Christmas has come early for me.
I have invested in a brand, spanking, new fishing kayak.
I’ve tried and owned all kinds of watercrafts for fishing. I’m paddling now and giving the piston-powered propeller a break, the belly boat a hiatus and the pontoon boat a well-deserved vacation.
The introduction of the specialized fishing kayak or “fishyak” is taking the paddling and fishing world by storm.
There are a number of companies producing lines of kayaks rigged and designed to be able to sneak up on and catch all kinds of fish. They tend to be more stable, all tricked out with rod holders, fish finders, storage hatches, anchor trollies and other fishing accessories.
Reasons for switching to a kayak for fishing include: extra stability, stealth, manoeuvrability, exercise that comes with paddling and the fact that it’s fun.
Not to mention getting into the hard-to-access, gnarly areas where power boats just can’t go.
After some lengthy research, I decided on purchasing a 13-foot, sit-on-top Prowler model made by Ocean Kayak.
Kalin from Up North Adventures, from whom I purchased the kayak, wanted to give me an early introduction to this wild, wonderful, new sport. While waiting for my kayak to arrive in town, he invited me out to Pumphouse Lake to try a few other demo models.
As he expertly zipped up his dry suit, strapped on his neoprene booties and tightened his pfd, I realized I knew very little about kayaking.
We made a deal, I would teach him as much about fishing as I could and he would do the same for paddling.
I straddled the very stable sit-on-top kayak and easily pushed off. Kalin provided instructions on how to safely and efficiently paddle the kayak, I stripped off some line and the rest is history.
It was as simple as that with a few Rainbows caught in the process.
My first impressions included how easy it was to cover water at a variety of trolling speeds and the height at which you sit in the water was very comfortable for sight casting.
The opportunities for kayak fishing in the Yukon and the North seem endless. One could paddle the weeds of Tarfu Lake in search of pike; troll the depths of Lake Lebarge in the quest for lakers; hike into Hidden to catch wiry Rainbow; or travel to Haines and be pulled around by salmon.
All of which I hope to experience first-hand this summer.
Another positive to this new sport is that the kayaks are relatively inexpensive starting at around $1,000.
If you are a paddler looking for a new angle, or an angler looking for a new way to catch fish, this might be for you.
If you want to give kayak fishing a try, Up North Adventures is offering, for the first time, an Introduction to Kayak Fishing Course June 10 and 12, with an all-day fishing session June 14.
If you would like to share your fishing story, or hear more about this one, visit Dennis Zimmermann’s Yukon fishing blog at www.fishonyukon.com.
PHOTO: DENNIS ZIMMERMANN