Paddling with my Best Furry Friend

by laura-vanderhoek
Monday, February 27, 2017
Monday, February 27, 2017
When I first met my dog Ahsoka, I couldn’t help but think how she was the perfect size for kayaking. I’ve finally found a fishing buddy who is as happy as I am while on the water. Dogs make great companions and are a joy to have around while paddling.
Laura Vanderhoek
by Laura Vanderhoek

Known for White Sturgeon fishing from her kayak, Laura is passionate about getting people on the water fishing in kayaks!

Since I was young I’ve wanted a dog to call my own. While on a holiday last April I was lucky enough to meet “Ahsoka” (ahh-so-kah) through a rescue organization and foster close to Los Angeles, CA. She was 10 months old, already had a litter of puppies and was in need of her fur-ever home. I knew we were a good match from day one. We bonded over lunch and I arranged to take her home.


Introduction to the kayak.

When I first met my dog Ahsoka I couldn’t help but think about how she was the perfect size for kayaking. Now comes the introduction to the kayak. After having her for a few days I encouraged her to sit on top of my fishing kayak while on the floor in the garage. I would join her in the seat, as she didn’t want to be far from me and if I was in the kayak so was she.

Appropriate safety precautions

Next step was the appropriate safety precautions. Ahsoka got her first raincoat and PFD, and she didn’t mind wearing them. I found the sizing a bit challenging for Ahsoka because she is small in girth but long in the body. The one I have now seems a bit too short but it does the job and she loves swimming in it. I would recommend trying a few options on before deciding to use a size chart to purchase, and make sure your dog enjoys swimming in it.

Ahsoka’s first paddle

Finally, time to get on the water. Ahsoka’s first paddle is on a nice calm lake. We took it easy and didn’t venture far from shore or go for very long. She did amazing. At first she just sat still and then after a bit she gained the courage to move around to test the stability of the Wilderness Systems Ride 115 we were on.

First on water trip

Time to kayak fish!

It took a bit of patience with Ahsoka to get her not to bark as I cast, and to not go after the hook when it’s near her, especially while fly fishing. She still likes to chase birds even if they are in the water. I guess it’s a good thing she likes swimming. Still a work in progress but getting better every time.

Now Ahsoka and I are the best kayak fishing buddies. Every chance I get she is on the boat with me, I even got a bigger kayak! It took some training but well worth it to be able to take my furry friend fishing with me.

My best furry paddling partner
My best kayak fishing buddy