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I just returned from a trip on the Matepedia/Restigouche rivers. We were fishing from canoes. I fished my 13 ft 9 vision with a vision sliding density scandi head at 34 g. This worked well for me fishing large flies on 3/0 to 5/0 hooks and I was able to take a few fish during the trip. So here is the problem I encountered trying to spey cast from a canoe.

1. You have company...your guide and your fishing partner and the canoe itself. You reallly need to be aware of where your line is and what it is doing when executing casts. I tried to adjust my casting stroke and cast off the tip of the rod as much as possible. This was easier if I was seated in the middle of the canoe.

2. Wind and lots of it made casting quite challenging, especially with the above mentioned factors.

My guide suggested I try to overhead cast which to my surprise worked out quite well with the line I had on. Also it was also a little less dangerous for my partner and the guide.

I do think however there may be some better options for overhead casting from a canoe with a spey rod. I am thinking of going to a switch rod 9 wt or a shorter spey rod and loading it with a single hand sinking tip type line for this type of fishing. The water levers are quite high at this time of the year 240 cubic metres when we started our trip. I would bump up the grain wt to match the rod. I found a few options out there for this.

Anyone have thoughts on this, or have any similar experiences fishing from a canoe?

Thanks
Gannysteel
 

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Fishing in canoes on the Restigouche, Matepedia and Gaspe rivers is quite common, particularly during the early season. And for those who haven't experienced it, these canoes are stable 26' boats built for this purpose. They aren't little tippy things. Some places it can be the only option. Once you get used to it, and if you're fishing with another experienced angler, like most casting it becomes routine. Personally, I've found using a spey cast of some sort with line stripped in to set the line at the right angle, and then overheading for distance works well. Easier doing that than trying to change direction with the overhead cast. If I'm going to be overheading mostly, I'll drop down in grains on the line, as you'll be having all the grains in play. Again, personally, I don't see any particular advantage in a shorter rod, although I wouldn't fish over a 14' rod from a canoe. Don't pretend to have all the right answers, but this works for me.
 

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I fly fish and now 2-hand fly fish from a canoe all the time. A 16 foot canvas-covered, cedar-ribbed Chestnut Prospector. I also get a lot of you can't do this, you can't do that thrown at me but that is to be expected as North Americans become increasingly sedentary.

Try single Spey and sustained anchor casting from a canoe before you gear up for overhead casting. Practice casting while sitting on a low-lying dock or while squatting on a beach. Helped me.

Overhand casting is fine but is a lot more work. The overhand presentation is likely to be far more clumsy too, especially with massive irons.


And while we are on this subject, it is easy to stand and cast in a long, freighter-style canoe. Personally, I would seek to avoid standing while casting but that's just me trying to be sneaky. A person sitting in an East Coast salmon river/freighter style canoe is actually sitting much higher off the water than where one would sit in a short canoe or kayak.
 
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