Tag Archives: bote

Common Sense Matters

Can't beat a Yeti cooler for quality.

Can’t beat a Yeti cooler for quality.

One of the beauties of fly-fishing is its trial-and-error learning curve. You try. You err. You try again.

Upright and secure for once in the backcountry.

Upright and secure for once in the backcountry.

I’ve thrown a fly for more than 20 years and I’m still learning.  Last summer,  I lost a rod, reel and IPhone on a relatively new paddleboard after getting blasted from a wake. I was fishing for tarpon on the ICW behind a parked yacht and a couple morning boaters caught me by surprise. Their wake tossed me and a fair amount of tackle overboard. Initially, I was upset and embarrassed but chalked it up to a live-and-learn moment and moved on.

Nearly a month or so later, I realized the incident could have been avoided. A bit of background on what happened: I tumbled because of two reasons: One, the boat caught me by surprise. I wasn’t aware. Two, I was sitting on my Yeti cooler. I thought I was stable. I was not. The cooler wasn’t strapped down. I assumed (wrongly) that I was stable enough. I was not.

I bought the strap kit from BOTE. Good decision. I can now lash the cooler to the board and, believe me, it’s not going anywhere. Also included in the setup is a paddle clip, which makes sight fishing easier because I now have a place to store my paddle, which keeps the deck cleaner.

I could have bought the paddle-and-clip kit initially, but, with the price of the board and paddle, I thought I could do without. Unless you’re fishing in boatless water, securing the cooler is a must.

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Filed under Education, Fly casting, Fly fishing

Time for a Paddle board

My story in Hatch Magazine.

I admit it. I’m a sucker for fool’s gold. If there’s a gadget, I’ve got it, which is why my garage is always full of stuff. For me, more has been better. I’ve gone through more fly rods, canoes and kayaks than the average angler. I swore I would stop hoarding after I got a kayak, a Native Ultimate, but I didn’t. I recently added a paddle board to the fleet. For years, I had resisted buying one, because I figured I was too stiff to stay upright, even against the weakest of tides. While casting a fly rod? Not unless I took Pilates.

But one day, a neighbor, a non angler, suggested I paddle board. So I tried it. I didn’t even carry a rod. I figured the less that could go overboard the better. Remarkably, I stayed dry — and I was hooked. The skeptic became a believer. Less than a week later, I bought my first paddle board. I use it as much as possible.

http://www.hatchmag.com/blog/stand-paddle-board-fly-fishing/7712859

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Filed under Education, Entertainment, Fly casting

A Paddle Board for Mike

To be honest , I never thought much about paddle boarding. It was too risky. Too hard. Too daunting.

My ride with a tackle rack ready to go.

My ride with a tackle rack ready to go.

Well, my attitude changed dramatically a few weeks ago when I  actually got off my duff and tried to paddle board. Surprisingly, I stayed upright. The more I paddled the more I loved it. After borrowing a neighbor’s board, I got hooked. Off to Stuart I went to buy my own board from Flying Fish Outfitters.

It took about 20 minutes before I fell in love with a Bote Flood. This board this a 12-foot flats fishing machine. Before, much of my on-water angling came from a Native Ultimate 14. The Bote Flood is better.

One, you can’t beat the workout. Paddle boarding requires balance. Balance requires core strength — and that starts from the ground up. My feet, ankles, arms and abdominals have gotten a lot stronger after less than two weeks. My raging case of plantar fasciitis has subsided.

From an angling perspective, a paddle board can’t be beat for shallow-water fly fishing. Boards are quiet, fewer wakes than with the Native. Two, the platform is cleaner. There’s nothing for the line to snag on the deck.

Can't beat a Yeti cooler for quality.

Can’t beat a Yeti cooler for quality.

And you the visibility is second to none. Height is everything in sight fishing with a fly rod. You’re up higher on a paddle board than a kayak or canoe. It’s not even close.

The only downside to a paddle board is wind. Ideally, you’re standing and if the wind blows, you become a sail.  To offset the breeze, I bought a Yeti cooler, which sits behind me and serves as a seat and a place to rest my calves for more security and balance. Needless to say, it’s not bad to have a few drinks stocked to neutralize summer’s swelter.

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Filed under Education, Fly fishing