I do most of my fly fishing from a Mad River Passage 14 canoe. I caught this porker bass on a foam popper while enjoying an evening on a local lake with my wife. I sit in the middle sit when I am solo and I stand up a lot to cast. I have been on rivers and lakes and even a couple canals. My wife is a bowfishing nut, so I paddle her around and she stands in the middle to shoot. Folks always think we are a bit odd for showing up with a canoe. I guess it is not a normal method of water transportation anymore? I have found that my friends don't trust a canoe either. Maybe they spent too much time on a beer drinking float trip where canoes are flipped more than burgers on a grill. I have always felt comfortable on the canoe. I always feel more comfortable in a boat then in the water! Therefore, I stay in the boat.
Here are some benefits from fly fishing in a canoe:
1. It forces you to think - You have to plan your trip and you have to scale down your gear. The canoe doesn't have tons of room for every piece of gear that you own. Only the effective and essential items.
2. Stealth - You can get insanely close to fish if you are quiet. My wife and I have paddled directly over pods of carp only to have them freak out because I hit one with the paddle on accident.
3. Shallow Water - A canoe can go where most fishing boats can't go. Shallow water is not a problem with the canoe.
4. Exercise & Accomplishment - Ok this one sucks. It is just part of the game. It is an added bonus though. Carrying the canoe, paddling and carrying. You do feel some accomplishment when you paddle a river all day and catch fish on flies that you tied. Pretty cool.
5. Cheap - A canoe doesn't have to be expensive. Our first canoe was a 40 year old 17ft aluminum for $50. It had a slight leak in the back and dents everywhere. We loved it and took that thing all over the place. What fishing boat are you going to buy that is $50? No trailer or insurance needed too!
6. Add Ons - I have installed a depth finder and anchor trolley to the canoe since I have had it. Some folks even add a trolling motor. I have seen guys add rod holders and pretty much anything you can think of.
This post goes out to my friend and fishing buddy. My canoe.