Why you need a Paddle board for Saltwater Fly Fishing!
How do you as a saltwater fly angler up your game and challenge your angling skills? Saltwater fly fishing is difficult enough just to learn the basics whether it’s learning to cast in a stiff wind, read the water, or what fly to throw. A passion for saltwater fly fishing like life has its progressions. Your future progression as a saltwater fly angler may have a Paddleboard in it. We all enjoy fly fishing in the popular spots in the beginning before the passion sets in. Where bait is corralled into a bottleneck of water forced by the tides. Blindly casting into the abyss waiting for that tug that is such a drug! One day you will arrive at that not-so-secret spot, looking out at the line of anglers lined up like an Alaskan salmon run in some old 1954 angling video about the good old days, and you will think to yourself I have to just get away!
There are so many reasons to own a Paddleboard and here are just a few that convinced me 4 years ago and I haven’t looked back.
The main reason you need a Paddleboard has nothing to do with fly fishing at all. We could use the exercise! Paddling will increase your shoulder, back, and arm strength as well as improve your balance. Your core will get a fairly decent workout too. Plus, your ankles and feet. But the soreness will subside as you build strength in these muscles you didn’t know you had. Casting from a Paddleboard is no easy feat add wind and current and you have a recipe for frustration. With practice you will build muscle memory and casting from your board will become second nature. Lastly, You will begin to enjoy paddling more and more. Pushing yourself to explore further and further to the next cove or flat.
Now just think about how much more water is open to you. On foot, you may have 2 or 3 spots you can focus on but now on a Paddleboard, it can be measured in square miles. You will no longer be forced into a lineup on a sand bar in front of a deep hole or patiently waiting for someone to leave. Or worse forced to fish a spot that current tide dictates are not productive. You will have more options and a larger area all to yourself now. Moving from your feet to paddling will allow you to cover so much more water per trip. You will learn how the tides can push you up into areas not reached on foot or by the vast majority of boats. Your piece of utopia! You will be at work staring at Google Maps all day looking for access points, hidden coves, and flats that only you can access with a Paddle board. Say goodbye to the crowds.
You will also begin to learn so much more about fish movements and their habits. You will Learn where fish post up allowing the tide to bring them food and how they move with the tide whether it’s incoming or outgoing. Where they hide and places where they get so little pressure that they feel comfortable enough to cruise the flats during the day looking for crabs and other tasty bites. You will learn where large quantities of bait hide and how they move with the tide and weather. You will be able to track the bait as they try to avoid predation.
Affordable and easy to maintain. Now let’s face it we all would enjoy a polling skiff to hunt are quarries but who has 45k plus the maintenance involved? With kids in or soon to be going to college or just the cost of life in general nowadays. For a few thousand a Paddleboard can easily be loaded on a roof rack or stored in your trunk and pumped up when you get there. So many different types to choose from. Most have attachments like coolers so you can easily bring a fair amount of gear as well as water and food. With that said, paddle boards are a great way to just enjoy nature with a spouse, child, or alone.
My reason for writing this is for you to become a better angler and Stewart for the ecosystem in which you fish. Paddling will get you to that next level you so crave to be at. While the other anglers are in formation on the sand bar battling one another for position you have found That calm cove or flat that is protected by the wind no one else can reach. As the other anglers struggle with the wind, you strip set… on another fish… on a crab fly you tied! Get out and enjoy nature there is always a secret spot out there to discover!
We invite you to take in a few Flats Nation Podcast Episodes to help "Scratch that Fishing Itch" when working or traveling and you just cannot hitch up the Skiff and go, on these links:
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