Tag Archives: Yeti.

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

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