Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Champlain Stealth

The Champlain Stealth
If any of you have seen the 2008 Ed Harris/Viggo Mortensen western Appaloosa you will understand that an innanimate object can be a character in itself. Mortensen's character in that movie carries an 8 gauge shotgun throughout the movie and it really becomes an important part of the film. I feel that way about my canoe, which I have nicknamed the Champlain Stealth.

This canoe is a Bear Creek Big Duck. It is 15' long with a 40" beam and has a relatively flat rocker with a keel. That makes it incredibly stable. At the same time, the unusual bow of this canoe really lends itself to working in the wetland and backwater areas that I frequent. It can roll up onto and over vegetation and other obstacles much more easily than a standard canoe. The combination of that sloping bow and the flat back make this vessel incredibly manoverable too. I can spin that thing around very, very quickly which is critical when "hunting" bowfin like I do. 
Look at all that clean space up front!

Of course I have made some modifications to it over the years. I put in two pulleys, one at the rear of the boat and one at the front along with two cleats to secure the ropes. A fortunate accident earlier this year with pike nut and professional redneck Ken Capsey   lead to the removal of the front seat. This got replaced with a canoe seat on a cooler. My clients now have a great deal of open space in the front to move around and also to keep the fly line clean on the floor. Another critical element to my boat is the pontoons. The added stability of these floats really lets two people stand in it safely.

I think that the Champlain Stealth is one of the finest fly fishing canoes you will find around and truly a critical peice of equipment for me. It is what lets me do what I do as well as I do it. There are other people who guide Champlain in canoes similarly to what I do, but I can guarantee you that because of my boat, my experience, my skill set, and my knowledge that you will get a whole lot more out of a day on the water with me. The right know-how and equipment definitely sets me apart from the crowd. Why try the rest when you can fish with the best, right?
It could be you sitting up here catching carp, bowfin, gar, bass, pike or any variety of species... hit me up and I will show you a Lake Champlain you didn't know existed!