Fly fishing therapy at the annual shad run on the St. Johns river

By Kevin Eastman

Interesting story on my little 2 hp Yamaha I use on the boat. I know I haven’t used the motor in at least two years, maybe longer. I pulled it out a few weeks ago. The gas tank was full of non leaded gas that has had marine stabilizer in it. I didn’t really think it would run well but I put it in a tank and gave it a pull. The little bugger started on the first pull. I used that tank for my trip below and it never gave me one problem. I was pretty surprised.

Now for the fishing.
This week I decided I needed to make the two hour trip from St. Augustine to the upper St. Johns River for the annual Shad run. Actually upriver is south for the St. Johns, as it is one of a handful of rivers that runs from south to north in the US. The Shad migrate from the ocean to the headwaters of the St. Johns to breed each year. They are fun to catch on light fly gear and are tenacious fighters. I decided I didn’t want to bother hauling my skiff and the hassle of packing everything so I popped the W500 in the back of my Ridgeline, threw the motor in along with some fly gear and was on my for a little fly fishing therapy, launching at the Jolly Gator Fish camp.
I didn’t exactly kill them but caught a couple to satisfy my itch. I also hooked two of the larger Crappie, and Bream (Sunfish to you Yankees) that I have ever landed. So, not a stellar day but at least fish were had. The area is very unique. The river meanders through a large expanse of grass and marsh lands that are used for grazing horses and cows. Plenty of wildlife from herons, egrets, white pelicans, otters, gators, wild pigs, and other creatures. The river also contains quite a variety of fish to catch, including hybrid striper bass. I usually get one trip in a year for the Shad run, though this year I may need one more to see if I can do a little better in the catching department.

 

 

 

More fly fishing with Kevin »

1 Comment

  1. fish

    Thanks Kevin,

    I’m glad to see you back on the water! Our recent email exchanges made me suspect that you’ve become workaholic, which is a serious condition, IMO, so this trip report is definitely an encouraging sign 🙂
    As for the catch, it’s pretty impressive, and certainly more than I caught last time I was in Florida 😀

    The non-incident with with the Yamaha motor is yet another proof that outboard motors can be a joy to own and operate, if you know what you’re doing, and you treat them right.

    Yoav

    PS — Wow, how time flies – You got that W500 almost nine years ago…

Leave a Comment