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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm surveying the landscape of options for small stillwater boats. I have a Water Strider, which I do like, and I'm certainly familiar with prams. But, my primary focus is on a boat with a V-bottom or modified V-bottom hull design.

As part of my survey, I've looked at the 8' and 10' Walker Bay dinghy boats.

I've read mixed reviews about these boats, including concerns about the "tippyness" and stability issues of the 8' version.

Can anyone share any insights regarding either or both of these Walker Bay boats as being suitable for stillwater fly fishing?

Thank you.

Cheers,

Bryan
Portland, OR
 

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previously micro brew
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They are used all the time for stillwater fishing. There was quite a group of them on an eastside lake last week. Almost any boat can be "tippy". You can drill out the bench seat to add a regular seat for more comfort. Add a couple of anchors, and a depth sounder mounts and you are good to go.

I'm sure that you will get a better response, with pictures.
 

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Twist - you do know there's no "one" perfect boat, right? I'm down to three right now and find myself looking less and less at Craigslist. But then my buddy Herb had to go and buy a 10-foot welded aluminum flat bottomed boat "wide and stable" - I was rather tempted - http://www.marlonproducts.com/products/boats/jon-boats/ Not pretty but I wouldn't cringe skidding it over rocks like I do with my wood boat. Best of luck in your search.
 

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Cut my own cock off
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I have had a Bay 8 for a little while now and have taken it on numerous crabbing trips, and several fishing trips. I've never felt "tippy" in the ocean, but I've never stood up in it out there.

Fishing stillwaters, I stand up and double haul and all that. There have been a few times where it's felt a little unstable, but as long as i pay attention to my foot placement in the boat it's fine. Having said that, I'm still only 30 and still somewhat athletic so my balance is still pretty good.

Overall, I love it. I rows well, cranks along fine with a trolling motor, and seems stable enough for me to be a great stillwater vessel.
 

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I've had a Walker Bay 8' for about 6 years, and really like it. It's light, fits in the back of my Toyota Tacoma, easy to load & unload, has a little wheel on the stern that allows you to maneuver it around short distances, very tough and not expensive. I cut a section out of a cheap polymer cutting board and screwed it into the bow to mount a Scotty anchor, and added another one in the stern if I want to use two anchors. I also bought a clamp-on boat seat, which makes it a lot more comfortable.

The safety label says the boat can handle 450 pounds including people and equipment. Though you could carry a kid or another person in a pinch, there wouldn't be enough room for two people to fish. I can stand up if I have to, but the boat is tippy and I usually don't. If you really need more stability, Walker Bay sells a rigid inflatable tube that goes around the boat. These boats are used as yacht tenders, and I would think additional stability would be essential for this application, but not for fly fishing. If you really need to stand up or carry two people, you probably need a bigger boat. I've never looked at the 10' model.

Attached is a picture of me in the boat from a recent outing. Hope this helps.

Tom
 

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My wife's grandparents have a walker bay with the inflatable tube they keep at their ocean shores property. I use it to navigate the canals and get to the lakes for fishing and it's awesome. I throw a 52# thrust minn Kota on it and she flies. The tube makes the difference in stability I've fished it without but you have to be careful when standing. Light, durable, manueverable, can't complain.

Water Vertebrate Fisherman Lake Fish
 

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Indi Ira
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My wife's grandparents have a walker bay with the inflatable tube they keep at their ocean shores property. I use it to navigate the canals and get to the lakes for fishing and it's awesome. I throw a 52# thrust minn Kota on it and she flies. The tube makes the difference in stability I've fished it without but you have to be careful when standing. Light, durable, manueverable, can't complain.

View attachment 164615
Loving that throat sampler. I guess the fish aint bad either.
 

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Smells like low tide.
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Eh, for the stocker 'bows they plant in the local ponds, that one ain't bad! As of this afternoon, there were no reports of any recent, stockings there, but I'll bet they put some in next week, if not tomorrow, since there's a Razor Clam opener on the 17th, and freshly stocked trout would make the weekend seem much sweeter. Other wetside ponds recently have been stocked... Duck awaits, as does Narwhalsawzall!
I have been known to stand and cast in a much less stable craft than an 8' Walker Bay dinghy....my 12' x 30" beam Native Watercraft Ultimate 12. If I can do that, then nearly anyone should be able to keep their balance in a Walker Bay 8'.
 

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Eh, for the stocker 'bows they plant in the local ponds, that one ain't bad! As of this afternoon, there were no reports of any recent, stockings there, but I'll bet they put some in next week, if not tomorrow, since there's a Razor Clam opener on the 17th, and freshly stocked trout would make the weekend seem much sweeter. Other wetside ponds recently have been stocked... Duck awaits, as does Narwhalsawzall!
I have been known to stand and cast in a much less stable craft than an 8' Walker Bay dinghy....my 12' x 30" beam Native Watercraft Ultimate 12. If I can do that, then nearly anyone should be able to keep their balance in a Walker Bay 8'.
I never fished any of those lakes until casually taking the boat out in the last few years and man I've been surprised by the fishing. Some really big clean fish to be had. Throat samples were all daphnia but they were taking leeches and ripping a lot of drag.
 

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(aka. wabowhunter)
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So, a Walker Bay is stable as the guy sitting or standing in it, take your time getting used to it and they fish fantastic. They are pretty light weight, the 8 foot model for great in either a Dodge or Ford 8 foot bed. They have a wheel in the stern floor with works great on Pavement for moving the boat around. I know some guys like the bigger boat, if your a bigger guy it want it for really big water.

You can do a lot of modifications/add-ons.

Here is my current ride. Sit post mounting in bench seat, anchor pulls by Scotty, I like a foamy kitchen may on the floor in stern easier standing for long days. I also learn how to make raised oar locks from a Yakima guy and have now shared it with three other people who love it as well.

As with any boat with v-bow, don't go to far forward of the middle bench or you will likely lose gear and probably go swimming.
 

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I think the Walker Bay (or similar plastic hull) is quickly taking over as one of the more popular hard stillwater boats I see fly fishers using.

I picked up hard boat #4 recently, an old Valco P8 riveted pram. 300 with battery, oars, and a 40lb Minnkota. Very light, 8 feet long and 40" across the bottom. Should make a nice stillwater boat once I remove one of the seats, reposition the other seat, replace all of the plywood with composite, add transom wheels, front and back pocket pullers, seadeck foam on the floor etc. etc..... I'm a sucker for boats - nucanoe and almarco in the background.....

Stairs Automotive exterior Wood Plant Road surface
 

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Although it wouldn't set any speed records the 10' Fish Rite I had for a number of years was amazingly stable. I averaged weighing around 350 lbs during the time I owned it and I could walk to all ends of that boat and it barely tipped. Two people standing and casting was no problem whatsoever. Several here on the forum can attest to that.

Walker Bays are cool boats. Personally I value stability over all else in a pram and would look for something more flat bottomed every time.
 

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I have the 8' Walker Bay I keep at our lake cabin, great little boat for one person (me and my little dog) works great and I don't have any issues standing but definitely not as stable as a flat bottom boat. I think it says weight is around 70lbs but I leave it there so not loading and unloading it all the time. I picked mine up on Craig's list used at half the price of new, I see them on there from time to time.
 
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