Page 17 - WCM Summer 2022
P. 17

I didn’t think I could ever find another kayak more comfortable. That is, until I tried out another model from Old Town a few years later, and bought a 12-foot “Predator” from them. But I quickly realized that paddling and fly fishing simultaneously didn’t go very well unless I was anchored, or maybe lodged securely
in rocks or gravel near shore. I discovered that some companies were making pedal-controlled kayaks that allow using your legs to control the kayak, and having your hands free for casting! Bingo! As an added benefit, pedaling a kayak works the cardiovascular system like riding a bicycle, and I can always use more exercise.
I finally zeroed in on an Old Town pedal model last year, and fished out of it all summer. What a change for the positive! You can softly sneak into shallow water with a paddle, easily maneuver your way down small streams, pedal upstream in bigger rivers, or make your way through extremely rough water in the middle of a big lake. This sit-on-top, pedal kayak really does it all! I liked it so much that, rather than going for our usual walk, my wife and I started kayaking almost every evening.
Even though it’s the best craft I’ve ever purchased, I made a few modifications. I’m kind of funny like that - I like to tinker with things until they work perfectly for my specific needs. I’m just a bit finicky, but the average angler doesn’t have to tackle all of these.
Pedal kayaks are by far the most comfortable and easy to navigate.
Customize Your Rig
One necessary modification was an anchoring system. To keep your kayak stationary in the flat water of a lake or pond, you can just throw a regular anchor overboard and tie it off to the craft without worry. But anchoring a kayak in a river’s current creates a completely different situation – one that can turn deadly if you don’t get it right.
I tested my first kayak by anchoring in various cur- rent speeds and found that the craft can become very unstable it you drop anchor in strong and fast current, especially if the anchor is tied down off center of the craft. I avoid anchoring in anything but the slowest current, and always make sure the anchor line comes as directly off the tail end (stern) of the kayak as pos- sible. This avoids having the current sway the kayak violently back and forth.
My anchor is a relatively easy and inexpensive add-on that most will like. For starters, I use a hand-held retractable dog leash, and run the line from my
seated position through the handle on the back of
the kayak, then to the anchor. My anchor consists of two old-fashioned iron window weights, and works perfectly to hold me in slow current while I cast. A gentle, steady current actually helps hold the craft in a stable position, making it easy to cast, then play a fish

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