David Hadden Kennebec, Maine | Brand Manager, Old Town Canoes and Kayaks
Where and When: My favorite section of river is below a dam where I find a great mix of moving water, ripples and deep holes. I split my time between fishing from the kayak and wading the river. The kayak carries me from one fishy section to the next.
Tackle Box: Dry Flies: Nine-foot, 5-weight rod with a floating line and nine- to 12-foot leader. Streamers: Nine-foot, 5-weight with a floating line for shallow sections. In deeper holes, use an intermediate line and seven- to a nine-foot leader. Nymphs: Nine-foot, 5-weight with nine-foot leader. Perfect for tandem nymphs and a strike indicator or a dry fly with dropper. A hopper and dropper is my favorite option when I spot grasshoppers on shore.
Go-to Flies: Dry flies, no question, especially big grasshoppers. In deeper pools bead head or cone head woolly buggers always do the trick. For nymphs, I like to go small, size 16 to 18. Flashback pheasant tails seem to do well in all conditions.
Secret to Success: Try to carry at least two rods to work different depths. If insects are hatching, catch one and match the pattern. Terrestrials are a blast. At night, use a small black mouse pattern. Hold on tight, big trout love ‘em.
River Ride: A canoe like the Old Town Discovery 158 makes a great river fishing craft, especially for a pair of anglers.
Justin Powell Atlanta, Georgia | Fly fishing Manager, Orvis
Where and When: Tail waters where the water temperature stays around 50ºF. Target prespawn brown trout feeding aggressively. Never target spawning trout on their eggs.
Tackle Box: Nine-foot, 5-weight for dry flies and nymph fishing. Nymphs make up 90 percent of a trout’s diet. Use the 5-weight for indicator fishing and making long casts to spooky trout. Throw a medium-fast action rod for indicators, a slower action for dries.
Match a nine-foot, 8-weight to fish big and tie on an articulated streamer for larger trout. Scientific Anglers Amplitude MPX line loads a stiff rod with an intermediate sinking line or check out new sinking tips allowing you to choose the sink rate depending on the water flow.
Go-to Flies: Dry fly: Elk hair caddis, stimulator, parachute Adams in size 12 to 18. Nymphs: Pheasant tail nymph, gold ribbed hare’s ear nymph, blue assassin. Use bead and non-bead from size 12 to 22. Streamers: Dominic Petruzzi’s from Streamer Kings Patterns. Or a woolly bugger, double deceiver, autumn splendor.
Secret to Success: In bright sun, I use brighter colors like yellows and white. In low light conditions, I like black and olive.
River Ride: Jackson Mayfly with an open cockpit. The short waterline makes it easy to navigate the falls while a wide beam keeps the kayak stable enough to stand on calm sections of the river.
Juan Veruete State College, Pennsylvania | Guide at Kayak Fish PA
Where and When: Trout will seek out water with higher oxygen levels. Concentrate efforts in fast, rocky runs or the top of a pool. Smaller creeks and springs seeping into the main flow contain higher oxygen concentrations.
Tackle Box: Eight-foot, 3-weight, size II reel and 3-weight, weight-forward trout line. A nine-foot, 5X tapered leader with two-feet of 5X mono tippet.
Go-to Flies: Catching trout on a dry fly is tons of fun, but trout spend 90 percent of their time feeding below the surface. A dry dropper combines a dry fly with a smaller fly. The dry fly floats on the surface and the smaller fly sinks below. Use a 12 or 14 simulator dry fly with a 16 or 18 nymph. Tie the simulator to the tippet then add 12 inches of 6X fluorocarbon to the bend of the hook. Fluorocarbon sinks faster than mono. Tie the nymph to the trailer.
Secrets to Success: Use a secure rod holder to lock the rod to the holder. Long fly rods like to tangle in overhead limbs.
River Ride: Wilderness Systems ATAK 120 has an open deck from bow to stern and shallow draft to bounce over rocks in low flowing summer rivers.