Tips for Kayak Fly Fishing on Rivers

chad hoover river fishing tips

In this video, Bending Branches’ ProStaffer, Chad Hoover, gives some tips for kayak anglers who want to fly fish their local rivers. His suggestions cover both the kayaking and the fly fishing on location in Happy Valley, Pennsylvania.

Use a Wide, Stable Kayak

Kayaks designed for fishing are some of the widest and most stable kayaks available, so that’s a great place to start.

An ideal fishing kayak is one that’s comfortable for sitting and stable for standing. Here, Chad is testing out the Jackson Kayak Bite for the first time.

Tips #1: Learn How to Handle Rock Broaching

Rock broaching is when the current takes you into a boulder that’s either very near the surface or above the water line.

Your normal reaction would be to lean away from the rock. But that’s the worst thing you can do. The current may push you up further onto the rock, then catch the lower edge of your boat and flip you into the water.

What you want to do is lean into the rock, using your foot or paddle for some leverage until the current takes you around.

This works for other hazards in the water, too. Lean in, not back.

Fly Fishing for Trophy Browns

Chad and his buddy use their kayaks to get to the fishing spots they’re looking for. Once they’ve arrived, they get out to fly fish in the river on foot.

In the video they share some tips on flies they’re using to tempt these river trout, including a nymphing rig, circus peanut, hares ear nymph and caddisfly.

circus peanut fly for kayak fishing

Tip #2: Paddle Length

Because the kayak Chad uses in this video gets him close to the water, he shortened his paddle as much as he could (he’s using the AnglerPro Carbon Plus, which gives him 15 cm of length adjustment).

He’s noticed many kayak anglers use paddles that are too long. He recommends, “Use as short a paddle as you can get away with while doing a vertical stroke down the side of your boat.”

Many of Bending Branches kayak fishing paddles have the option of the Plus ferrule including the Angler Classic, Angler Ace, Angler Pro, Angler Pro Carbon and Angler Navigator.

river fly fishing trout

See more from Chad Hoover's YouTube channel.

What paddle questions can we help you with? Contact our friendly Customer Service team today: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]

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