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Paddleboards and Rainbow Trout

Having returned the day before from three weeks at the family cottage I was excited to spend Labour Day weekend camping and relaxing with my wife. I’d done a hell of a lot of fishing while in Ontario, so throwing the gear in the Xterra was more of an afterthought; whether I used it or not, I wasn’t too fussed. Rachael was down for the count, we’d had an early start and it was time for a siesta. With her safely ensconced in the tent I took advantage of the time to break out the fly rod. Dipping the paddle into the creek I wove my way out to the main body of the lake.

Paddling to get to my fishing spot isn’t anything new, I’d previously owned an inflatable pontoon boat, a raft and just this past spring my nephew and I used a canoe to hammer some big smallmouth bass. This particular paddling was new to me though at least for a fishing purpose. My meagre amount of basic gear, tippet spools, fly box, forceps and a landing net were secured underneath an elastic, bungee strap as I knelt on my paddleboard.

Paddleboard fishing is growing in popularity, large, stable boards, some equipped with a chair have come to the masses. My board isn’t one of those, being an inflatable touring/sport board I purchased for cruising around our local lake, getting some fresh air and exercise. It ’s not what I’d call the most stable of platforms, to fix this I knelt when moving around and sat, dangling my feet off one side while I was fishing. The first rainbow trout I hooked put on an impressive arial display, while the second was a diver. For being all of a foot long it was a fighter, didn’t want to give up. The little bugger had my 4 weight rod bent and was pulling the nose of the paddleboard around in the direction it wanted to go.

I was all smiles, not only was it fun fishing off the paddleboard, it was nice to have my legs cooling in the lake on a hot day. After netting my second rainbow in an hour I was already thinking about the lakes I’d be using the board to access around home next summer.

See you on the water or the mountain.

-Matthew Mallory


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