Thanks for taking the time over the weekend to
show and sell me a WS.
My boat had her maiden voyage on the Beaverhead
yesterday, from High Bridge to Henneberry. It
was awesome. I have a lot to learn in terms of
keeping my arms, legs, the rod, the fly and the
boat all going in the same direction, But from
the start I was able to fish more water, and for
more drifts, than I have been able to do before.
It's better than a pontoon boat (even without
using the fins, although I did use them),
because when I got to a spot I wanted to fish
and then wade, I could just stand up. I am a
pretty aggressive wader generally and the WS
both extends my range and increases the safety.
I don't have to worry about how am going to back
upstream on a downstream wade or back to the
bank from a tough wade to reach a middle river
or opposite bank pocket. All I had to do was sit
down and float, and then stand up again at the
bottom of the run, or just continue on through.
As a wading assist machine alone, the WS is
worth the price.
The water was not deep (the Beav' was running at
about 120 cfs), so it would have been wadeable
without the WS. But I was able to cover much
more water and get to many more spots in a
shorter period of time. It was a seamless
combination of floating, wading and fishing that
kept me in fishy water more or less constantly.
I was nymphing most of the time, and I think I
more than doubled the amount of time I was
drifting my bug in good water compared to what I
would have done in a pontoon boat or pram. Also,
because of the ease of stopping and starting, I
could stop and throw a few extra casts in spots
where I would have had one or maybe two shots
only as a passenger with someone else on the
oars, even with a good guide willing to work the
I am looking forward to developing my technique
to fully utilize the WS, particularly fishing on
the run. What I had in mind in particular in
buying a WS was being able to fish while
floating, with the kick boat aspect of the
system giving me the ability to control the
craft to hit the banks with streamers and to
cast nymphs and dries to otherwise unreachable
pools and pockets. But now I can see that in
addition to allowing me to fish spots solo that
otherwise would require a trip with someone else
on the oars, the WS will allow me to expand the
range and intensity of my wade fishing -- all
with the safety of having a "life vest" I can
sit back into when the water gets a little to
deep or the current a little to fast and I
otherwise would be going for a swim.