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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Took my first ever kayak fishing trip this past Saturday. Went down the south fork of the New River. I've always wanted to try this and I was not disappointed. Probably hooked on this kind of fishing. River was stained and very grassy. Made throwing soft plastics difficult. Threw most spinners, stick bait and top water. Caught about 20 smallies in the 8"-12" range. Lost 2 very nice ones right at the boat. Did catch the biggest creek chub/horny head I'd ever seen. Measured it at 14". I was stunned how big it was. Caught quite a few redeye too. All in all, it was a big learning experience and a ton of fun. Gonna try a few more times with kayak rentals before buying to see what I like best. But I can definitely predict a purchase in the future.




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Glad you liked it....floating the river for smallies can be very addictive. Try before you buy is a really good idea. Read back thru some of the old threads here on pros and cons of boat selection; transportation; weight etc. Everybody will have their preferences and what works well for them. e.g. check out the thread under Fishing Clubs on the big outing on the S. Fork this last weekding I was paddling and fishing a 14' sit on top on the New this morning. But in spite of owning a couple of kayaks and a couple of canoes...a 15' 6" canoe rigged for solo paddling is still my first choice for the rivers.

Whichever you choose...a personal watercraft will open up lots of options for you. Enjoy the process of selection.
 

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Hey Dash, did you use a guide service or just head out on your own? I'm trying to get myself "initiated" into yak fishing, and The New seems like good water to try, and not too far from me in Winston. Seems most guides I find are doing float or wade fly fishing, not really kayaks.
 

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All the guides I know are using drift boats, catarafts etc. The exception may be River Girl in Todd...but it gets a tad shallow that far up. There are several kayak/canoe rental businesses: Riverside, New River Outfitters, Zaloos. They will offer several shuttle options. If you have you own boat, most will shuttle you for a fee. Lots of good options on the S. Fork and the New. Check out the Nat. Geo New River Blueway map for river mileages etc....and the New River State Park site. My store website has some yak and canoe guidance for folks starting on rivers.
 

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Oooooohhhhhh man, I sure could have used this map last week. With the lack of cell coverage google maps is useless. And if one of your cars don't have built in nav... your just screwed without a map. That is if you don't know how to get back to your putin :rolleyes:. And here I thought I was not going to have to buy any more maps.
 

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I ran into one of the River Girls last week at Big Hill rd and Todd Railroad Grade Rd. You can put in there but you need to find somewhere to park. She was in the process of loading an old tire on top of a bunch of other crap. I found out there is no rental charge on a boat from them on Tuesday if you are willing to gather some trash on the way.

OBTW, there is no reason to bring a boat there if the flow is anywhere below what it was for our outing. I would just walk up stream hoping to dislodge something willing to bite.

mike
 

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All the guides I know are using drift boats, catarafts etc. The exception may be River Girl in Todd...but it gets a tad shallow that far up. There are several kayak/canoe rental businesses: Riverside, New River Outfitters, Zaloos. They will offer several shuttle options. If you have you own boat, most will shuttle you for a fee. Lots of good options on the S. Fork and the New. Check out the Nat. Geo New River Blueway map for river mileages etc....and the New River State Park site. My store website has some yak and canoe guidance for folks starting on rivers.
Thanks for the info Richard. I'll definitely check your website for some more. I tend to obsess on the research when I'm taking on a new hobby or project so every source I can find is helpful. As long as I don't get "paralysis by analysis"...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey Dash, did you use a guide service or just head out on your own? I'm trying to get myself "initiated" into yak fishing, and The New seems like good water to try, and not too far from me in Winston. Seems most guides I find are doing float or wade fly fishing, not really kayaks.
Honestly, I just did it all on my own (well, me and a cousin who was a newbie too). I rented a 2 hour run from Riverside Canoe. I'm out of Winston too and it was about an hour and 40-ish minute drive. Then we just got out there and had fun. I've trout fished a ton, so I figured the fish would be in the same pockets of water and for the most part I was right. We caught the redeyes in calm water. Those were new, I had never even seen one before.

Anyways, I rented an 11.5' perception kayak, which seemed like a good starting point for trying this type of fishing out. I did buy a couple of things before going. A good fishing life vest which I already had, but was very glad to had taken with me and a small anchor & rope. I really didn't use it much and it got in the way. But for $10 I figured it was worth the risk.

Also, the 2 hour trip I think is based on people really flying down the river. I think it was about 4 miles of river and we took about 6 to go down it and that's with paddling by some tubers towards the end. For $20 I thought it was a great deal. I'm going to try several different places with different kayaks on different parts of the river. PM me if you want any more info.
 

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@ Dash and rmhpmi, You guys need to get in touch with Gary Ribet at Froggy Waters Outdoors in Danbury. He is a fellow NCAngler that runs trips on several rivers. He also has a selection of kayaks to try on the water. And, he can put you on the fish!
+1. Gary is a great fellow. Knowledgeable and helpful.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
@ Dash and rmhpmi, You guys need to get in touch with Gary Ribet at Froggy Waters Outdoors in Danbury. He is a fellow NCAngler that runs trips on several rivers. He also has a selection of kayaks to try on the water. And, he can put you on the fish!
Thanks. I'm actually going to be up that way some next week. I may try to give him a call.
 

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a small anchor & rope
These have been invaluable for me. I would often put in, and in shallow areas. tie the rope to my waist and wade upstream, fishing as I went. The empty boat was no resistance at all wading upstream. I'd paddle upstream thru the deep, slow areas...then wade upstream when it was shallow enough. I'd thoroughly cover a lot of river that way... Then, get in the canoe and float and fish back downstream. It avoided the need for a shuttle.

However, most of the time now I work out a shuttle with one of the outfitters....and an anchor system is invaluable for me when floating downstream. I've got a locking pulley rig on the stern of the canoe that allows one-handed raising and lowering of the anchor so I can stop easily and fish areas...then raise the anchor and drift further downstream to the next spot where I want to stop. For me the anchor system is a major benefit. If I want to get out and wade a section, I use the tow rope around the waist method...so the boat is always only a rope length away.

Folks use a variety of things for anchors. My preference has evolved into 3 window sash weights...totaling 12 lbs. 8lb worked okay in really slow stretches but 12 was necessary in spots that had moderate current.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That definitely makes a lot of sense. I just went out a little "half cocked" with the anchor and rope. Like I said, it just ended up being in my way more often than not. Plus, I really had no real system for it. I'll prepare better then next trip.
 
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