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Boat people of N. Illinois


jamie shard
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I did a search and didn't quite find an answer to this question...

 

Is it a realistic expectation that with a 12-14ft kayak, I would be able to put in to the Fox or Dupe and paddle upstream and fish back down? Or are downstream floats (with shuttle cars) about the only way to fish from a yak?

 

Another way to ask it, on a scale from one to ten... How much fun is fishing using the shuttle system... How about the paddling upstream system? Am I going to be too exhausted to enjoy the fishing?

 

Thanks in advance!

 

:)

 

-jamie s

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If you are young enough and strong enough you can do what you are thinking about. They had a canoe rental in Montgomery back when I was about 14-15 which was many years ago. My cousin and I would rent a canoe and float down to my Uncles cabin in Yorkville and then paddle back upstream to Montgomery. It was fun but a lot of work. I guess being young it was good exercise too. I think the experience would be more rewarding if you planned a trip with a friend, as company is always good, and positioned a car at the takeout point to bring you and the canoe back to the start.

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I did a bunch of research around this time of year last year on kayaks because I wanted to buy one.

 

What I learned is there are a lot of different trade offs in performance and you can't ever get everything you want in one style of kayak. If paddling upstream is what you want, you can get one that will perform well but you will have to make sacrifices in other areas. The best kayaks for paddling upstream are the long skinny ones that track well. These kayaks are typically not as stable and they don't turn very well. If you are on a small stream with bends and down timber you could get into trouble and with out a lot of skill you will have a hard time manuevering. They stay in straight line which helps you go faster but they take several paddle strokes to turn.

 

I chose a wide stable short 8' sit on top kayak. It is very bad with paddling upstream. I wanted something light, easy to portage, stable and manueverable for small streams. Plus when I fold back my 60/40 seats in fits inside my honda civic. I got what I felt was important to me but I had to sacrifice speed and tracking upstream.

 

In a perfect world I would have 2 kayaks. One like I have and a long skinny touring one.

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I think that yaks and conoes are for covering lots of water or day trips or yet deep holes were wadeing is what you make it

like long death walks with a good buddy (don R ) or a just off work run gun 1/2 or hours or a all day walk down different ares and hitting some known and unknown spots

 

pros and cons for all just my 2 cents good fishing to you

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Jamie . . . you have several choices.

 

1) Do your best to paddle back upstream. Even a moderate flow will challenge the best of us. Just don't try paddling upstream on the 3K.

 

2) Avail your self of shuttle services. Typically, shuttle providers will only charge 1/2 the shuttle fee if you have your own watercraft.

 

3) Do as we do in Prairie State Canoeist (PSC) outings . . . find a couple other interested kayak or canoeists with elongated roof racks. Drop off all kayaks at the "put in" site along with one paddler to watch over the kayaks. Then all other paddlers drive all cars to the "take out" site, leave their cars and drive back up to the "put in" site in one car. All parties float fish down river to the "take out", load up their kayaks (including the kayak of the owner of the car left at the "put in" site), and one car with the elongated roof rack takes his/her kayak as well as the other owner and his/her kayak back up the "put in" site, and offloads the other kayak to the owner's car, thus ending the transfer.

 

4) Choice #3 prompted me to purchase a 30/30 trolling motor and side motor mount for my 17' canoe. Simply take a fishin' buddy to the "put-in" site, motor upstream 2-3 miles, and float fish back to my car. While this may not be an option for your kayak, if our schedules are open, perhaps on occasion I could tow you upriver and we could float fish back downriver to our respective cars.

 

Of course, there's alway a final option . . . trade in your kayak for a canoe and equip it as I have done.

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When it comes to paddling upstream it all depends on how high the river is. When I get my nice low flows in summer, I take my 12 foot solo canoe and paddle upstream very nicely. I use a double-bladed paddle (a must if you are paddling upstream) and can usually move upstream quite quickly. When you don't have anyone to go fishing with you, and you still have the hankering to canoe, then the solo trip is a great option.

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Wow, thanks for the responses!

 

I guess a good follow-up question would be: what would be a great boat for this kind of fishing/upstream paddling? My searching so far suggest a 12 or 14ft Native Watercraft Manta Ray is probably a fail-safe purchase. Too short? Any other suggestions?

 

 

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Wow, thanks for the responses!

 

I guess a good follow-up question would be: what would be a great boat for this kind of fishing/upstream paddling? My searching so far suggest a 12 or 14ft Native Watercraft Manta Ray is probably a fail-safe purchase. Too short? Any other suggestions?

 

Jamie, you've gotten into a complicated issue here. 12-14' usually boats don't turn well. That means if you notice something at the last second that could be fishy, or you get hung up, you'll spend a lot of energy to turn. The more keel you have the easier it is to track straight, paddle effeciently upstream. This is the exact kind of kayak that is just transportation. I prefer short, flat bottomed, manuverable boats and get a partner to float with. The boats turn on a dime so I can line up casts and avoid obstructions. But even these can easily paddle upstream sticking to the 'slow' side of the river.

 

IMHO, find someone you can stand with experience and learn from them. It's easy to buy the wrong kayak.

 

 

 

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Years ago I used to cruise the Kankakee with nothing but a trolling motor in a 12' rowboat.

We'd launch at 4th avenue in Aroma Park and float downstream to hit the bayou and the Iroquois River.

One day we came out of the Iroquois and didn't pay attention- ended up farther downstream than we anticipated. With a full charge on the battery, we just barely made it back to the launch going upstream.

Opted for a 14' Jon after that, with a 3 hp gas motor.

 

Launched the row boat on the Fox below Yorkville one day and couldn't make it even close to the dam- right about the overpass just downstream the trolling motor ran out of steam.

 

It taught me to never underestimate the current in any local stream.

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I almost always work off of one bridge and paddle back to where I started. You don't cover as much water, but you can hit spots twice and be more thorough. A few times I've barely lost sight of the bridge but if you're catching fish who cares. I use a" toy" kayak Old Town H2YO. It's light and cheap and fits kitty korner inside my Dodge Caravan nice when your hands are cold and you don't want to tie something to the roof. It's a sit on top and a nice way to fish is to wade a while, paddle a while and if you get tired you can float back down to the car. I just tie a long rope around my belt and wade upstream to do this. You do have to watch how far you go if you float down river, remembering you have to paddle back upstream.

Like Eric said once you get in shape you can really cover a lot of water. It's amazing what a good workout you can get and you won't hardly notice it.

Paddling upstream will also help you learn to read the water better and find fish. I did a high water trip to Indiana a couple a years back the only place I could rest and stop paddling was behind these rock points. The fish were behind them too. Every one had a couple fish holding in the calm water. Be sure to only anchor in eddies, stay out of the main flow if it's strong.

Good Luck

Phil

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I solo fish most of the time and therefore need to paddle to cover water. I am using the 10' kayak I won at the Blowout a few years ago or I also have an 11' kayak I use sometimes. Depending on water conditions I paddle upstream first then float back if the current is a little fast. In low summer flows I sometimes float downstream then paddle back. If you have some good spots you get two chances to fish them.

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My wife surpised me with this for Christmas. I added the rod holders and the rigging up front and made some leashes. I plan on learning to use it on small lakes and than try it out on the dupe. I have looked at some anchor trolley systems and wonder if you guys use/recommend them for the dupe? Thanks.

 

 

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I have a ten and a twelve footer. Paddling upstream is MUCH easier in the 12. I would suggest always paddling upstream, then floating back. If you float downstream with the intention of paddling back, you will be in trouble if you pull a muscle, break your paddle, etc.

 

Being able to go solo, you'll get out a LOT more. You'll have opportunities after work, a couple hours on the weekend, etc. Spur of the moment trips are almost impossible if you have to find a partner.

 

My next boat will be a twelve foot Manta or Tarpon.

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My wife surpised me with this for Christmas. I added the rod holders and the rigging up front and made some leashes. I plan on learning to use it on small lakes and than try it out on the dupe. I have looked at some anchor trolley systems and wonder if you guys use/recommend them for the dupe? Thanks.

 

 

Merry Christmas, Paul!

 

I can't speak to the Dupe, but I use a three pound neoprene covered dumbbell tied to twenty feet or so of nylon para cord, front and back. A jam cleat for each right on the side of the cockpit.

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When it comes to anchors, and I have tried many different options, the best is a simple window weight. They are cylindrical and already have a hole at the top to attach a section of rope. They also come in different sizes/weights. A five pounder or so will do the trick, most of the time.

 

To complete my anchor system, I attach a pulley wheel (BPS has the best one - costs around $10) that contains a "cincher" to clamp down on the rope to a custom-cut board. Then mount the board/pulley to the back of the canoe. Then all you do is before you start fishing, you run the end of your anchor rope through the pulley system and tie it off near where you sit. Pull up the anchor tight to the pulley, give the rope and pull and release and the anchor stays in the "up" position. When you want to anchor, the rope is right next to you. Simply jerk on the rope and the anchor lowers into the water. Works great! Almost everyone I fish with uses this system for anchoring. I wish I had a picture available so you could get a visual. If you have questions, just PM me.

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Jonn- If you can find Steve Jordan's report on a trip on the Middle Fork this last summer, he posted some pics with his canoe that shows the anchor and rigging pretty well. I think you indicated it is identical to what you advocate. With 50's forcast this week, I need to get up to BP and get that rigging put on my Pack.

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I have been using a piece of 3/8" chain about two foot long, doubled over in the middle and tied to a piece of floating nylon rope. I have guides on the aft end of the kayak and along the side up to the cockpit area where I have a clam cleat to hold it. You can put the chain down just enough to drag and slow you down and keep you straight or put it down with plenty of line out to stop. I don't tie the rope off so if you get into swift current and the anchor gets stuck you can release the rope and get away. With the floating rope you can come back around and find the rope and retrieve the anchor chain. I got caught in current with an anchor trolley system once when the anchor got caught in the bottom and nearly swamped the kayak because it wanted to turn sideways in the current. I will only anchor off of the aft now in current. Trolley may be OK in lakes and ponds.

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I have the same set up as Steve. Have not tried the other type of pulley system, though I have seen it and am fairly sure it would work quite well.

 

So to be clear, you use the Attwood Deluxe, as opposed to the Bass Pro brand for an anchor lifting system?

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Just wanted to say this was a great thread and I learned a lot! Hope to see you all on the water this spring! :)

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'll add my two cents.

 

I have a 14 foot kayak that I use on the Fox River. I paddle upstream all the time. In still water, I can paddle 4 to 5 MPH. In the summer, the Fox is about 1 MPH current - so I can make 3 to 4 MPH upstream. It doesn't take much to double the current speed to two MPH - maybe 6 to 10 inches higher water. I always check that before I put in. THere is a huge difference in the effort and time it takes to get upstream. When the current is 3 MPH, not much sense in trying.

 

I also have a 12 foot Old Town Pack canoe I use in the DuPage. A kayak will get hung up too much (DuPage is smaller and shallower water). I pole the canoe upstream. In fact I don't even carry a paddle anymore - just use the pole up and downstream. You can pole upstream in a 3 mph current without much fuss. Also can go upstream in shallower water as the canoe makes a bow wave to ride higher.

 

Having both to fish from works out great. I never anchor - too much trouble. If you get snagged, or sometimes when you have a fish on it can cross your anchor line. On the DuPage I will frequently beach the canoe and wade.

 

Dave

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I don't even know about the Attwood system. I use the black mechanism from Bass Pro Shops.

 

Anchoring too much trouble??? If you had an anchor system or saw one used, you would see it is not any trouble at all. Getting out and wading is an option, but in some of my spots getting out and wading is not advantageous and also not as stealthy. Stealthiness results in more and bigger fish I have found. I can be quieter just slipping the anchor down to the bottom of the river than getting out and sending out vibrations from wading.

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