At the heart of everything I do, I want others to see that fishing is something accessible to them. I want them to know that their lives and our environments are better because they are involved. Whether it is from a boat out on the ocean, a small stream you hike into, or anything in between, there are experiences out there that are worth the effort. Kayak fishing is great because you don't have to fork out the cash for a bigger boat, but you are still highly mobile and even access places typical boats and hikers cannot!
In this episode, I pick up my kayak from Next Adventure. The team there went beyond to make sure my kayak was set up for any fishing adventure I choose. I was fortunate to go down to Next Adventure Paddle Sports to try out all of the kayaks and find the right one for me. After spending some time in the kayaks, my perception of kayaking versus reality was very different.
1) Stability- If I can't go fishing with my best friend, Oly, then I don't know if I want to go at all! When I learned that I could get a stable kayak that was able to handle 70lb of labrador wiggles, I was completely sold on kayaking! All kayaks are different, but if finding a stable kayak is important to you, stable ones are out there!
2) Aren't you tired? I recently went on my first kayak fishing trip for salmon. I launched on the Willamette and pedaled out to the fishing area surrounded by jet sleds. For hours I trolled my gear around for salmon. Many boaters were curious about what I was doing and asked me if I was tired as I passed along. My kayak pedal drive is HIGHLY efficient, so trolling at 1.6-1.9 mph was no problem at all. I felt like I was active, but I never felt like I needed to go in because I needed a break.
3) Community- When you start kayaking, you join a community of kayakers! This community is dedicated to helping newer kayakers/anglers, and making everyone feel welcome. Since I have begun, other kayakers stop to connect with me on the water, and you get a sense that someone is looking out for you everywhere even though kayaking is an independent experience compared to 6 people in a jet sled.
Finally, I hope that seeing me try this and have some fun with it makes you feel like you can too! I love the feeling of autonomy on the water, all while feeling a part of a fun community of people who love kayaking. There is much for me to learn, but that is what makes these experiences more fun. I still am not sure how I will net a salmon from my kayak...