I need Help with Pontoon basics

Hi there,

I have finally taken the plunge and purchsed a pontoon boat - 9' southfork. Now that I have had the boat out in Greenlake for some practice rowing, I feel I am ready to tackle the Yakima.

As I will most often fish by myself, or maybe with the dog, what are the options for begin in two places at once. I Feel a little hesitant to leave my new boat while I walk/jog a few miles back to the car. What is the hitch hiking like along the Yakima? Is there a reliable way to "lock" my boat to a tree? What else do I need to consider that I may not have thought of for my first few trips?

Any advice is appreciated.

I have often hitch hiked back to my truck but only while leaving a floating partner to guard the boat. Its not the easiest place to get picked up, too busy with traffic. People dont stop.

If i were to go alone, i would first drop off my bike, hidden and locked up, then, hide and lock up the pontoon as best as i can to start the trip back to the truck...should be ok


Active Member
For Yak practice, you can put in at the boat launch at the upper end of Red's, work the opposite bank (some big fish hiding there!), and then swing back in at the lower end of the camp area. If you severely blow your re-entry, you'll get even more Yak practice and end up at Lmuma, just past the alfalfa farm. From there, it would be a pretty good hike back that could force your thumb to stick out. It's a thought. :hmmm:

Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
Since Jason already gave a name already, I would second a shuttle service. BUT, if you don't want to pay for that, you can do what I used to do.

First, I had a scooter. I would lock it up with a long chain. This chain would act as my "lock up" for my boat. I actually had a backpack (more like a packboard) setup for carrying my stuff back with me. I had take down oars that would fold down (cataracts actually) and strap to the frame. Rods went into rod cases that lashed with it. Then I had the backpack for all the misc. goodies to load into it (jackets, lifevests, oar locks, etc). All I left behind was the frame and tubes. Then I took the chain for the scooter (which was extra long) and would string it through the D rings, oar towers, about anything that had a closed loop. Then I would lash that around a pole (preferable the poles near launches like the guardrail posts). Never had a problem with losing anything.

Before anyone says "OMG, that's alot of work, why didn't you bring a buddy?". Back then, you rarely, if ever, saw a pontoon on the rivers. So I was mostly by myself (reason I bought the one man). Had the big pontoons and my driftboat for multi-person trips. I already had the scooter (a trail 90 back then), so didn't want to waste money on a shuttle when I had this already (and had the packboard from fishing the Hump years ago when you'd walk in quite a ways, and was a long ways to be carrying to big kings by hand). Worked great.

There are enough guys though that fish the Yak, that you should be able to find a buddy to go along with. Better yet. Get yourself a scooter, and then take a buddy. That way, you can run one vehicle. You have a person to talk to on the drive there.
:hmmm: :)
hey Jerry, were you the guy on the Hoh a couple years back who didnt pick me up heading back to the Parks boundary because you said 'scooter is only for one, sorry?'
I was walking, you were the only guy that passed by, i ended up walking over 6 miles back to my truck...haha!

Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
LOL, it could've been me. And yeah, I MAXED out that little scooter (at that time, was a Yamaha Razz). Balls to the wall, I could maybe get that thing to do 30mph downhill with a good tailwing. Chances are good though it was me. Was it a day it was snowing? I know I talked to one guy by the "Rainforest Cafe" there who was walking. I know I was an icecube by the time I got to my rig. Even with my neopreme waders, wader pants, and fleece gloves on. I was freezing.

Now, if I had my old trail 90, I'd have picked you up. But that scooter, no way. :D


Just Another Bubba
Hitching on the yak is easy...JUST REMEMBER TO ALWAYS TAKE YOUR FLY ROD WITH YOU. So folks can see that you are a harmless fly fisherman. My average wait is 15min on the Yak...about 1/2 hour on the upper.

You can also hang out at a put in and try and hook up with someone else doing a shuttle. Also can float from Red's down and leave your boat at Reds where it should be safe.
maybe not you...it was in june, nice warm evening.
hey, let me know if you have any other rigs for sale - pontoons or rafts!

Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
Manimal, that was the last inflatable I had that just sold. Only have my driftboat left, which I'll be keeping. From this point on, will be rebuying new ones. :D

Oh yeah, probably wasn't me. I do fish the Hoh in June, but normally those trips we have enough guys going that we always have a second rig. So never need to take the scooter. So definitely wasn't me. Plus, I always pick up fisherman on my way if we have an actual "car/truck" for a chase rig. So definitely wasn't me.
When I floated my pontoon on the Yak, I always used aa shuttle service. Red would let me leave my truck next to his house, and is would be safe with all my camping gear in the open bed. I now have a drift boat, and still use the shuttle most of the time. I have herd of too much stuff coming up missing from cars and trucks. I would say spend the $20. Just my 2 cents