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Charles Waterman once said, “Most of the world is covered by water. A fisherman’s job is simple: to pick out the best parts.” As a fly fisherman and river runner, I have spent the entirety of my adult life doing just that—traveling from lake to river to sea to spend time among the most beautiful and serene places on earth. Two of the tools I often have with me on these adventures are my fly rod and my paddleboard. 

Fishing from your SUP can be challenging, frustrating, and downright impossible at times. It can also be incredibly beautiful and rewarding when you put in the effort to unlock its secrets. Having the right gear and using various techniques will help you combine these two beautiful sports, SUPing, and fishing, into one great adventure. 


As for gear, less is more for this sport. Hitting the water with six rods, two paddles, speakers, grills, tackle boxes, and your dog typically won’t do. Keep it simple. For SUP fishing, I recommend one wide, stable board with lots of tie-down points. Think Hala Hoss, the perfect board for SUP fishing adventures.

Next, bring one rod (fly, spin, bait, or whatever works for you). You might also want a small light cooler or box (for gear, beverages, food, and sitting on). One small bag or box for clothing, tackle, etc. Your PFD and your paddle. You can add a net if needed. Much more than that, and you’re overpacking. 


As for techniques, there are many. You can troll, cast, or work the river. Let’s take a closer look at each.


Trolling is one of my favorite ways to fish from my paddleboard. Towing your lures or bait behind your board on a lake or calm sea is a recipe for success. It is a great way to get some exercise as you cruise some mellow waters while simultaneously creating the perfect swimming motion for your fly or lure trailing 100 feet behind you. 

Each stroke you take creates an awesome swimming, twitching motion on your bait. Keeping your rod either tucked into your shorts or set in a rod holder allows you to see the strike and quickly set the hook. Reel your trophy in, kiss it on the snout, and set it free. SUP Trolling is simple and pure. 


You can also cast from your board. SUPs are great for quietly getting you into shallow waters and hard-to-reach areas. While others are stuck on the bank, close to the road and other anglers, you are cruising the parts of the lake few get to. 


If river paddling is your jam, the SUP can also work here. The Hala Rado is a great whitewater board and can double as a fishing vessel. I use my board as a means of transportation, then pull over to fish the great holes found at the foot of the rapids. Sometimes, I can sneak a few casts in between rapids as I float a calmer section. 


However you do it, you are not doing it wrong. The key is to simply get out there and live the adventure. As Charles Fox said, “The angler forgets most of the fish he catches, but he does not forget the streams and lakes in which they are caught.” 


David Ellerstein is lifelong river rat and guide, and owner of Jackson Hole Anglers, a fly-fishing outfitter in Western Wyoming. After years of river-running, David started SUPing in 2016 and instantly fell in love.

The quiet simplicity of the sport has him out paddling for fun, fitness, and FISHING as much as possible. In 2019, he entered his first race at the Wyoming Whitewater Championships and took 1st place in the SUP division! He is now the three time defending champion.

Article and images from https://halagear.com/blogs/news/a-guide-to-sup-fishing?_kx=xemaTqJNqzMzNCIOEUwdje-fIS5d-V0KUemW55RgKHM.JK2bxp