Over the past several years I have enjoyed backcountry fishing in many areas, most recently in the Beartooth Mts. in Montana. Several times, I have thought bringing a lightweight device to reach deeper water and/or areas where the shoreline is not accessible by foot would be highly desireable. I've speculated that a small inflatable device sufficient for one person and bare minimum fishing gear might exist.
This device must be reasonably light, as it would be utilized during backpack-accessible fishing.
Has anyone come across such a product; or even better, utilized one?
I have seen many people out on hikes with inflatables for fishing. What a great way to spend a day! Two options that might work would be the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Ultralite Inflatable Kayak & the Kokopelli Packraft Rogue Lite Packraft. The kayak has a bungee lacing that you could use to clip gear to. The Packraft has a larger cockpit with room to put gear inside the raft with you. The kayak weighs 17lbs 8oz and the Packraft weighs just 4lbs.13oz! A third option could also be the Oru Kayak Beach LT Folding Kayak. This one weighs a little bit more at 26lbs, but would eliminate the need for a pump or air filling bag!
Personally, I have only fished from lake shores on extended hikes or backpacking trips. Love the idea of being out on the water though! Happy Trails!
@Hiker_44 Great question!
Based on what you're describing a packraft is likely the best way to go! Packrafting was born in Alaska as a way to move through the rugged landscape and extend trips well beyond what was possible before. While they are primarily design as river boats (often with whitewater options), they can definitely be used on lakes and for fishing.
Paddling them is a little bit different than a kayak or canoe, which often have molded or attached keels to keep them on track. A packraft handles much more like a whitewater kayak, where each paddle stroke provides a lot of turning power to the boat (very helpful when avoiding rocks, sweepers, trees, and huge rapids). They are super rugged (often times used in Alaska as a sled and towed behind a skier or mountaineer) and incredibly light and small for a boat. If you want to get out on the water in remote locations there is nothing better than a packraft!
Here is a cool video to give you some idea of their versatility and to help stoke your enthusiasm for what is possible. Enjoy!
@REI-JohnJ& @REI-TaylorH - thank you for the tip! This may be just the solution! I did not know REI had a section for inflatable rafts, and looking through the other options, the Packraft may be the stand-out product for backpacking due to weight. The Advanced Elements option might be the avenue I pursue due to cost, although the Kokopelli is appealing due to durability.