HOOKED ON SUP FLY FISHING

As I looked into the crystal clear water, I could see trout swimming just beneath me. I cast my fly in their direction and held my breath as it floated over the top of their silvery flashes. Peering into the water and BAM!, a monster fish took my fly and I quickly reeled it in.I knelt down, brought the trout right to the edge of my paddle board and released it. As I stood up, I glanced over my shoulder at South Sister beaming in alpenglow and couldn’t help but feel lucky to live in a place where all this could happen on a work day before I clocked in at the office.

A SUP is the perfect vessel for fly fishing rivers or lakes. Standing on your paddle board, you can sight cast right to the fish. It’s amazing to watch them swim around and under you. It’s also easy to carry all the gear you’ll need for a day of fishing on your board. Just secure your drybag and fly rod and you’re off!

First things first, you’ll want a stable board so you aren’t rocking all over the place while you cast. I like the Hala Fame for its big platform. It’s also inflatable, so you can pack it in short distances to lakes and rivers if you’re feeling adventurous. Bring along an anchor (or a mesh bag to fill with rocks if you’re into the DIY scene). This way, when you find that sweet spot, you can lower your anchor and fish without having to pick up your paddle to adjust position.

One of my favorite things about fly fishing from a paddle board is bringing in a fish. Okay, that’s obviously one of the best things about fishing, in general. However, from a paddleboard you can bring that beautiful specimen right up to the board, check it out its magnificence and release the fish without pulling it out of the water. Don’t forget to keep ’em wet!

Now that you’re all set for the best day of fishing of your life, don’t forget to strap a cooler to your board and bring along your Crazy Creek chair for a ridiculously comfortable ride. And hey, if the fishing is slow, kick back, crack a cold one and work on your epic fish-that-got-away story.

-Meaghan Bull

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