Fly Fishing From A Kayak : How To Fly Fish From A Kayak

Last Updated on March 29, 2022 by Afsar

Fly Fishing from a kayak is fun, and it requires you to learn about it first. Otherwise, you will have trouble fly fishing from the kayak. Fly fishing requires you to learn the basics of it, and since you are interested to do fly fishing from a kayak, you need to learn a little bit about the kayak. From choosing the best fly fishing kayak to fly fishing rods, we have covered a good topic on “How To Fly Fishing From A Kayak”. I hope you enjoy the article.

What is fly fishing?

Fly fishing is an angling method or the activity to catch fish via a rod and an artificial fly. This is a different type of fishing method which is loved by many people. The fly or the lure that is usually used has very low weight.

Where to Fly Fishing From A Kayak?

Fly fishing from a kayak can be done in both freshwater and saltwater.

What are the popular fishes that can be caught by fly fishing?

If you are planning to catch trout, grayling, salmon, pike, carp, and bass then fly fishing is for you. These are the common fishes that can be caught by fly fishing. However, there are other fishes like redfish, tarpon, striped bass, etc can be caught via fly fishing. Any fish can be caught via fly fishing as long as the lure/fly is attractive and successfully replicates the main food. However, proper gear is needed to catch heavy or strong fish via fly fishing.

You may be wondering how to catch fish by fly fishing from a kayak? Since kayaks are narrow, and you need to step or rollback, it’s very tough for a kayaker to do that. However, many kayakers have been fly fishing for a long time. It may not be an easy job but after some days, you will be a pro at fly fishing from a kayak. Remember it’s not a tough job if you try.

How To Fly Fishing From A Kayak

Factors that need to be checked for fly fishing from  a kayak :

  1. You need a kayak with a moderate amount of space: Best Kayaks Review
  2. You need a kayak that allows you to stand. It’s really tough to fly fish from a sit-in kayak. I will suggest you check these best sit on top kayaks
  3. Proper fly fishing rod: Best Fly Fishing Rods
  4. Proper fly fishing fly or lures
  5. personal floatation device: Check best PFD for kayaking

Trust me; people will call you crazy for fly fishing from a kayak. Well, people don’t know you, people don’t know what you know. So before describing the points, my advice is to keep aside these and focus on what you are doing. We don’t fly fish from a kayak for a living rather pass some good time on the water. It’s a sport, hobby, or a good time passing habit.

How to Choose a proper kayak for Fly fishing:

If you already have a kayak and want to fly fish from it, then you don’t need to purchase a new kayak. You can modify it or adjust it. However, sit-in kayaks are hard to use in fly fishing. My suggestion is to use a kayak with an open entry cockpit.

By choosing a proper kayak, I meant that you need a sit-on top kayak. Try to get a kayak that is wide and allows you to move. These kayaks are important because you need to swing your hand while casting. As a result, a kayak that provides a good space is preferable. However, I am not asking you to get a big kayak.

Many kayak fly anglers are using 9’ kayaks, and they are killing it. You don’t need a big kayak for fly fishing rather a kayak that provides you a good blend of tracking & maneuverability. Big kayaks are suitable for use in the ocean, but they tend to have better tracking than maneuverability. If you have good control over it, you can do fly fishing from long kayaks also.

Maneuverability is a very important factor while fishing from a kayak, as you need to turn your kayak several times and easily.  It also means how easily your kayak responds to the paddle strokes. It’s the efficient turns that are what counts as maneuverability.

Tracking means how straight your kayak moves. If your kayak moves straight even after stopping paddling, then your kayaks have good tracking.  Note that proper tracking will hurt your maneuverability. As a result, it is best to choose a fly fishing kayak that provides an excellent blend of Maneuverability & tracking.

Choose a fly fishing kayak which provides a good blend of tracking and maneuverability.

Sit-in-kayak vs Sit on top kayak :

My vote goes to the sit-on-top kayak as it offers great movement while standing. Most of the time these types of kayaks come with special arrangements for kayak fishing like rod holders and mounts to mount gear.

Tackle storage or get a dry bag:

You should keep your flies in a waterproof place so that the hooks don’t get rusty. It’s important though it can get rusty if you don’t care about it properly. You can use tackle boxes or dry bags to prevent this. We already have an article on Best Dry Bags.

  1. Best fishing tackle boxes
  2. Fishing tackle backpacks
Fly Fishing Kayaks

Managing Wind:

The Wind is a critical factor while fly fishing. As your casting will be heavily affected by the wind. If the wind is strong, then take a few minutes to rest and try again. However, if the wind is in a patterned way and it blows in the direction where you are planning to fly the flies then it may work for you. To be honest, it actually depends on your accuracy and skill.

Casting :

One of the most important parts of fly fishing from a kayak is the casting process. The better you can cast, the better you can catch fish. It’s not an easy task for a newbie to stand and cast from a sit-on top kayak. However, doing it several times will allow you to stand properly. It’s better to cast while standing rather than sitting. Standing will give the possibility to cast for longer distances.

However, if you want to cast from a sitting position you need to make a habit of it by trying more and more. It’s quite tough because the line is quite close to the water. Shorter casts can be effective if used properly by sneaking into the area with your kayak.

Stripping & collecting :

Stripping is another crucial function in fly fishing. This is art actually. Stripping differs from man to man. As a right-handed man, I hold the rod in my right hand and strip with my left arm. Sometimes I do prefer to hold the rod in my armpit and strip with both hands for faster stripping.

However, I use stripping basket for fly fishing for easy stripping. I usually use my index finger for pulling the line. You can choose your own favorite finger for stripping as long it gets the job done.

Check this Fly Fishing Stripping Basket: Fly Fishing Stripping Basket –Smooth Danish Design

Fly Fishing Rods: 

It’s important to get the best fly fishing rods as these are made for fly fishing. Fly fishing rods are different and their sole purpose is for fly fishing. However, there are several fly fishing rods available in the market. Below are two packages that are enough for fly fishing

  1. Get this fly fishing kit package by Wild Water Fly Fishing.
  2. Adamsbuilt HO2 Fly Rod Combination Package

Get proper Fly fishing reels : 

We will publish a new article on the best fly fishing reels. Meanwhile, you can check this fly fishing reel.

Get a cooler to store fish:

It’s always better to get a cooler to store catches. Using a cooler will help you to keep the catches fresh for long hours. Get these best Kayak fishing coolers. Remember don’t catch more fish than you need.

Important Note: 

  • If you don’t know kayaking then follow this kayaking website for kayaking
  • Always wear PFDs
  • Be careful with the fishing accessories because any wrong usage may cause damage to you
  • If you are taking your child or dog, use proper PFDs for them
  • Always take an extra paddle. Always !!! Get Best Kayak Paddles
  • If you are going to remote places: Get Kayak Trolling Motor

6 thoughts on “Fly Fishing From A Kayak : How To Fly Fish From A Kayak”

  1. Very interesting, I would like to learn more about fly fishing in a kayak.
    I have already a kayak and I found your article about fly fishing in a kayak exiting.
    I would like to read more of your good advices an kayaking fly fishing.
    Thank you.


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