Here are pictures contributed by Ted Stevens, from Florida.
Ted is a fly fisherman who practices sight fishing: He paddles his kayak standing, and scouts for big fish (e.g. redfish, tarpon). He wants to stand as high as possible, since this extends his range of vision. Once Ted spots a fish, he instantly casts a fly at it.
Many fly kayak anglers and reel anglers sight fish while standing comfortably in their W kayaks. However, Ted wants to stand higher, so he can look further.
Unlike Kevin, who fly fishes the flats standing on top of his W kayak saddle without using outriggers, Ted added both a pair of outriggers and a frame to his W500. This setup puts him about 15″ higher than he would have been if he stood on the bottom of his W kayak hulls, and he’s perfectly stable.
The drawback of paddling from such a high level is that you lose some leverage on the paddle, so you can’t go very fast. However, if the water is shallow enough, you can push pole, like Kevin does.
Standing as high on top of such a small vessel as a kayak means that sooner or later, the fly fisherman is going to lose their footing, or lose balance, or both – It’s a statistical fact, and every experienced angler knows that “Stuff Happens” is the rule out there, on the water.
So the real question is not “What if” but “What happens when” (-get the subtle difference?…) –
When you stand up on top of a conventional fishing kayak (SOT, sit-in, or ‘hybrid’), you need to somehow manage to fall on your knees, or on your butt, and regain your balance instantly. Good luck with that! Although it never hurts to try, you’re more likely to find yourself in the water.
But things are different when you’re standing high on top of a W fishing kayak, as Ted does: He can drop on his kayak’s saddle, with a leg in each hull, and stabilize himself while he’s in the Riding posture, which is similar to riding a jet-ski, a snowmobile, an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) – or a pony. In other words, it’s the most stable, and most powerful position you can hope to be in when you’re trying to regain balance and control in your kayak. When Ted wants to switch from standing to sitting, it’s just a matter of hopping down –
More pictures form Ted’s stand up fly fishing kayak >