floating the yak in a watermaster?

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golfman65

Guest
#1
I'm going to be making my first trip to the Yakima this coming weekend with the club. I was planning on using my watermaster grizzly....I know other WFF guys have um and was hoping you could let me know If the W.M. is OK for the Yak.? and anything I should be aware of or looking out for...We're going to be at the KOA campground in Ellensburg and heading down from there....
Also, did you use your fins when you went down? Is it cool with them or better to leave on the booties???
Many thanks for the help!!!
 
#2
I don't have any experience with the watermaster so I can't speak to how manueverable the boat is for you. I will say that a buddy and I took the drift boat from Irene down to Ringer this afternoon and that section has several sweepers that you will need to pay attention to. A couple of times I was backrowing to avoid a sweeper on one side of the river and after passing was required to spin the boat to clear something on the other side. I'm not trying to say you shouldn't make the float, just warning you to pay attention. Even though the flows were around 2900 there were some shallow spots in a coupple of places so pay attention to your fins as well. Good luck and have a safe trip.
 

Old Man

Just an Old Man
#3
It's ideal in a Watermaster. Just wear your wading boots as you will probably want to get out on a few bars(river bars) on the way down and you don't want to struggle around with fins on. You can manuver just fine with the oars.

Jim
 

Bill Dodd

Bill's in a time out.
#5
Sounds like fun but check with one of the fly shops as the Farmlands have changed BIG TIME from what I hear..I have not been thru there since the 14000 CFS flows.
Call The Evening Hatch or Red's and make sure you tell them what your floating in and where you are floating. Keep a heads up all the time..

Have a great trip and we may seen you there as I plan to fish the same section in my raft Saturday.

Sounds like a blast..

Bill Dodd.

P.S What club are you floating with?
 
#6
Floated the Yak last year with in a Watermaster. It was no problem but I wouldn't recommend wearing fins in moving water for safety reasons.
 

Richard E

Active Member
#7
Floated the Yak last year with in a Watermaster. It was no problem but I wouldn't recommend wearing fins in moving water for safety reasons.
Safety reasons?

Fins on the Yak work great. What works best is to use 'shortened version' of the fins, where there is still enough fin to maneuver you but not enough where they hit the bottom in a few feet of water. In slower, relatively shallow water where you might want to stop and fish, the edges of your fins can scrape along the bottom and effectively stop your descent without you having to stand up. And, you can fish while floating down the river, using the fins for positioning.

I learned this from the owners of the predecessor company to Watermaster . . . worked great for me, too.
 

Chris Scoones

Administrator
Staff member
#8
Floated the Yak last year with in a Water master. It was no problem but I wouldn't recommend wearing fins in moving water for safety reasons.
I would recommend learning how to use fins in moving water. There is a learning curve so don't just put yourself out there with your rod in hand approaching an obstacle. With some practice you will realize it's a much better way to go given your hands are free to fish. Most stretches on the yak I'll only touch my oars a couple times throughout the day.

Leave your lake fins at home. You will do much better with shorter, stiffer fins as most of your efforts is quick lateral strokes to position the boat, not just propulsion.

Chris
 

Calvin1

Active Member
#9
I wouldn't launch at the KOA if I were you. I would stay below Ringer, especially if you haven't used it much in moving water. I just got one and floated for the first time on the Missouri a couple of weeks ago. A very capable craft, but I'd get more experience in it before doing the strech between the KOA and Ringer.

Make sure you have a life jacket. I learned the hard way that it's required, Coast Guard regulations, so it applies in Washington as well (though you never see Fish and Game in Washington!).
 
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golfman65

Guest
#10
Thanks for all the info. I don't have the river fins so i'll go with the booties this trip...I'm with the Fourth corner fly club out of B'ham... look for all the old guys...Damn, that's me now too...I'm sure looking forward to this trip..been a long winter hiking the rivers in B.C. for steelies so a nice break from the action...
 

Bill Dodd

Bill's in a time out.
#11
iagree iagree iagree iagree

I wouldn't launch at the KOA if I were you. I would stay below Ringer, especially if you haven't used it much in moving water. I just got one and floated for the first time on the Missouri a couple of weeks ago. A very capable craft, but I'd get more experience in it before doing the strech between the KOA and Ringer.

Make sure you have a life jacket. I learned the hard way that it's required, Coast Guard regulations, so it applies in Washington as well (though you never see Fish and Game in Washington!).
 
#12
Golfman - what take out are you planning to use? there are a few tricky sections below KOA including a few logs and strainers/downed trees and there is a lot of debris from the high water run offs. It's generally ok, but there are a few corners, bends, side channels and even a low head "rock dam" in that section. (there is warning sign before you get to it)

The other major concern IMHO would be to NOT go alone on your first float. If you can follow behind someone in a DB or who has been down the float before, that would be the safest. I know of at least 2 drift boats in the past 2 years that have eaten it on that float section below KOA and above Ringer.... Also, the take out at Irene can be a bit tricky in fast water if you've never used it before.

if you're not 100% sure, then stop in at The Evening Hatch or Reds and talk to one of those guys
as they are on that water all the time and know the current flows and conditions and how the floats run.
it's always a moving target with the up and down flows and weather.... if you are solo in your float, then the canyon
sections are way easier and good fishing too!

also, you say "booties" as in neoprene booties? make sure you are wearing your wading boots!
you will need them to protect your feet from rocks. and the felt is good for traction when you are launching or landing....

have fun. be safe and let us all know how you did!

Jason
 
#13
Dont know your experience but as Jason above me said that section is probably the worst section on the river for someone just starting out and usually where the people get into trouble, 2 years ago I retrieved a small pontoon from a lady that went there with the Bellingham womens flyfishers that drowned the night before on the section just below rhinehart. Remember that a pfd will prolly not help you if you go into one of the many sweepers but they are required none the less... just sayin
 

Bill Dodd

Bill's in a time out.
#14
Red's Fishing report 3/31/07
Anglers: Dave, John, and Joe

Location: Irene to Bighorn

Flies: Black K-Stone size 4, FB PT size 14, Pat's Olive size 10, March Brown Nymph size 12

Time: 9:30 am to 4:30 pm

Results: Great fishing. Period.

The Yak is fishing very well right now throughout the system and the big fish appear to be in pre-spawn mode and "on-the-take". There were BWO's today and a couple of March Browns and of course a few Skwalas. The hatches were pretty light but the fish are prepared to feed after a lot of tough conditions so far this spring. They are in great shape and the trout population as a whole seems to be as good as it has ever been, perhaps due to the high water over the last 2 years. Be very careful in the Farmlands area of the Yakima right now, especially the section from Rhinehart Park to Ringer. We witnessed a near disaster drift boat accident today that almost ended very badly, so be CAREFUL. There are trees down in places that we never even knew about, in fact it looks like a completely different river in there. Fishing is good, but bear in mind that the flows are up and it is definitely a lot more work than the traditional 2000 cfs we deal with in March/April. On a side note, the movie "Blades of Glory" is a must see. Will Ferrell at his best.
 
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golfman65

Guest
#15
Dont know your experience but as Jason above me said that section is probably the worst section on the river for someone just starting out and usually where the people get into trouble, 2 years ago I retrieved a small pontoon from a lady that went there with the Bellingham womens flyfishers that drowned the night before on the section just below rhinehart. Remember that a pfd will prolly not help you if you go into one of the many sweepers but they are required none the less... just sayin

She was from our club, I wasn't a member then but am told she was a fabulous lady and an excellent fly fisheman...We hold a memorial for her while we are there...very sad..
Thanks for the great advice, I will come in below as suggested and get used to the river first before I try anything else..thanks for the heads up on the boots, I was thinking my neo. boots so wouldn't have thought to bring my normal wading ones....I'm really pumped to do this trip thogh..can't wait to get out of here...