It turns you into an ad-hoc biologist, botanist, meteorologist and strategist.
My kayak-angling story starts about five years ago, in 2017, when I went on an expedition organized by a kayak fishing group in Costa Rica. I had no notion or knowledge whatsoever about either sport — kayaking or fishing. No techniques, no skills, no experience or knowledge of the vast variety of gear, kayaks or tackle … nor of the risks involved in what is considered an adventure risk sport.
So I started from zero and gradually acquired experience and skills, while I fell in love with the sport and lifestyle. As I gained friends and confidence within the group, I met many different people from all walks of life and backgrounds. They happily passed on to me the knowledge they had, basically teaching me the trade. All the while we visited the most exotic, spectacular, jaw-dropping places Costa Rica has to offer — some that precious few visitors get to see or even imagine exist.
In my view and experience, kayak fishing is an extreme sport, requiring physical fitness, cognitive skills and constant situational awareness. It turns you into an ad-hoc biologist, botanist, meteorologist and strategist, observant of your natural surroundings. It teaches you about different animal and plant species, and the hydrodynamics applicable to different offshore or inshore bodies of water, such as rivers, estuaries, canals and lakes.
When I saw one of the most prominent local kayak anglers fly fishing, I was instantly smitten. I decided — against almost everyone’s advice — to start with the most challenging angling technique, fly fishing.
I have been blessed with the opportunity to befriend some of the best and most renowned fly fishing anglers, both locally and worldwide. They have taken me under their wing and are teaching me the art and science of fly fishing. I’ve been learning everything: from how to hold the rod, cast my line and read the water to the vegetation, along with creating and tying my own fly lures imitating the natural things and insects that different fish species go after.
This made me evolve from the kayak fishing group I had started in, which included only a handful of fly fishing anglers, towards another local group made up exclusively of fly fishermen. In both groups, I came to serve as a member of the board of trustees.
This, in turn, presented me with the challenges that come from being held to a higher standard, making me strive harder to grow as a sports fisher by perfecting my skills and knowledge.
Personal experience has shown me that Costa Rica is a veritable treasure trove of natural wealth and beauty, offering many options to enjoy this great sport.
As a woman, I have been very well received by my peers, brought into the fold and treated like just another member of a group that has come to feel more like a very large family. That’s saying a lot in the context of a predominantly ¨boys only club.¨
I am grateful for the opportunity of learning to fish so many different species, both fresh and saltwater. You can capture just about any type of species from a kayak, except for maybe bill fish (sword and sail). My dream is to someday catch a tarpon that will give me the fight of a lifetime before I pet it on the head, thank it for the experience and send it on its merry way — free as it was.
I’m an avid, 100% catch-and-release advocate who believes in the sustainable, responsible practice of the sport, so we may continue to enjoy it for generations.
Kayaking in Costa Rica — regardless of whether you want to fish, take pictures, explore or do it all at once — is an activity that will take you to amazing locations throughout the country. As an added benefit you get to know many nice and interesting people. Every trip is an experience … an adventure.