Monday, April 24, 2017



We are all products of our environment. We've spent 20 years walking through the fertile Keystone waterways of our home while only recently picking our feet up and into some fishing-specific kayaks. The accessibility they allowed was intoxicating, but their limitations quickly became apparent. They didn't quite hit the mark.

Our pursuit of fly fishing moments has led us to the inevitable. We purchased our first boat a few months ago and are now wondering why it took us so long. The Stealthcraft Hooligan XL can ride atop a Subaru Outback and carry three people down a river with enough room for all the fixings you'd need for a few days out.

As the mighty Lehigh River recovers from decades of pollution, the trout are naturally reproducing and the hatches are increasing in intensity. While we would have not thought much of the river as a trout fishery during our youth, it's rebirth has coincided with our ability to access its best stretches in the new boat. Some stocked fish have been able to holdover by hunkering near the coldwater seeps or climbing the consistently cool tributaries to survive the warm water summers to meet our flies in the spring time. Now, there are some beautiful wild fish to be caught, bald eagles ply the waterway and the number of drift boats increases each season.

On our first float with my brother and father, we caught a nice wild brown and several holdovers on nymphs, dries and streamers, as well as a good smallmouth. At one point, we were able to anchor the raft upstream of an aggressively rising fish, which, on the first cast, exploded on a skated quill gordon comparadun at the end of a long downstream presentation. It was the first ever trout caught from the raft. After releasing the fish, we cracked open some beers and sat in the boat under the shading riparian canopy, reveling in the feelings of a great fly fishing moment.

It was exactly this kind of moment we had in mind when looking for the right boat to buy.

Onward and outward, in pursuit of more moments like that. It's going to be a fun season.

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