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Thread: General info for fly fishing canoe

  1. #1

    Default General info for fly fishing canoe

    I had the intention of restoring an old kayak that was gifted to me and then using it for fly fishing from. The weather hasn't been too kind for carrying out the repairs as it's all being done outside, so my attention has been focussing more on researching the practicalities of fishing from it. So far it just doesnt seem like that good an idea and especially not on open lochs in the highlands where the weather and wind can change so dramatically. I am now looking at a self build canoe that I can customise to suit my needs better, the kayak will still be restored but used for paddling about with the kids.
    What I am after is a canoe that is reasonably stable while kneeling and casting, light enough for me to carry to the water on my own and with enough room to carry a small rucksack with food , waterproofs etc. I am not intending on it being used with other people in it. Any suggestions folks? So far I have been looking at the Peasemarsh 10 kit from Stanley small craft.

  2. #2
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    I'm sorry I can't help you, but wish you the best in your endeavour.
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  3. #3
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    Learning to cast a fly whilst sitting increases the options. I am still getting used to it, but a Selway Fisher little Kate is light, manouverable albeit a bit tippy on first meeting and needs some sort of seat to avoid a wet bum! If weight is no problem, the widest, flattest barge available is the answer. If you want to go down that route, I have a Riber you can have for not very much! The grandkids can almost stand on the gunwales of that one!
    G

    'Adventure is relative. My adventure is another's commonplace.'

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the reply Grizzle. I can already cast from just about any position in a boat, not tried lying down yet but even I'm not lazy enough for that :-)
    Most of the lochs I tend to fish have very easy access to the waters edge but are generally miles away from anywhere as I like the peace and quiet. Too many lochs up here being trashed by the lunatics.
    And thank you for the offer, I just might take you up on it. If I can figure logistics out of course. I will send you a pm to discuss if that is ok?

  5. #5
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    I sooo need a go at this ... New Years resolution (1) ... to go canoe fly-fishing in 2019, maybe for pike on Rudyard Reservoir
    I need to note that while playing canoe polo in my 13'4" Minuet solo canoe in 2018 throwing the ball hard sideways did result in me capsizing in the opposite direction
    So I'll start with casting parallel with the length of the canoe and work up towards casting sideways
    Does a pike towed canoe count as a powered boat, it might be both fun and illegal
    DCUK
    Can't ytpe or roopf read

  6. #6
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    Take a look at "Fuselage Frame Boats" by S. Jeff Horton - this is a pretty comprehensive manual for the construction of Skin On Frame kayaks and canoes.

    All the details needed for his "Stonefly" design - a 14' 9" x 29" solo canoe specifically designed for fishing - are included in the book.

    These are about the lightest and cheapest boats outside of inflatables available.
    Last edited by DougR; 15th-January-2019 at 07:43 PM. Reason: spellig
    This post may vanish at any moment.

  7. Default

    We have canoe fished for bonefish, which was fine once we learned that there is a right way and a wrong way up in a canoe

  8. #8
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    For self building in ply take a look at Flo-Mo's designs ... http://flo-mo.weebly.com/
    DCUK
    Can't ytpe or roopf read

  9. #9
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    I've never fly fished, nor fished from a canoe, but I would think stability is an important consideration so have a good look around - there are lot of boat kits and plans available and they vary a lot in their stability.

    DougR's suggestion is very good, not only is it a very light construction, but the boat is designed for fly fishing so should have suitable characteristics.
    Looking at photos of a build, I can see, as I would have expected, that the bottom is quite flat and fairly full into the bilges, so it carries a lot of width low down at the lightest waterlines making it feel stable with any load despite only being 29" wide.

    Compare and contrast with the Peasemarsh 14 you are considering, and the 3-plank ply construction means the bilge area is quite a wide roughly 45 degree slope so the width at light waterlines is a lot less than higher up - in fact although the top plank (sheerstrake) has tumblehome, the maximum width is still well above the waterline with 1 person in (from the photos on the Stanley craft website). It is hard to see how flat the bottom region is, possibly more of a V shape than the Stonefly, again making the boat, although relatively wide and stable, probably more twitchy feeling than the Stonefly.
    It is of course impossible to judge accurately from a few photos!

    If you prefer to work in ply rather than skin on frame, have a look at other designers, personally I suspect that something like Selway Fisher's 14' Peterborough which has 7 planks per side giving a fuller bilge than the Peasemarsh, might be a better option - it is wider than Stonefly and has a more similar shape. SF don't sell kits, but I think can help with getting plywood pre-cut by others if you want to avoid the stages of laying out the plans and cutting the ply.

    Also consider your operating environment - remote lochs, often exposed and windy. The complete landlubber will probably not realise how big the waves can get on these lochs, the slightly initiated (or someone who already fishes from boats) who know about the waves might well be thinking that the requirement is for a boat with plenty of freeboard (high sides) to stop the waves coming in. Frankly, if conditions are getting that rough you want to be heading for the shore anyway, but there are plenty of times when it isn't rough but there is enough breeze to affect the steering of a canoe (because it takes virtually no wind to starrt affecting the steering!), and a boat with a lot of freeboard will catch the wind more than one with low freeboard, and end up being more difficult to steer and paddle where you want to go. One of the reasons I homed in on the Peterborough design is that a traditional Peterborough style canoe is a lake canoe and has relatively low freeboard with just a bit of sheer in the ends to ride over waves when head on, and also has relatively little rocker (longitudinal curve of the keel) meaning it tracks well on open water where a more highly rockered boat turns more easily but can be difficult to paddle straight, especially if the wind gets up.
    Not surprisingly the stonefly appears to be designed with similar considerations having little rocker, relatively low freeboard and absolutely no upturns at the ends to catch the wind.
    I also suspect that since your main goal is to go fishing, you are not intending to spend 100's of hours learning to handle a more manouvrable canoe, so something that naturally tracks well will cut down the amount of non-fishing learning time you need, or at least, cut down the number of circles you go around in trying to get to your fishing spot thus maximising fishing time!

    I have just compared 3 designs based on photos, there are many more out there and many more designers and places that can cut plywood from plans if the designer doesn't supply kits.
    I would suggest contacting some of the designers and talk through what you are looking for - they may already have customers fly fishing from canoes and be able to tell you which designs they prefer, and will certainly know more about the characteristics of their boats than I can estimate from photos

    How hard can it be?

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