I can’t explain the excitement of hearing my new Jackson Kayak MayFly had been delivered. It was like winning the lottery and the fish god’s blessing you with windless fishing days for life. I had plans for the next day but those were suddenly replaced with a new one.
The new agenda was to pick up my kayak the next morning and go fly fishing with a buddy in Hot Springs, AR. Sleeping about an hour that night, I was awake and on the road before 5 am. Ouachita Outdoor Outfitters (OOO) is a 3-hour drive from my home in Southeast Arkansas. I arrived before the store opened and had to wait an agonizing 15 more minutes. About 8 minutes later, Jake from the kayak shop arrived. I loaded the kayak and departed with an Irish goodbye. He understood!
The lake we fished was full of submerged vegetation that housed a healthy population of southern pike (pickerel) and bass. With an 8wt and 6wt loaded, I paddled out in search of anything that would eat a fly. The first thing I noticed was how easy it was to paddle. It took little effort to get started and maintained speed very well. It's not the fastest boat but certainly not slow. My buddy was paddling a JK Kilroy and I was able to keep up with him without any effort. It's not Cuda 12 fast but it only seemed a little slower.
The hull has a slight keel, which helps keep the kayak tracking true. I found that it started to veer to the port or starboard after about 2-3 kayak lengths. That gave me enough time to make a good presentation before having to correct.
The stability is excellent. Compared to my Cuda 12, which I would never turn around in, I can turn completely around in the MayFly. It's 35"s wide (Cuda 12 is 31") and offers stand and forget fly fishing. When the water warms, I'm going to test using my Orion cooler as a standing platform. I'm almost confident enough in the stability to attempt it now. Fishing was good but fly fishing from the MayFly was better.
We each caught several pickerel and a couple bass that afternoon. Ripping streamers through the grass has never been so much fun. The MayFly was super easy to fly fish from with its stability and large clean casting area. The most frustrating part of kayak fly fishing are the snags. It was advertised to be a fly fishing friendly, snag free kayak and it lived up to the hype. In 8-hours of fly fishing, I didn't snag my fly line once. That's the best thing since fermentation. Enough with the written review. Here's a short edit I made from the trip. Watch it in action and decide for yourself. (Open the link in YouTube and watch in HD for best results)
I’m not sure if it was fishing with a friend, the 3-hour drive home, or fly fishing from a kayak for 8-hours without a snag but I was disappointed to see the sun dropping. The day had been a great one, leaving me excited about my future fly fishing trips in my Jackson Kayak MayFly!
If you have any questions feel free to post them in the comments below and I'll answer them best I can.