Fly rod?

How many of you use a fly rod when fishing from a canoe? And, what sort of problems due you tend to encounter?


Flying For Years
I’ve used a fly rod from a canoe for years. Never a problem…I don’t stand up. I’ve fly fished from one end of the canoe, my brother used a fly rod from his end and we had two of his children bait casting from the middle…works good, just sit still.

I also fly fish from my kayaks. No problems…just throw your line high on the back cast.

canoe fly fishing
No problems here.


Use a flyrod all the time in both canoe and kayaks. No problems using either a short or long stick. Keep the backcast up. The only difference between wade casting and casting in my boats is I can’t seem to get the same distance. No matter, I can get closer to the fish in my boats without spooking them.

bring a towel…

no problems at all from my small-ish cockpit seakayak. i ususally ditch the spraykirt and use a towel or piece of cloth over my legs to cover up any potential snags.

like the others said any compromise in distance is made up for in stealth.

Problem getting my partner to paddle for

– Last Updated: Jul-23-05 1:05 AM EST –

me as I sit in the bow and fly cast to rising trout.

Just about my favorite way to fly fish is to fish from the bow of a canoe as a stern partner paddles to move/position the boat. Both can fish but the bow position is way the easiest as the line doesn't need to cross the boat or its gear and occupants on either cast or backcast unless you are casting straight ahead, and I'd reccommend not doing that. I prefer to sit in the bow, (I'm right handed) and cast to fish to my left or backcast to them on the right. Either way the backcast is over water unless you are close to shore.

Actually we take turns in the bow and paddling, so it is no problem. Just handle line well enough to avoid hooking your partner's ear. Except when travelling, the bow guy mainly fishes and the stern guy moves/positions the boat plus fishes. Glassy water is best, wind is bad.

On the Turner Lake chain in B.C. we would paddle slowly along within easy casting distance of the shoreline lily pads to my left as I sat in the bow and I would cast to specific rising fish or if none were up at the moment, into pockets between the pads. Hammered the cutthroats. Have done the same many times on lakes with rainbows.

I have been the sternman for years since I was a little kid while my dad fished from the bow. I don’t really like to fish but I love to paddle so it really worked out for both of us. We are primarily on rivers and the only problem is trying to hold still in a current. You either have to have an anchor and the faster the current the bigger the anchor needs to be. Pulling it up when you want to move requires a lot of balancing and quick moves to stow the anchor and the rope and get the boat under control. You can catch and eddy and hold it there with just a few strokes every once in a while but that is often where you want to be to fish or very near it where the current comes in. Kinda tight sometimes. These are the only real issues I’ve experienced. We’ve gotten to some great spots and fish in the 20 odd years of doing all this.

Good luck!

rod storage
The most common problem I have is rod storage. I fish mostly on smaller rivers that have lots of overhanging cedars, alders, and other things that will grab a rod, and has some decent sets of class II’s, depending on flows. A 9 footer hanging out the back, front, or sides gets hooked on plenty of brush, even when broken down. Keep that in mind, depending on the type of water you are paddling.

Rod storage
good point!

solo fly fishing in canoe
This is an obvious given to experienced paddlers but when solo fly fishing in a canoe, if it is a double then sit in the bow seat facing the center of the canoe. If there is no wind or current it works superbly, though body motion will spin and move the canoe out of position a bit. Fish really pull you around. You often have to lay down the rod and paddle a few strokes, or do a one handed positioning stroke while holding the rod sometimes. One time at a remote hike-in lake a friend had flown in a canoe. I spent a few hours fly fishing from it in mid lake as hefty rainbows rose at random all over the place. Whichever way the canoe was positioned, anywhere on the lake was good. Those fish chewed a well tied Golden Pheasant down to a few threads on the long shanked big hook.

That’s all I use.
Zero problems encountered.

Fly rod & kayak
My name is Rich. I use fly rods exclusively when I fish. I found that I have to put a rod holder that will accomodate a fly rod. The best I found was a Scotty rod holder sspecifically made for this. I mounted it on the right side of the yak about 12" behind my right hip. I did this to prevent the paddle from hitting it when I’m trolling a fly with sinking line. YOu have to keep your lap relatively free from things that the stripped line can catch on. When you cast out, you may pull things out of yak or snag if the line catches on it on its way up the guides. If it’s windy, a fly rod can give you lots to do, especially of your boat is drifting. A fly rod needs two hands. That leaves none for the paddle. When you catch one a a fly rod, it makes up for any problems though. It’s a rush!..RI(H