Canoe vs wading.

kpla51

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New to the forum and new to fly fishing. In the past I have use a canoe to get down smallmouth creeks and only use it to get over deep holes and wade the rest. Im located in North West Arkansas and there are a few tailwater close to me for trout fishing. I currently do not own a canoe and was curious if its worth the investment to get away from the crowds.

My main concerns is that I will be fishing alone mainly so I will not have a pick up vehicle down stream so If I float two miles then I'm pulling/paddling that canoe back up two miles.

Advice from anyone who has fished creeks/tailwaters solo would be appreciated. Canoes and kayaks are relatively expensive and I don't want to dump money into one If it will be unnecessary in tail waters.
 

okaloosa

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New to the forum and new to fly fishing. In the past I have use a canoe to get down smallmouth creeks and only use it to get over deep holes and wade the rest. Im located in North West Arkansas and there are a few tailwater close to me for trout fishing. I currently do not own a canoe and was curious if its worth the investment to get away from the crowds.

My main concerns is that I will be fishing alone mainly so I will not have a pick up vehicle down stream so If I float two miles then I'm pulling/paddling that canoe back up two miles.

Advice from anyone who has fished creeks/tailwaters solo would be appreciated. Canoes and kayaks are relatively expensive and I don't want to dump money into one If it will be unnecessary in tail waters.
I love canoeing but two miles upstream a trout tailwater with probably significant flow does not sound like fun to me unless you are in good shape and dont mind the work out.
 

kpla51

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I love canoeing but two miles upstream a trout tailwater with probably significant flow does not sound like fun to me unless you are in good shape and dont mind the work out.
Thats what Im worried about, I don't want to turn a fun day of fishing into a nightmare of paddling back up stream.
 

photoguy

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For what it's worth... I just recently picked a Sportspal canoe on Craigslist for short money. I was interested in it because of it's light weight. I fish alone as well and getting it in and out of the water and truck was a big concern. This is a 14' and weighs in the 45b range, so its relatively easy to handle. Mine came with a trolling motor as well, so getting back up river hasn't been an issue. I paddle down, motor up, but that would obviously depend on the flow whether that's an option for you.

So far so good. I've used it on rivers and ponds and while I think I'll always prefer to wade, this has been a nice change of pace.
 

Rip Tide

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You could always stash a bicycle at your take-out and ride the 2 miles to back to pick up your car

When I float the local river, I drop off the canoe at the launch, then drive down to the take-out, leave my truck there and have my wife meet me and drive me back to the launch.
It's only about 5 miles each way and she gets over it by the time that I get home. ;)
 

ejsell

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Just recently gotten into paddling and fishing but so far I've paddled up so I could fish and relax on the way back to my car.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
 

al_a

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Many Ozark streams have canoe liveries who will shuttle your vehicle for one way floats. And typical Ozark smallmouth streams are slow enough that paddling upstream is somewhat doable. I do it sometimes on a couple Missouri Ozark streams, always paddle upstream as far as I wish to, and then fish back down. Most of the time when I do that I go about 3 to 4 miles upstream. You won't be able to paddle the fastest riffles, but you can almost always wade up the edges of riffles like that and drag the canoe without too much problem. The tailwater trout streams are a little different, though--easy to paddle upstream in low water conditions, but when they open the gates (always at unpredictable intervals) to generate electricity, forget paddling upstream OR wading and dragging upstream.
 

denver1911

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Use your options. Here in Kentucky, I have one tailwater with about 1.25 miles of road between about 5 miles of water (a horseshoe). Stash my gear and go drop off the truck at the take-out. One smallmouth creek has a road that paralells a good section and is relatively flat. Bicycle as suggested above. There are a few outfitters around mostly for recreational paddlers. Ask them nicely (with a $20 in your hand) and maybe they will take you where you want to go when you want to be there. Also, some of their staff would like to earn a few extra bucks by shuttling you during their time off. Additionally, these outfitters might know a local who would do it. Ask around yourself. And there is always a walk from put-in to take-out regardless of how long the float is. Longest I’ve done was seven miles. Yes, I was desparate.
 

boyscout

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I know this is an old thread but there is a couple of stretches I fish that noway you can paddle back up. I drop the canoe off at the put in, chain it to a tree out of sight (as much as possible), drive to take out and Uber back up. The rod and tackle bag stay with me but I leave every thing else in the boat. No one has ever even stolen my beer!

This of course only works in places close to a sizable city.

I must say that my anxiety level and blood pressure are elevated till I get back to my canoe.

Derek
 

JoJer

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Use your options. Here in Kentucky, I have one tailwater with about 1.25 miles of road between about 5 miles of water (a horseshoe). Stash my gear and go drop off the truck at the take-out. One smallmouth creek has a road that paralells a good section and is relatively flat. Bicycle as suggested above. There are a few outfitters around mostly for recreational paddlers. Ask them nicely (with a $20 in your hand) and maybe they will take you where you want to go when you want to be there. Also, some of their staff would like to earn a few extra bucks by shuttling you during their time off. Additionally, these outfitters might know a local who would do it. Ask around yourself. And there is always a walk from put-in to take-out regardless of how long the float is. Longest I’ve done was seven miles. Yes, I was desparate.
Isn't this how that movie started?
 

Max L

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I bought a hornbeck canoe last year and it weights in at #20
I have carried that thing quite a ways to get to some good spots.

I like the bike idea. stash it down stream chain it and then peddle up to the truck and drive back
or with a light canoe, carrying it back wouldn't be a problem
 

brownbass

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This may rub some people the wrong way but a square-back canoe with a small motor could be the answer to fishing a tailwater the way you described. I am not partial to them but a small motor can push one along at a good clip, even upstream. Just don't try making any sharp turns.

Bill
 

trev

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I think the paddle up as far as possible, go fishing there then work back towards the truck, stopping and wading to fish, always worked the best for me. The idea is to go fishing not boating so the trip shouldn't be very long one or it will cut into fishing time. fwiw, any water I can't paddle up or wade and drag the canoe up is likely too scary for me to go down as well.
A folding bike will fit in the boat and be there when you get there, so it's another option.
Or if trailering the canoe, you could carry a motor bike or scooter to the take out, and stash it there.
 

rockriver

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I put my bike it the front of the canoe and go for it since I know of 3 nice places I can get out on one river. The last one is several miles from my put in; but, it's not bad for a ride. This only works for me up here on a few rivers. Chaining up your canoe to a tree is a pretty good idea, but I hardly ever bother.
 

The Mad Duck

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It almost sounds like a float tube might be a good option for you. Once you get to your take out point, deflate the float tube, sling it across your back and walk back to the truck
 
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