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Old 06-05-2018, 08:16 AM   #18
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: In the Place of the Nettles
Posts: 932
Originally Posted by beartooth91 View Post
Since Saturday, I've been seriously considering an ultralight, recreational kayak for future trips. I've actually thought about it before this, but, now have increased motivation.

Big question is how do most of you get these up trails into in a day? I've heard of some carrying them. How about any of the roller type frames? Are these durable enough to withstand trail use?
If you search the archives of this board you'll find plenty of spirited debate on the subject of ultralight canoes vs tubes. There was even a powerpoint by a certain board member (cough vtflyfish cough). He'll say you don't need anything but the tube. My view is that you fish in what makes you comfortable and suits your needs. Looking at the ponds you seem to be gravitating toward with fairly easy access, I don't see why an ultralight canoe wouldn't provide additional flexibility and utility.

I don't wish to rehash the old debate but here are a couple points to consider. Yes, the tube provides better stability in windy conditions no doubt. However I will counter that with some experience, the ultralight can be used efficiently in the wind with some change in technique. Drifting and using 'loch style' techniques can be utilized in nasty winds. Yes, staring at a chironomid indicator is probably out but adaptability is key. I noticed that you've had luck while trolling in some instances, the ultralight opens that option up significantly. You seem to be fishing places you never fished before. The ultralight allows you to cover water much faster to locate fish especially on a big pond like 'flat hike'. I'm usually under some sort of time crunch when I fish so being able to basically walk into a pond, put the boat down, rig my flyrod and start fishing is appealing. The tube requires at least a half hour of inflating, dressing with waders, etc. and then the reverse process when leaving which in most circumstances I don't have time for.

Some will argue without any competent evidence that an ultralight will 'spook' all the fish vs a tube that will somehow not. I call hogwash on that one. I and others here do just fine with ultralights for catching pond brook trout. That big fish I caught a few weeks ago was caught in 4 ft. of water on a pt sunny day after I ran over the spot it was sitting in three times with my ultralight. If you play it smart as in any trout fishing situation you can mitigate alerting fish to your presence whether you have a boat or tube.

I personally use my hornbeck blackjack for many other fishing and non-fishing situations. It's as fast as my wife's kayak with a double blade paddle so I use it for family outings. I have rigged up a system for essentially hands free carrying by making a shoulder yoke. Don't get a kayak, you will hate trying to flyfish or trolling from a kayak trust me. And if you get an ultralight, don't try to wheel it. Most ADK trails are not suited for wheels. The modern carbon composite ultralights can be fitted with oarlocks and that provides the best control for fishing. If you're going to get into bushwhacking, then its probably best to use the tube uninflated. I executed a short but vertically challenging bushwhack memorial day that left me wishing I used my tube.
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