Fishing from packrafts

Many of our customers are keen anglers and use the packraft to reach the best fishing spots. Here are some tips from our fishing enthusiast Halvor Westerheim at Team Alpacka Raft.

Halvor has been using packrafts for many years now, and is getting more and more fascinated by all the possibilities that opens up with the ultralight boats. He has also taken all the pictures in this article.

– How often have you reached a mountain lake and stood there watching the big fish snatch insects to far off the shore? Those days are over after you’ve get a packraft! First and foremost, packrafts is the perfect fishing boats because it is so easy to carry everywhere. It weighs 2-3 kg, and does not take more space in the backpack than a warm sleeping bag.

All types of fishing

– You can fish with spinners, do some trolling and try fly fishing. A Rodrig fishing rod holder is smart to use, it has room for two rods. You can also put a rod between the stomach and the spray deck so you arms are free to paddle. Relatively short fishing rods are a big advantage.

Extra seat for fly fishing

“For fly fishing, I put an extra seat in the packraft to get a little higher up from the water when I throw. I often roll up the spray deck during fishing. I also have a bucket in the boat to put fish in. A small hook or hoof is nice to get the fish into the boat.

Be careful with sharp objects

– Always remember that you are in a rubber boat when using hooks, knives and other sharp objects. I have my own routine with always storing the knife in the sheat, using a protective hood on the hook, keeping the tip of the rod with hooks outside the boat and so on. Rod holders are fine to control the fishing rods when you do not fish.

Light rope and anchor

– I always have a long, lightweight rope so I can anchor up on shallow mountain lakes. I use a small anchor of only 1,5 kg, or tie a flat stone to the end of the rope as anchor. This is important because even the weakest wind will drive the packraft away from the fishing spot because the boat is so light and floats so high on the water.

Attach a rope around the boat

– A rope hanging around the attachment points on the boat is smart while fishing on quiet water. It can be used to attach paddle, hooves, hooks etc. with small carabineer hooks, so you do not lose your paddle or other gear when you drive the big fish.

Remember the safety

– A life jacket or paddle vest is a must! Should you sit in the boat with the waders on (recommended only on quiet water!) you should have a belt so that your waders are not filled with water if you capsize. Remember: ALWAYS use  an approved life jacket or paddle vest when fishing with waders on, no matter how hot the weather is. The water is not hot in the high mountains even in the middle of summer!

Some tips:

  • Keep in mind that you must remove some of the air in the packraft if it is put on land in hot weather
  • Tie the packraft to a tree when in camp as it can easily blow away
  • Take care in strong winds on larger lakes or out in a fjord so you do not blow too far off shore.