Floating the Naches in a pontoon boat?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by cabezon, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. cabezon

    cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

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    Hi folks,
    I'll be spending several days next week in the Bumping / Naches area. I'll have my pontoon along to fish Bumping Lake. While I have have bank-fished the Naches, I've never floated the Naches (have pontooned many other rivers). Is it reasonably safe to float the Naches in a 9' Bucs Bronco?

    Steve
     
  2. Jim Speaker

    Jim Speaker Active Member

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    I'm really interested in hearing the responses to this. I've fished the Naches a fair bit wading, and have seen spots that looked they'd be fairly wild ride in my 8' Bucks South Fork, but have not given it a go yet...
     
  3. BDD

    BDD Active Member

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    Traditional access points for launching boats are pretty limited and the guides who fish that river often have private locations. With that, a 9 foot pontoon is a lot more versatile in where you can launch than a drift boat or raft. It can be pretty tricky in sections though. Not much help but its something I guess.
     
  4. bennysbuddy

    bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

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    Nik Walenda walked across the grand canyon on a 2 inch cable,I'd be nervous walking across the same spot on a 4 foot wide bridge.That said , like many adventures its outcome depends on your experience level
     
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  5. cmann886

    cmann886 Active Member

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    Use good judgement and you will be fine. Talk with the folks at Reds (Craig)---some of their crew floated in pontoons and water masters a few weeks ago. They can sale you the "hot" flies for this week as well.
     
  6. triploidjunkie

    triploidjunkie Active Member

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    Do your research. I float alot of rivers in my toon, but would be pretty leary of that one. Tons of boulders, sweepers and plunge pools from what I remember wading it.
     
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  7. Jim Speaker

    Jim Speaker Active Member

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    In the many sections I waded some years ago I don't recall sweepers but certainly snags and root wads. Yes, plunges, depending on flows, standing waves, and some pretty tricky looking high gradient rapid drops that you'd need to thread pretty damn surgically to avoid get spun by a rock (which ofc would likely mean broadsiding the next and flipping).

    Right right memory is coming back of what I've seen there.

    But I'd love to hear beta re stretches that aren't as gnarly as I just described!
     
  8. McNasty

    McNasty Canyon Lurker

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    dude, all i got to say is be very, very, VERY careful. ive spent my life on/around that river and i wouldn't ever get in a toon on that unless i was very damn good behind the sticks. that being said, the floating season is about over i do believe based on the flows.
     
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  9. Jim Speaker

    Jim Speaker Active Member

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    That actually brings up a good point re floating season. In spring flows no way would I take a toon on that river. But, in July or August wouldn't it be pretty sweet to be able to cover all that water and fish all those bars that are inaccessible on the "other side?" When I think pontoon and Naches it's July forward I'm thinking of.

    ** I have not floated the Naches. If you go tangle yourself in a root was it was NOT because I said it was a good idea to float it**
     
  10. troutdopemagic

    troutdopemagic Active Member

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    The Naches is sketchy, especially above the confluence. There's a couple places that are extremely technical so I hope your good on the oars. If not, do not attempt it at high flows. Be sure to ask in Reds or any other competent fly shop about blockages or updates on the stream.
     
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  11. Luke77

    Luke77 I hope she likes whitefish

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    Craig and I floated a section on Sunday and he did a different section on Saturday...took the watermasters. If you're not confident on the oars and don't know the river, I would just stick with wading. Like McNasty said, be very careful...I've been on and around that river my whole life and I still pucker up on it.
     
  12. Porter

    Porter Active Member

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    I have only waded it, and have seen very few on the river and most if not all were kayakers.
     
  13. PT

    PT Physhicist

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    Person on the oars is what makes a river "floatable" not the boat. I watched my cousin get into my pontoon on the Sky and row straight across the river and pin himself sideways on the only thing available within a mile. Buddy flipped his 'cat on the Calawah similarly after negotiating miles of technical stuff.....

    Tough to recommend a float to someone even if they say they have a 14' Sotar Cat.
     
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  14. JS

    JS Active Member

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    So true. If you're not sure, you probably need more time behind the oars.
     
  15. cabezon

    cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

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    I'm comfortable behind the oars, cautious but confident. But as I haven't seen folks in one-person pontoons on the Naches, I have asked to receive input from others that may have pontooned it (or who decided not to pontoon the Naches). I'm a flyfisher, not a white-water rafter. I get no great thrill from experiencing impressive hydraulics and putting my expensive fly rods (let alone my life) at risk. But, like others, there is that attraction of being able to fish areas that can't be reached from shore alone. I'm sure many of you have shared that attraction. Risk, reward. I'm looking for informed input.

    Steve
     
  16. PT

    PT Physhicist

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    Cabezon, I used to float the SD and C in my original (90's) 8' Buck's. Strap your gear down and go for it. Nice thing about the 'toon is you can easily walk it around/thru just about any area you don't feel comfortable floating. If you want a floating partner, get a hold of me. I'd love to do it. Seriously!
     
  17. JS

    JS Active Member

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    I've done it, but I do get excited for white water. There are about a million different places on that piece of water to throw a pontoon into, and take out from. They are limited only by your physical ability level and ambition. As far as putting your life/gear in danger; if you are safe and portage anything you are uncomfortable rowing, then you will be fine. I have never put my raft in that river, because the access is a pain in the butt, but the world is your oyster if you've got a pontoon/WM.
     
  18. Luke77

    Luke77 I hope she likes whitefish

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    Just floated it again today in the Wm and I gotta say, not sure I'd do it in a toon and not now that the flows are dropping. Guides aren't running it anymore either... At least that's the word on the street. I'll take a WM down it any day, all day though.

    Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 4 Beta
     
  19. Luke77

    Luke77 I hope she likes whitefish

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    To clarify, I think toons don't have the same "stick" in the water that a raft or WM has. Toons are twirly tops compared and when you're boulder dodging, I prefer more stability.

    Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 4 Beta
     
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  20. PT

    PT Physhicist

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    Spend any time in a 'toon?
     

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