles far better if you sit in that seat and face in the other direction. When paddling that way, if someone says you should anchor at the bow (as an example), that can be confusing because they probably mean the end you are facing.
  anchor: for a while I/we just brought
  Posted by: bigspencer on Apr-12-14 6:04 PM (EST)
good rope to tie around a rock. Then, for a few years, I went to a coffee can filled with concrete with lg. eyelet sunk in... Everything worked..but heavy wind will get hold of a bulky hull no matter what you use.


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