Kevin’s Stand Up Fly Fishing Kayak Poling Through Flooded Grass – Florida

Standing is a great advantage since you have a much better vantage point to look for fish. I've always stood in my SOT kayak for this type of fishing but had to pay quite a bit of attention to balance while doing so. With this boat, I can concentrate more on looking for fish rather than balance. I pole the boat around using a long aluminum pool pole with a small paddle attached ... The extra height provides a great distance to look for fish. I was rewarded with sighting a number of reds and did manage to trick one with a fly.

Kevin Eastman’s contribution to our blog has been a noticeable one, and this time he sent a review combining a fascinating trip report with his hallmark of technical innovations:

I bought a Wavewalk kayak  in anticipation of using it for fishing the flooded grass because of the ease of standing in it and also because my lower back had been bothering me after long trips in my [15 ft long SOT fishing kayak]. Since then I’ve actually herniated a lumbar disk and was out of commission for 6 weeks, but although I’m functional now using the [15 ft long SOT fishing kayak] is out of the question in the near future.

I finally got to try out the W for what I bought it for.  We had flood tides over the weekend and I was anxious to pole the boat around the flooded spartina grass in search of tailing red fish.
I was not disappointed, it performed flawlessly.

It poles very easily in the grass, the view is great standing, and there is nearly no balancing effort for standing in it. I actually put a board across the top of the seat and poled standing on top of that. The view there is about 12″ above the water and the perspective that gives you hunting for tails is incredible.
I’ve also used the boat for some short trips fishing, and find that it’s a great little boat to fish out of because it allows you to be in so many positions while fishing and you never feel the need to get out and stretch or get the numbness out of your butt.

Red fish caught on a fly in stand up fishing kayak, FloridaStanding is a great advantage since you have a much better vantage point to look for fish. I’ve always stood in my SOT kayak for this type of fishing but had to pay quite a bit of attention to balance while doing so.  With this boat, I can concentrate more on looking for fish rather than balance.

Stand up fly fishing kayak with push-poleI pole the boat around using a long aluminum pool pole with a small paddle attached that I made  from a 2X4.  The handle on the end works very well since a lot of pressure must be applied at times to get through heavy grass, while also having a paddle function for the deeper creeks you cross. I store it under the seat suspended by bungees. I did most of the standing from the seat level by placing a board across the seat to give a larger more stable platform than the seat.  This proved to be much more stable than balancing on the seat alone, but does add to the skill level a bit.    The extra height provides a great distance to look for fish.  I was rewarded with sighting a number of reds and did manage to trick one with a fly.  The others seemed more interested in fiddler crabs and clams than my fly but provided a lot of excitement casting to them.

The Wavewalk is a keeper in my kayak herd now and for the near future will probably be the only boat I’ll be able to go out in. It’s nice and compact, stores a lot of stuff easily and keeps it dry, plus allows those of us with non cooperating bodies to fish more comfortably.

I’m also looking forward to staying nice and dry and warm fishing out of it this winter. This is a great boat to own even if my back wasn’t part of the reason I bought it.

Kevin

Dragonfly in flooded grass - view from Kevin's stand-up fishing kayak


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5 Comments

  1. admin

    Very exciting idea – W poling in shallow water.
    Standing on a board on top of the saddle puts the W angler’s feet about 10″-12″ above waterline, depending on the angler’s weight, and the thickness of the platform. This is comparable to standing on a bass boat’s deck – not bad at all.
    I wouldn’t recommend such excessive height for stand up paddling though – Poling is more stable.

  2. Jeff McGovern

    Outstanding Kevin ! You are a brave man since I still have not stood on the seat with a load of tackle on board. I did try it once empty and for a solid second or two figured I had it down. However common sense on my part kicked in and I gave it up. I would have made a big hole in the water falling in. Congrats on the red, it must have been a blast.

  3. keastman

    Jeff, It’s hard to loose too much tackle in a foot of water as long as it’s clear. Fortunately I haven’t had to look for any yet, but time will tell. It’s also a bit easier in the grass since you get some support from that, it does get a bit more squirrelly as you cross the open creeks in the flooded flats but is definitely doable.

  4. Gary J

    Soon Yoav will have pictures I sent to him the other day that include the use of 2 gallon and 1 gallon watertight containers that you get for under $5 each at WalMart. By putting all of your “stuff” in the containers which slide up into the hull tips you lose no gear other than that you have out in use, if you turn the boat over. Another secret to not losing gear is to fashion a net that goes over the top of your crate (if you use one) to hold the stuff inside. I am working on one for my crate, but haven’t settled on the material as of yet. I am leaning towards the light weight bright orange plastic fence material you see on construction job sites. The trick may be finding a new or old job site where I can get a 2 foot by 2 foot piece for free. As for standing up on a board on top of the seat, I am not there yet. The thought is terrifying.

  5. gene

    Hey, Kevin havent been up to 206 for a while have you had any luck up there lately? I became a WaveWalk dealer in north east Florida and have been busy trying to drum up business to sell some of these great kayaks we own.When will your next outting at 206 be? Maybe we can meet up and catch some fish.Shoot me an email let me know. I can say I have witnessed you fly fishing standing and you’re pretty good at it.Nice Redfish Kev ! Fish on Gene

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