As most of you know, I have a Sea Eagle fpb 285 that I’ve written about in the past. I’ve been very happy with it and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a personal fishing boat that can be transported to the water in the trunk of your car. But yesterday I decided to bite the bullet and go tandem. My son is at the age now where he can do all day fly fishing trips with me and I needed something that would accommodate both of us. Although I got some great suggestions from @TXFlyGeek and @TexasRiverBum, I have a very limiting requirement that pretty much ensures I get a suboptimal blow-up toy… it has to fit in my trunk. Yes, I am still falling in the anglerwannabe category as I have a four door sedan. It does support a fully assembled rod inside as there is a convenient “fly rod door” thru the backseat (or that’s what I would recommend Kia market it as). But, nevertheless, I have to filter my search by what I can blow up.
Parker and I ran up the road to Austin Canoe and Kayak. Although they were very helpful, I definitely felt like I was at a nice fly shop trying to buy a $30 Cortland rod (no offense to Cortland but I tend to find them at places like Walmart). One of the guys did say some nice things about an Advanced Elements StraitEdge2 kayak. That was enough for me so I got it.
Deciding where to take it first was the next interesting challenge. Debated on Town Lake (too crowded), Colorado Bend park (too far and likely full of white bass chasers), or the Llano river. I pulled out Kevin Hutcheson’s awesome book – Fly Fishing the Texas Hill Country and randomly picked somewhere I hadn’t been before that was close enough to get there in less than 2 hours. Big Webberville Park it was. Not knowing what to expect, I packed up the car and headed out.
The park ended up being nicely kept up and had a boat ramp. Now the water was kinda like I always remembered the Colorado River – murky with lots of debris. I used my new Fujifilm XP underwater camera to try shoot some footage but you literally couldn’t see anything.
We paddled downstream until we got out of the dock area. Coming up on a set of “rapids” I was just getting ready to try them out when I realized, crap, I won’t be able to back upstream. By this time I was already starting the acceleration and so frantically paddled to the shore to walk the boat back up to still water. That was almost a very dumb move.
It ended up being a really nice place to set up for some fishing so Parker hopped out and we put on some wooly buggers and started casting. Parker caught a few little bass on his own and I pulled in 5 or 6 little bass 8″ – 11″. It was so cool watching Parker cast on his own and work on his roll cast. He was doing great.
The boat worked great overall. It was fairly easy to maneuver and wasn’t too uncomfortable. I need to figure out how to deal with two fly rods and a paddle. That can get a bit nerve wracking. I get scared that I’m either going to crush a rod or knock it overboard. Next purchase, fly rod holders.
I’m very excited that I will now be able to share my time on the water with Parker. He seems to really be getting into it and he’s doing great. Should be making a lot more posts with two fishing reports going forward!