Tag Archive: kayak fly fishing

Thanksgiving speckled trout

By Jill Toler

North Carolina

What do you get when you put a Sunshine W700 on a local creek, add a Dubiel Pop-N-Fly, a 7 wt TFO BVK fly rod, some Rio floating fly line spooled on a Lamson Guru 3.0, and a 20 minute paddle to just the right spot… a fat, sassy 18″ speckled trout.

What a trip. I went to the infamous Northwest Creek with a similar plan that I have unsuccessfully executed on four previous occasions. Fortunately, trip number 5 turned out a lot better.

I paddled into the wind to get to a point that I was hoping would be holding some fish, and cast the Dubiel Pop-n-Fly toward the reeds and grass. Pop, pop, pause, pop, pause, pop, pop, pause; over and over again while drifting and trying not to be overrun by the trolling motor brigade. I decided to make a move and fish between some docks that had some very unhappy bait flicking around. Cast, pop, pop, pause…FISH ON! Went on a little sleigh ride before I was able to gain control and scoop her up. Best feeling ever!

It’s been way too long since I have enjoyed my Wavewalk and I am very thankful for a little break and a great trip.

 


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A few of my favorite things and “the best money I ever spent”

By Jill Toler

 

Hello my Wavewalk friends! It’s been way too long since I posted a story about my most awesome W700 and how happy it makes me.

So, last October I traveled a little ways to a town called Vandemere, here in North Carolina. It’s actually not too far from me as the crow flies but, the crow didn’t build the roads. The town just prettied up the boat ramp and surrounding land to make a very nice area for the public’s pleasure. I really wanted to try a new technique and fly combination that my good friend, Capt. Gary Dubiel invented, to catch some fish. It’s called the Pop-n-Fly and although I didn’t catch anything on this particular day, I caught a bunch the day after Christmas fishing with Capt. Gary. The area was just beautiful and I really enjoyed fishing and paddling. What I didn’t enjoy was the skunk. I don’t care for getting skunked so, I had to come up with Plan B.

Plan B was to slide in at Lee Landing to fish the Upper Broad for redemption. Plan B was executed and yielded a great catch of sunnies. Sitting in my kayak tossing little poppers and catching sunnies is just about as close to perfect as you can get, as far as I’m concerned. My “happiness” meter pegs out every time.

On June 3rd of this year; yes, it was a looooooong time between kayak trips, I thought to myself: “Self, you should give Northwest Creek another try”. I have not had the most success in Northwest Creek; except for that awesome day after Christmas fishing with Capt. Gary, with catching much of anything. Fish are hard to come by in that area for some reason. Anyway, loaded up the kayak the evening before so that I could be on the water early and execute what I thought would be an outstanding time of fish catching. Yeah; not so much! I’m pretty sure I will NOT return to Northwest Creek until at least November or December.

Knowing how I feel about getting skunked, I bet you can guess what I did that afternoon? Yep. Lee landing and Upper Broad Creek kayak fishing time! After some lunch and a nap, I took the W700 back to it’s roots and commenced to redeem myself and the day in a fantastic manner. So much so, that my smartypants phone became overheated from taking pictures and being out in the sun that it refused to take the picture of that 3 pound bass that I caught. My thought of course was, “Seriously!” My words were more like “son of a biscuit eater!” Here I have been fishing with one little popper and catching a bunch of fish, when this big bass sucks that popper down like a grape slurpee and runs around that kayak like a dirt track racer and my smartypants phone suddenly becomes sensitive to Eastern North Carolina weather! It even displayed a bright red thermometer in case I didn’t quite understand the displayed message of, “phone must cool down before use”. Well, I considered dunking it in the relatively cool water to help with the hot flash but, my inner adult thought better and just politely tucked it inside of my new favorite bag that I found at Academy Sports.

The bag is actually a kayak fish keeping bag that I discovered held ALL of my stuff and sits just beautifully on the saddle in front of me. I do secure it with some cords that have a ball on one end and a securable hook on the other so if I flip the yak it will still be attached. I slide the ball up under the teeth of the saddle and it stays in there nice and tight.

Back to the epic afternoon of fish catching… I managed to catch a whole bunch of sunnies and some bass in a relatively short period of time. The time of day was just right and the barometric pressure was falling, putting those little fish tummies on chow down time. My adventure evidently caught the attention of some folks that live on the creek as well as a couple of fellas that were trying to duplicate my success. After explaining fly fishing everybody wanted to know about my ‘boat” so, I showed it off and answered all of their questions.

This past Saturday, the 10th, I slid out to Upper Broad Creek very early and paddled way up the creek to an area that I had not fished. The morning was just so beautiful and peaceful. At least until the Saturday bass fishing tournament guys came screaming up the creek. The fish were very picky that day and although the numbers of fish I caught were low, the size was impressive.

I still regard my Wavewalk kayak as “the best money I ever spent” and I am looking very forward to paddling and fishing this year. Y’all take care and keep the stories coming as I love to read all about your adventures.

 

 

 


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One (fish) on 1/1

What better way to spend the first day of the new year than fly fishing from my super awesome Wavewalk 700 kayak. Fishing Buddy and I splashed the yaks around 11:30 am with high hopes and low expectations. We have had some serious rain the past few days with the air temperature taking a 20 plus degree nosedive in a 12 hour period and super high water. Add to the mix a North wind, that seemed to have had a little too much spirit last eve because it was swirling around like a drunk on the tilt-a-whirl, and you get………

Jill- One big fat bluegill

Fishing Buddy- One chunky bass

It was more than tough to fly fish from a kayak today; we did it anyway. I am happy with my one fish on the first day of the new year and tomorrow I hope to get at least two fish on the second day of the new year. If the pattern holds, December 31st should be EPIC!

I have fished two patterns lately; a sinking spider and a wooly bugger. Both seem to catch fish so I morphed them into one fly to try out today. It’s like a skinny wooly bugger with legs. The bluegill totally inhaled it, that’s why you can’t see the fly in the fish’s mouth.

Happy New Year to my fellow Wavewalkers. I hope y’all catch a bunch this year.

I have attached some pictures of my fish and fly.

big-bluegill-1-1-2016

The fish

 

sinking-spider-fly-fishing

The fly

 

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Pufferbelly fish saves the day

By Jill Toler

I had a successful first kayak fishing trip so I decided to up the stakes and try a fishing trip in an area that has tidal current and possibly wind. Who am I kidding, more like probably wind. I checked the forecast that indicated the wind would blow WNW 5-10 mph. You would think after all these years of experience with forecast vs. actual wind speeds that I would know better. Always add at least 5 mph to the forecast, then add another 5 just for good measure. Still, I would not be deterred and decided to try fishing at the Harker’s Island bridge. Specks [speckled sea trout] were being caught and I wanted in on the action.

Fishing Buddy and I made a plan to meet at the foot of the bridge. I was running about 10 minutes behind because my little dog, June Bug, did not want to come back into the house on such a beautiful morning. After all, there are marvelous things happening in the backyard at 7:50 am…

I arrived at the destination and as I crossed the bridge I spotted Fishing Buddy already on the water and hooked up with a fish. I had been nervous for two days anticipating what it would be like to deal with wind and tide. When I realized that I was on my own getting unloaded, geared up, and paddling to the fishing spot I sort of got scared and began doubting my ability. I actually went out a little ways and turned right back around for the shore to calm my nerves. A few deep breaths and words of encouragement from myself found me paddling away from security and right into chaos. Not only would there be wind and tide, but there would be boat traffic and wakes. I managed to pick my way through boats and make it over to where Fishing Buddy was catching a fish on just about every cast. I thought, “this is going to be epic!” I chose the wrong word for the coming experience.

Anchoring in a kayak is way different than anchoring in a boat. I’m glad that I installed that anchor trolley, but I would have been more happy had I actually learned how it works prior to being smack dab in the middle of the excitement. To say that it took me a while to get the anchor deployed, set, and secured so as to position my kayak in the direction that I needed would be a major understatement. There is a lot to learn of kayak fishing.

Finally, the anchor was set and by sending it towards the back of the kayak the wind or tide or something turned me right around so that I was facing the action and not staring at the beautiful homes along the shoreline. I was able to make a cast and hooked right up…….with a pufferbelly. Some folks call them blowtoads, blowfish, puffers, etc. I call them, “I ain’t getting skunked today!”

Somehow, my fly line got wrapped up in my reel and just as my luck would have it, the bite shut down by the time I got everything straightened out. I tried a few more spots, but no takers.

It wasn’t the worst day because I did catch one fish and I challenged myself. I learned a lot that day and will make some adjustments for my next trip and will be better prepared for the adventure.

At lunch, Fishing Buddy told me that I did very well considering the wind, tide, and boat traffic. She also said that she had a heck of a time staying in position and that it was a tough day to fly fish from a kayak. I went, I saw, I learned, and I can’t wait to do it again.

 


 

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