Boat suggestions.

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Josh Stroud, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. Hey all, I will be moving to from AK to WA on Jan 11th and will be looking to get a boat ASAP. Any suggestions on a great all around boat for fly fishing WA waters? I am primarily looking for something to use in rivers, but heard that there are some great lake fishing in the state as well. I am leaning towards a drift boat, but was not sure if a river boat would be a better option. I was not sure if there were many drift boat only waters, et cetera. Thanks for any input.
     
  2. Boat choice would be highly dependent on where in WA you lived. If you were going to live close to the Sound, I would probably recommend getting something that could handle the Sound with perhaps a jet for the rivers?

    I'm a strong believer in that you need multiple boats to handle all the fishing opportunities in WA. If you are stuck with just getting one, you'll have to compromise.
     
    troutpounder likes this.
  3. Hey Big_E, I will be living in Auburn but will likely want to travel around the state to find new fishing opportunities. I probably will stick with just buying one for now. I guess I am just trying to find out which one would have the most limitations. For example, here in AK a river boat is great for most areas - but there are some excellent stretches of certain rivers that you cannot take a motorized boat. Sounds like it may be a tough decision.
     
  4. Regardless of which boat you get, you'll probably wind up disappointed with the fishing here after spending any time in AK as Washington has a whole lot more people vying for a whole lot less resource. That being said, there is some very good stillwater fishing to be had but river fishing for trout is pretty limited to a few and river fishing for salmon and steelhead can be very hit or miss or crowded, or very regulated.

    There are some regulations that prevent motorized vessels on some rivers and there are some areas that have "unwritten" rules about motorized vessels that you won't want to violate. But for the most part, most rivers that are large enough to allow motorized boats allow their use but again, you may find them pretty busy, perhaps not unlike the Kenai.
     
  5. There are a lot of small to mid-sized lakes that will not allow internal combustion motors and some will not allow any motors at all.

    Kinda hard to put a single label on all the different types of fishing
    here. A drift boat is great for most of the mid to large rivers, but you have the launch and retrieve issues to deal with, Sleds will work on most of the larger rivers, deep V hulls on the sound or sleds with bigger motors, and then there are the pontoon and float tubes for small stocked lakes. Most of the rivers can be waded but the Columbia is a whole new ball game.

    I would say that nothing will satisfy all of the above and do it well.
    Some will cover more fishing than others, but all have a limitation.
    I suggest that you target one type of fish/fishing and buy toward that. The others will come in time.
     
  6. Good point OB. I have never used an outboard on still waters and have only used an electric once so when I think of stillwaters, rarely do I thing of propulsion type except oars or fins but there are a lot of lakes with motor restrictions.

    Big E said it best; if you want to only have one boat in Washington, be prepared to compromise greatly.
     
  7. Get the hybrid drift boat. Drift boat hull but wider at transom for a bigger motor (like a jet). Roar upstream and either oar or use a trolling/kicker motor going back down. But for some fisheries you can't even have the motor on the boat even if you're not using it. But you can put a longshaft on a drift boat and use it in most places. Just not super versatile but better then most if you want to use it on rivers, salt, and lakes.
     
  8. All, thanks for the input. Looks like I will have to make some compromises here, but hey that's life. I do like the hybrid drift boat idea. I am going to be doing some searching around on some different options. Just ready to wet a line after the long winter months here in AK - not much of an ice fisherman...
     
  9. [​IMG]

    Here's a rough idea of what I'm talking about. Most will have an anchor mount up front, and a side mount in back (to accomodate the motors). I've seen these with 30hp jets (already converted to 30hp) with either a trolling motor or 9.9hp gas. Some even just put the 9.9hp (or whatever your prefered gas motor is) as the main motor. Nice thing about smaller gas kicker, you can easily take it off for non combustion engine areas (where it's a tad more work to take a bigger outboard off). But this is only pic I could find right off the get go. But have some newer nicer Alumuwelds like this.
     
    Patrick Gould and AKFly7 like this.
  10. Awesome, thanks for the suggestion. I wonder how easy it is to find one similar? I will snoop around Craigslist.
     
  11. They pop up occasionally. Just won't find it fast, but they will come up eventually.
     
  12. The only down side to that idea that I can think of, is that they handle like a bathtub in still water. I had a wooden drift boat some years ago with a small 6 HP motor. It was a great boat to fish from, stable as all get out, but trying to steer was somewhat of a problem. Without a keel or rudder it wants to go it's own way. Not a big enough problem to cause me not to buy another if that is what I needed, but something to consider.
     
  13. You could build a Rapid Robert. (image from a website called river's touch)
    [​IMG]
     
    AKFly7 likes this.
  14. Patrick, that is awesome. I wonder if I could find some blue prints!
     
  15. There's a great book on the history of Drift Boats called Drift Boats and River Dories by Roger Fletcher I think the plans are in there. The website www.riverstouch.com is also run by Roger Fletcher and is where the pic came from. I think the Astoria Maritime Museum has the original boat. It looks like it would be great for everything from crabbing to fishing low gradient rivers.
     
  16. Heck ya, that would be an awesome boat. I will have to check out that book as well, pretty interesting.
     
  17. The rapid roberts are almost the same thing. The boat above is an OLD model. The newer ones are built a bit more friendly. Of course they won't cut as well in the water, but it's the "trade off" between a good drift boat and powered boat. But it's workable, depending on what you get. The aluminum boat I had (it was a standard drift boat mind you) with LS 9.9hp ran like a champ, trolled nice, and did what I needed it too. Yeah, you get some sway, but any flat bottomed sled not on plane with main motor did same thing (I know mine did).
     
  18. That looks like a beast of a drift boat for sure.
     
  19. You'll be here in time for the Puyallup Sportsman's Show and the Portland Sportsman's Show, both in January. Portland has a lot more. Might get some great ideas at these.
     

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