A fly fishing kayak is required to be more stable than other fishing kayaks, since fly anglers prefer to stand up when they fish.
Being more stable than other kayaks, all Wavewalk’s patented catamaran are the best fly fishing kayaks for their size. The Wavewalk S4 is the world’s most stable kayak.
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.
What do you get when you put a Sunshine W700 on a local creek, add a Dubiel Pop-N-Fly, a 7 wt TFO BVK fly rod, some Rio floating fly line spooled on a Lamson Guru 3.0, and a 20 minute paddle to just the right spot… a fat, sassy 18″ speckled trout.
What a trip. I went to the infamous Northwest Creek with a similar plan that I have unsuccessfully executed on four previous occasions. Fortunately, trip number 5 turned out a lot better.
I paddled into the wind to get to a point that I was hoping would be holding some fish, and cast the Dubiel Pop-n-Fly toward the reeds and grass. Pop, pop, pause, pop, pause, pop, pop, pause; over and over again while drifting and trying not to be overrun by the trolling motor brigade. I decided to make a move and fish between some docks that had some very unhappy bait flicking around. Cast, pop, pop, pause…FISH ON! Went on a little sleigh ride before I was able to gain control and scoop her up. Best feeling ever!
It’s been way too long since I have enjoyed my Wavewalk and I am very thankful for a little break and a great trip.
Hello my Wavewalk friends! It’s been way too long since I posted a story about my most awesome W700 and how happy it makes me.
So, last October I traveled a little ways to a town called Vandemere, here in North Carolina. It’s actually not too far from me as the crow flies but, the crow didn’t build the roads. The town just prettied up the boat ramp and surrounding land to make a very nice area for the public’s pleasure. I really wanted to try a new technique and fly combination that my good friend, Capt. Gary Dubiel invented, to catch some fish. It’s called the Pop-n-Fly and although I didn’t catch anything on this particular day, I caught a bunch the day after Christmas fishing with Capt. Gary. The area was just beautiful and I really enjoyed fishing and paddling. What I didn’t enjoy was the skunk. I don’t care for getting skunked so, I had to come up with Plan B.
Plan B was to slide in at Lee Landing to fish the Upper Broad for redemption. Plan B was executed and yielded a great catch of sunnies. Sitting in my kayak tossing little poppers and catching sunnies is just about as close to perfect as you can get, as far as I’m concerned. My “happiness” meter pegs out every time.
On June 3rd of this year; yes, it was a looooooong time between kayak trips, I thought to myself: “Self, you should give Northwest Creek another try”. I have not had the most success in Northwest Creek; except for that awesome day after Christmas fishing with Capt. Gary, with catching much of anything. Fish are hard to come by in that area for some reason. Anyway, loaded up the kayak the evening before so that I could be on the water early and execute what I thought would be an outstanding time of fish catching. Yeah; not so much! I’m pretty sure I will NOT return to Northwest Creek until at least November or December.
Knowing how I feel about getting skunked, I bet you can guess what I did that afternoon? Yep. Lee landing and Upper Broad Creek kayak fishing time! After some lunch and a nap, I took the W700 back to it’s roots and commenced to redeem myself and the day in a fantastic manner. So much so, that my smartypants phone became overheated from taking pictures and being out in the sun that it refused to take the picture of that 3 pound bass that I caught. My thought of course was, “Seriously!” My words were more like “son of a biscuit eater!” Here I have been fishing with one little popper and catching a bunch of fish, when this big bass sucks that popper down like a grape slurpee and runs around that kayak like a dirt track racer and my smartypants phone suddenly becomes sensitive to Eastern North Carolina weather! It even displayed a bright red thermometer in case I didn’t quite understand the displayed message of, “phone must cool down before use”. Well, I considered dunking it in the relatively cool water to help with the hot flash but, my inner adult thought better and just politely tucked it inside of my new favorite bag that I found at Academy Sports.
The bag is actually a kayak fish keeping bag that I discovered held ALL of my stuff and sits just beautifully on the saddle in front of me. I do secure it with some cords that have a ball on one end and a securable hook on the other so if I flip the yak it will still be attached. I slide the ball up under the teeth of the saddle and it stays in there nice and tight.
Back to the epic afternoon of fish catching… I managed to catch a whole bunch of sunnies and some bass in a relatively short period of time. The time of day was just right and the barometric pressure was falling, putting those little fish tummies on chow down time. My adventure evidently caught the attention of some folks that live on the creek as well as a couple of fellas that were trying to duplicate my success. After explaining fly fishing everybody wanted to know about my ‘boat” so, I showed it off and answered all of their questions.
This past Saturday, the 10th, I slid out to Upper Broad Creek very early and paddled way up the creek to an area that I had not fished. The morning was just so beautiful and peaceful. At least until the Saturday bass fishing tournament guys came screaming up the creek. The fish were very picky that day and although the numbers of fish I caught were low, the size was impressive.
I still regard my Wavewalk kayak as “the best money I ever spent” and I am looking very forward to paddling and fishing this year. Y’all take care and keep the stories coming as I love to read all about your adventures.
The S4 is very lightweight (just 98 lbs) for what it offers.
This is not much even in comparison to many fishing kayaks, and it’s very little compared to skiffs. Which is why a fisherman standing on the casting platform at the bow of the S4 causes its stern to come up, and its bow to go down.
This is not that much of an issue for fishers who use their S4 as skiffs (namely motorized), or in tandem with a heavy paddler sitting at the rear, and in a full skiff capacity, namely with both another crew member and a good size outboard motor.
With both a motor and a fishing buddy at the rear, the S4 front casting platform is perfectly level.
For those who fish alone from their S4 without motorizing it, and prefer to cast standing on top of the front platform, here is a simple, easy, and lightweight solution –
Use 3/8″ plywood to extend the front casting platform backward, onto the front part of the cockpit.
This can be done while having the board rest on top of the saddle, or on top of the coaming (spray deflector), as seen in these images:
Option 1: Board on top of the saddle and under the coaming (spray deflector)
Option 2: Board on top of the saddle and the coaming (spray deflector)
An angler standing on top of such platform extension will be stable, and the platform level.
We had a blast testing and videoing the S4 and can’t wait to get it on the water again. Gene, Will Niemann and I all took part in making the video. Will edited it and added the music. This past Sunday we had our monthly event called Honoring The Brave for Veteran’s and First Responders. I used the S4 with my wife and daughter to paddle the S4 down the Silver Springs river. I have attached some pics also of that event to this email.