Fly Fishing in Canoe

I have a Wenonah 16’ Prospector that I want to trade in for an Adirondak 16’. This will be used for fishing in lakes and rivers. I want to stand up in the new boat and fly cast. Rutabaga states that it is stable enough to do this. Any experience doing this, or stories you can share?

Although I have poled a lot, I have not
stood to do anything like fly fishing.

However, I recall a C&K article some years back where an experienced canoeist and fly fisherman was standing in a Mad River Horizon 17, not an especially stable boat, and casting away. Seems to be a matter of acquired experience. I suggest also putting a couple of sandbags in the bottom of the boat while you are practicing.

Used to do it in my Mohawk Blazer
Never turtled, but it takes practice to feel stable.

I hav always cast sitting down NM

Ausable river boat
Best flyfishing platform for gentle rivers, like Wisconsin. Lakes, not so good.

Fly Fishing
The Adirondack is a very good choice for flyfishing. With its relatively wide flat bottom, you’ll have very good stability while still getting a really nice paddling all-arounder. I think Rutabaga has pointed you in the right direction. Getting your sea legs is the next task (and it isn’t an instantaneous thing). Once you’ve done that, polling can’t be far behind!


– Last Updated: Feb-06-08 6:46 PM EST –

There's no benefit at all to standing in a canoe to throw a flyline. I used to love flyfishing from a canoe....but sitting or kneeling(Ditto paddlemore) . If your backcast height-thing is what's giving you problems? on your "shooting" the additional line for distance rather than trying to overload the rod on the backcast.
..Just can't see any reason for standing, I can imagine Rutabaga can...but..

Why Stand?

– Last Updated: Feb-06-08 6:58 PM EST –

Casting can be done while sitting, but kneeling is better. Sure you have even more ability to aim your cast in different directions when standing, but if it were me, I'd get a boat that allows me to optimize my paddling, and do all my fishing while kneeling. No point in letting your choice of fishing platform evolve too far in the direction of "barge" unless you want such a boat for other reasons too (occasional tandem use, etc.). Anyway, that's how I'd think about it.

Must Have More Balance Than I

– Last Updated: Feb-06-08 8:25 PM EST –

I've owned a few Wenonah Adirondack's. Very good boat, paddled the boat tandem and solo in the BWCAW and Ozark streams. I have no doubt the hours I've spent in an Adirondack numbers well over one thousand. I could stand long enough to check a "Line" on the river, etc, but not stand and fish. I guess it could be done from the center of the canoe if you're shorter than I and smaller than I. But, STANDING and FLY FISHING I think that may be asking a bit much from this boat. If I was intent on STANDING to fish, I might consider something like a Vermont Canoes Sokoki or Wenonah Fisherman or Wenonah Kingfisher. If you do get the Adirondack, opt for tuffweave or kevlar. The royalex version paddles and oilcans too badly IMHO.

Check the chart. The difference in steadiness is minor between the two. Add a pair of stabilizer floats, you can dance in your canoe

I did it by…
…casting sitting down.

didn’t get the distance, but with the canoe, i didn’t have to.

Get a Gurmman
I can remember fly fishing from a Grumman 17 with my dad with both of us standing.

My Opinion Didn’t Come From A Chart
It came from many hours spent paddling three different Adirondacks in two different layups over almost two decades. In my opinion it’s not steady enough to fly fish from STANDING UP. The Spring Creek stabilizers would most assuredly make a difference and alter my opinion. WW

Canoe Fly Fishing
Thanks to all who responded. I have been canoeing and fly fishing for only three years and consider myself a beginner in both areas. The idea of stabilizer floats is a great one. Has anyone used these and would recommend them? Since I already have a good canoe with the Prospector, maybe I will by a new fly rod instead.

I have used them
I have used both the new and old type floats from Spring Creek. They are great if you need to stand. The new ones are more quiet.

I have more than 30 years experience with flyfishing from canoes and have used the Solo Plus from We-no-nah a lot in Florida, but I have no problems standing in that canoe without the floats. Part of the tecnique is to stand so that your calves are pressed against a seat or the center twart, and not stand to far from the center of the canoe. Having weight in the canoe helps, but don’t use sandbags, if you tip your canoe it is gone. Use cans filled with water if weight is needed.

I use the floats if I anchor in current and want to stand up, they are also used when looking for bonefish on the flats, I can then even stand on the seat.

I do a lot of my flyfishing in Norway from a Voyager (a narrow C1) from We-no-nah, and do all my fly fishing for trout without the floats as it is much more quiet. I have to sit in this boat without the floats. Sitting down is not a problem trout fishing because you either fish for rising fish or blindcast, and at least where I fish never look for fish cruising under water. With a little practice sitting and casting is not a problem.


Stabilizers for Canoe
Thanks Paul. I was looking at the floats for fly fishing and more importantly, thaking the wife out for a stress free paddle. She is always worried about falling over.

Still Standing
I stand and fly fish from my canoe every time I use it. I find I can see further to hit targets better. I feel perfectly safe and comfortable doing this.

My canoe is a Mad River 16’ Explorer. Rivers, lakes, I don’t care. When I need to cover a lot of water, I sit. When I hit rapids I kneel.

You will become more accustomed to this with more practice.

Your wife
will find a canoe very stable as soon as she gets used to it. I had problems getting my wife in a canoe. After a couple of trips she was addicted to canoeing. 15 years later we authored a book about canoeing together, and she paddled bow in the DVD that was sold with the book.

Standing in a canoe when flyfishing gives better view, but at the same time the fish tend to stay further away.

The stabiliser floats are a good investment anyway.