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Pirogue Fly Fishing

PeteStaehling

Well-Known Member
Aug 23, 2020
146
2
70
Tallahassee Florida
I am thinking about doing some fly fishing when my pirogue is done. I have not fished in a few years and have not fly fished a lot even then. I really enjoyed fly fishing for trout when backpacking in the Sierras, but that is really the extent of my experience. I am self taught using youtube videos so I probably have bad habits, but I had good success on the hungry trout in the Sierras.

I am curious how difficult you guys find seated fly casting as compared to standing. I doubt I will be able to stand in my pirogue. Any tips? I am thinking of starting out with poppers and bead head nymphs and fishing for pan fish. I hope to get by with my 4 piece 7' 4 wt setup. It is an inexpensive combo that I bought from Cabelas on a whim, but it seemed to work well enough.
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
10,324
100
77
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
In a boat I always sit when fly fishing. It's the old adage about keeping a low silhouette so the fish don't see you. Basically it's that I'm just lazy. It also lets you have a lower center of gravity but it's just more comfortable. Plus you can use a shorted line when fishing fresh water , no really long casts.

What might be called the pan fish of salt water , the Mangrove Snapper and even the spotted weakfish ( Trout ) are fun on a fly rod. The trout ( spotted Weakfish ) is miss named , it's not weak but any streatch of the imagination. Again short casts even when after some trout ( spotted weakfish ) , Reds or Snook.
Normally salt water requires a longer cast and standing is a lot easier to do that. It's not unusual around here to see some folks fishing for Sharks with a fly rod.

Pete ... I am not familiar with your area but here in central and south Florida for Bream a Bream Killer works really well. It's a spider shaped foam body with rubber legs. Put it out , let it sit and then give it a little twitch so the legs move and hang on.
 

jdupre'

Well-Known Member
Sep 9, 2007
2,193
27
South Louisiana
Flyfishing while seated in a pirogue is not the best but doable. The thing that worked best for me was 3-5# anchor dropped over the side and a couple of quick wraps of the rope around a cleat.......just a little something to keep you in position. Invariably, if you stop paddling and start casting, the boat will drift out of position at the first cast. It takes 5 seconds to drop anchor and a little more to hoist it back up. Keeping the blasted boat in position will take you longer than that.
The advantage is you tend to cast more at the "spot" and seem to get more fish. If you want to move down the bank to another spot 30 feet away, you can just make a few heavier strokes of the paddle and drag the anchor to the new spot.
 

PeteStaehling

Well-Known Member
Aug 23, 2020
146
2
70
Tallahassee Florida
In a boat I always sit when fly fishing. It's the old adage about keeping a low silhouette so the fish don't see you. Basically it's that I'm just lazy. It also lets you have a lower center of gravity but it's just more comfortable. Plus you can use a shorted line when fishing fresh water , no really long casts.

What might be called the pan fish of salt water , the Mangrove Snapper and even the spotted weakfish ( Trout ) are fun on a fly rod. The trout ( spotted Weakfish ) is miss named , it's not weak but any streatch of the imagination. Again short casts even when after some trout ( spotted weakfish ) , Reds or Snook.
Normally salt water requires a longer cast and standing is a lot easier to do that. It's not unusual around here to see some folks fishing for Sharks with a fly rod.

Pete ... I am not familiar with your area but here in central and south Florida for Bream a Bream Killer works really well. It's a spider shaped foam body with rubber legs. Put it out , let it sit and then give it a little twitch so the legs move and hang on.
Thanks for the tips. I don't know a lot about the fishing here in the Big Bend area. I know we have some river fishing, lakes and some salt water and brackish. I am sure we have bluegill, crappie, and sea trout. I don't know if we have mangrove snapper, I am guessing they are more on the peninsula.

After thinking about it, I was probably being kind of silly worrying about casting while seated. I guess you really aren't any lower than you often are when wading.
 

PeteStaehling

Well-Known Member
Aug 23, 2020
146
2
70
Tallahassee Florida
Flyfishing while seated in a pirogue is not the best but doable. The thing that worked best for me was 3-5# anchor dropped over the side and a couple of quick wraps of the rope around a cleat.......just a little something to keep you in position. Invariably, if you stop paddling and start casting, the boat will drift out of position at the first cast. It takes 5 seconds to drop anchor and a little more to hoist it back up. Keeping the blasted boat in position will take you longer than that.
The advantage is you tend to cast more at the "spot" and seem to get more fish. If you want to move down the bank to another spot 30 feet away, you can just make a few heavier strokes of the paddle and drag the anchor to the new spot.
Good thoughts. I have done some spin fishing from a canoe in mild whitewater and handling the boat was a real handful while trying to fish. I did that with two nervous dogs along once and it was really crazy :) I plan to use the the pirogue in still and moving flatwater so a tiny anchor might be a nice addition. I've never used one in a canoe and never paddled a pirogue so it will be a new experience for me.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,893
153
83
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
Pete, in the late 60s, I spent a lot of time in the Sierras. Folsom, Auburn, Placerville, Mad Canyon, Lady Canyon, Georgetown, Angel’s Camp, Oroville, Gold Hill, Pilot Hill, Ruck a Chucky Rapids. Lot of backpacking, camping from a motorcycle, hunting, etc. The most beautiful part of the world I’ve ever seen. Rockies are nice, but hold second place in my heart.

Was amazed one time on Taiwan, when I saw a stretch of mountains that looked just like the Sierras!
 
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PeteStaehling

Well-Known Member
Aug 23, 2020
146
2
70
Tallahassee Florida
Pete, in the late 60s, I spent a lot of time in the Sierras. Folsom, Auburn, Placerville, Mad Canyon, Lady Canyon, Georgetown, Angel’s Camp, Oroville, Gold Hill, Pilot Hill, Ruck a Chucky Rapids. Lot of backpacking, camping from a motorcycle, hunting, etc. The most beautiful part of the world I’ve ever seen. Rockies are nice, but hold second place in my heart.

Was amazed one time on Taiwan, when I saw a stretch of mountains that looked just like the Sierras!
Yes it is some incredibly beautiful country. I have spent a little time there, but not as much as I'd like. I bicycled from San Diego to Reno camping along the way self supported. I did some backpacking in the John Muir Wilderness and Yellowstone. I briefly passed through when bicycling from San Diego to Pensacola and I hiked and peak bagged a little on my way driving to other places. I hope to get back soon after this pandemic eases up a bit. My wife has never been and I hope to share some of it with her.
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
10,324
100
77
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
Here in Florida when canoeing ( navigable waters not private ponds ) you need a personal flotation device , a whistle or horn and in the Everglades National Park you are required to have a anchor with you. A rope or chain and anchor was required state wide but that was in the 80 & 90's when I was on Range and Water patrol.
Fishing with a fly rod , when I was moving from one area to another I would troll with a wet fly. I wold troll the fly along the weed line. The fly line was out a short distance and the rod was tucked under my left knee out 90 degrees to the canoe. My right thigh or leg would control the distance of the rods tip from the water. One safety factor when doing that , tie a line from the paddle to the boat so you can drop the paddle at a moments notice. It's embarrassing to land a fish and then to hand paddle back to get your paddle. Someone is always watching and trying to figure out what you are doing and how you are doing it when catching fish.

I eventually used a 16 foot cracker ( cane ) pole with 16 feet of line when doing the paddle while fishing routine. Before you ask , yes they do make a rod holder you can clamp on the side of a boat to hold the rod while fishing.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,893
153
83
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
Tethering a paddle is often a good idea. I’ve tethered it either to the boat, or me. Better to the boat, I think.

And, I always carry a spare paddle. Which, so far, has been a waste.
(I carry a spare car key too. Unfortunately, that wasn’t a waste.)