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Back to Reality: Video Highlight Reel of 100-Mile Adirondacks Expedition

Canoe Vibes | Adirondacks Canoe Fishing Trip | Yak Fish TV

In late April, I made the 24-hour drive to Saranac Lake, New York with professional kayak angler Robert Field and Action Hat founder / kayak fishing YouTuber Rex DeGuzman to meet Kayak Angler Magazine‘s web editor – Ben Duscheney – for our 8-day, 100-mile canoe fishing expedition in the Adirondack Mountains. We called the Northern Forest Canoe Trail between Old Forge and Saranac Lake home for the next eight days, dodging rocks on bigger-than-Texas-sized rapids, fighting aggressive fish, and portaging obnoxious amounts of camp and camera gear.

We also paddled pretty far too.

The trip was a marketing dream with four marketing-minded paddlers chasing rough adventure, big fish, and – most importantly – killer media. It’s a month later and the media is starting to drop. Here is the first of two YakFish TV highlight reels from the trip edited by Rex DeGuzman:

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Maggie Valley, NC: Reminders of Simpler Times and Techniques

Maggie Valley - Canoe Vibes

Fishing trips weren’t always about the donated gear – always photographed with the manufacturers label facing out, the custom artisan-tied flies tossed on trips with well-respected guides, and the eventual too-good-to-cook-my-fish release of legal catches.

But they are now. Work in this industry has been good to me. And I’m ok with that.

Ted, not so much. Ted’s skeptical.

“I’ll catch the fish while you just go try to impress the other fishermen” he ridiculed over my gear-planning text message before our long weekend fishing the North Carolina Smokies. His skepticism – at a level of pure practicality, a level only he can stoop down to – is intuitive.

Think about it. The sole point of the trip is to catch fish. Why do we need four days’ worth of clothes, seven different accessory mounts, and three cameras? What’s the deal with the wading boots, the mummy-styled sleeping bag, and the Simms button down? Fish don’t eat any of those.

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Savannah, GA: Battling High Tides in Low Country

Kayak Fishing Savannah Georgia | Savannah Canoe and Kayak Fishing Guide

On Sundays, I go grocery shopping. It’s a dreaded part of my week that I hesitantly grin my way through as I pass through the organic vegetable section and make my way to the Pop Tarts. The wheels on my weathered shopping cart painfully screech past the fresh deli meats and come to an impermanent stop right around the pre-packaged hotdogs and that delicious plastic-looking cheese. Like clockwork, I’m in and out at less than ten minutes, free from suffering through this retail assault for another seven days.

I don’t like shopping and it’s not limited to my domestic necessities. I spent a total of ten minutes shopping for my Old Town Next, my unnecessarily expensive cooler, and my PFD now doubling as a camping pillow. I bought my car after only an hour of browsing internet listings and I buy the same model Sanuks every time the old ones wear thin on the sole.

In a retail culture that is overwhelmed by well-marketed shots at consumer’s self-confidence, I don’t spend much time in retail shops.

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Boynton Beach, FL: Big Fish & Bigger Parties

Canoe Vibes | Deep Blue Kayak Fishing | Offshore Kayak Fishing

Eric McDonald – a Michigan transplant now giving autographs to South Florida pizza delivery guys for his offshore kayak fishing celebrity-ish status – opened my 6 am charter with an apology.

“I just need one. Sorry, man. I’m feeling a little rough.”

He cracked the top on one of the previous night’s surviving Corona Lights and handed me the other, a selfless gesture guided by the assumption that I couldn’t be feeling much better than he. Within minutes, beers number forty-seven and forty-eight were finished to round out our Thursday night party.

With only a six-hour nap in between, it was better late than never.

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Gibsonton, Florida: The Greatest Show on Earth

Mark Vlaskamp Canoe Vibes Redfish Tamp Florida

Grady Stiles – stage named Lobster Boy, personifying every historically accurate, culturally-exaggerated, American Horror Story ‘carnie-ism’ on the laundry list of what it takes to be the most famous freak in the traveling show, never fancied spending his free time in metropolitan Tampa, Florida. That’s because he preferred the secluded mangroves of Gibsonton. As does kayak fishing guide Derick Burgos of Phatfish Kayak Charters.

One of them was drawn to the Gibsonton – where various self-proclaimed carnival and circus entertainers spend the offseason – by the vicinity to their former employer, Ringling Brothers’, winter operation in Tampa and Sarasota. The other was drawn to the plentiful fishery. One of them used the seclusion to hide his lobster hand disability (ectrodactyly), alcoholism, and eventual murder of a family member while the other uses the deep channel pockets to land big redfish on his client’s small plastic boats.

Both have logged countless hours wandering Alfia River.

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