Hi. I have pretty vivid memories of my first trip down a river in a driftboat...a whole lotta' bouncin'.
Pick a smallish river. The N fork of the Stilly from 127th to the mouth is a decent one if it has enough water. It should after last night. The takeout is right in the park in Arlington.
The Skagit is big water but there are lots of floats that would be okay.
Another good first timer is the float on the Sky from Sulton to Ben Howard or Lewis Street. Just keep your eyes ahead. In the few places you have to go down chutes you simply need to go with the current and gently pull away from any corners. Same goes with the really shallow riffles. Point the boat exactly in line with the current and you'll be amazed how thin the water can get.
Be careful. Once you get the hang of it (which will be pretty fast) most of the rivers around here are reasonable. Just remember that driftboats are designed to go at or a little slower than the river flow so row away from obstructions with the bow pointed directly at the object you want to avoid.
Have fun. If you do the Sky bring a 4 or 5 weight. It's full of searuns.
Well after getting schooled by a few people I finally came to the conclusion to buy a 16' LAVRO RF. Hopefully don't test Ron's hull warranty out on the first day! I just hope it is as easy as a pontoon boat!
Lavro. You should see Whitey's Lavro. It is off the hook. I think it is like 500 years old or something. Anyway, yeah I have never rowed a pontoon boat on a river. Now a drift boat takes a little getting use to. But Whitey is a river running Champ. His Dad raised him from the old school drift boat days. So if you ever want any good advice seriously ask him. He is full of knowledge. And on top of that he is a "zen master" of lake fishing.
Macrowdy, you suck. next time I see you, I'm gonna slap you around Beeotch! that being said, Lavro's are a good boat, been rowing one for years. It's a 1981 model. back then, all you got was a hull and seats. Over the years it's been through hell and back, but keeps floating fine! Just take it easy and have fun, you'll be fine. Good luck! :THUMBSUP YT
I might stay away from the N Fork Stilly this time of year even if it has seen a recent rise in water. There are some sweepers and tight corners in the 127th to Haller Park section. I saw a canoe folded around a root wad on this drift when I did it three weeks ago. If you drift this section take the right channel under the railroad trestle. There are several big pilings sticking completely out of the water about two feet apart in the left channel under the trestle. I don't think a boat or inflatable will make it.
On a beginning drift I'd hit the sky from Sultan to Ben Howard. The river is open with few blind corners or tree farms in which to get in trouble.
I had one once but I sold it as I felt that I didn't have the uncommon sense to float down rivers. Now that I don't have it any more I wish that I did. I sold it because it was to heavy for an old man to lug around. The alpine is smaller,But!!!!!!. No guts no glory.
As low as the rivers are now I might chance it. But I can't make up my mine. I had to cancel out on a trip down the Stilly because of my boat being to small. But