With the drier season fast approaching and the rivers getting smaller and smaller I was beginning to feel guilty for continuing to put pressure on the fish in the rapidly dwindling and warming water. I began considering switching to lake fishing for the summer. However, standing on the bank in one area all day does not excite me at all.
A nice spot for lunch
So, I decided to purchase a kayak. I started doing some research on fishing kayaks and was surprised at how much they cost. I kept my eyes on Craiglist but I did not see anything that caught my eye until late one night I came across a Heritage Featherlite 9.5 for sale. The price was a little high so I messaged them to see if they would take a lower price. They agreed! The next day I drove down and picked her up.
A nice little spot that you can only get to by kayak
It was a good thing though that they came down on the price. On our maiden voyage she was taking on water. I did not notice right away though, until I was in the middle of the lake. Thankfully I was able to make it to shore.
A hole in the hull...
The hole was about four inches long. I loaded the kayak back up in the truck and drove eight minutes to the local hardware store and bought some 100 grit sand paper, epoxy resin, and a role of Gorilla patch and seal tape. The epoxy said it would set in 15 minutes and cure in 24 hours. I did not want to wait 24 hours - that is why I bought the tape - to seal the hole while the epoxy dried.
Puffy clouds over the lake
I cleaned up the area around the hole with a sanitizing wipe, then sanded the area around the hole to ensure the tape had a "better" surface to stick to. Then I wiped down the area with a wet napkin (to clean up the dust from sanding) and applied the epoxy. While I waited for the epoxy to set I made lunch on my camp stove.
Racing the tide back to deeper water
After lunch I applied the Gorilla tape and put the kayak back into the water. The patch job held! I was back in business. For my maiden voyage I wanted to explore a river I had recently found. I could only access the upper section of the river on foot though...
Fishing from the kayak
The lower section was "protected" by homes and a plethora of No Trespassing signs. However, there was no one stopping me from gaining access to this river at the point where it flowed into another much larger river. I just had to get up that much larger river. Enter my kayak...
A lovely lily pad
After repairing my kayak I began making my way up the said larger river. I stopped to fish along the way in a few promising spots. I had a fish or two on for a bit but they got away. There were two other kayakers on the river, but they were just sunbathing and not really interested in my "under the radar" operation to access the lower section of the river that I had tried unsuccessfully to reach a few weeks ago.
Repairing the hull in the back of my truck
Once I made it to the point where the two rivers converge I navigated through a delta teaming with millions of baby fish. I was able to get my kayak through in areas where the water was only three to four inches deep. However, there were a few spots where I had to get out and pull my kayak behind me.
A wonderful fishing spot
I found a good spot to stash my kayak and I continued upstream on foot. After clearing a massive log jam I entered the forest and was immediately greeted by a lovely stream. It had shrunk considerably since I had last fished it. I ended up putting away my spin rod and using my tenkara rod instead. It was perfect medium gradient pocket water with lots of rocks.
The last remaining Rhododendron flowers smelled divine
At one pool I came within a few feet of mink sitting on a mossy boulder eating a mouse. He seemed surprised to see me - I doubt many people come from the direction I came from. I watched him scamper away with his mouse in his mouth and continued upstream. I caught a small Fallfish and saw some larger ones at the bottom of a deep pool.
A superb day
I really hope we get some rain soon. Our last good storm was almost two weeks ago now. The rivers are all looking pretty sparse. I did go on another kayaking trip a few days later and my patch job held up strong. No fish caught on the second trip though - although in my defense I did not get on the water until 10:30 on our first day of the summer to hit the 90 degree mark. Some of the photos are from that second trip.
Wild blueberries growing on the bank of the lake
I have a few kinks to work out in my system. I have never fished from a kayak before. There are some challenges that I just have to work at to overcome. I will say that I am little bummed because I had read that you could stand and fish in my kayak. That does not seem to be the case. She gets quite squirrelly if I stand up. I kept thinking I was not doing it right but after the fourth or fifth time almost capsizing I decided you really cannot stand up in my kayak...