Info on Places to Launch Drift Boat in Eastern WA, ID and MT

Fishcat57

Active Member
Thanks for any help you can provide on this topic. I live in Spokane and I am new to the Drift Boat fishing world (which I can't describe how much of a game changer it is!) I have always just wade fished on the Spokane River and surrounding areas but have since mainly stayed on Lakes with my boat as it's easy with just me and predictable. I am wanting to get into fishing the surrounding rivers to include Northern Idaho and western Montana but don't know much about launch/pick up sites or shuttle services if any of the rivers even have them over on the east side. If there is a cheat sheet anyone has made over the years or a website I can be directed to I would greatly appreciate the tips or help your willing to pass along.
 

Dustin Bise

Hot-spotting Sheriff.
go talk to the guys at silver bow flyshop. they can get you all set up with the info you need. posting the info online for the worlds internet archive might not be the best idea.

One thing I will say, is start slow. rivers are dangerous, even if others act like they are not. even "easy" rivers can go from a great day to a disaster in a split second. treat those rivers with the respect they demand and you will have a great time.

The good news is there is lots of good well known floats in the area, and even more off the beaten path floats.
 

MT_Flyfisher

Active Member
Montana and Idaho fish and game departments maintain statewide listings of most of the river accesses that they maintain, which you can easily find by doing an internet search. The Bureau of Land Management also maintains additional accesses and I believe they have a similar list.

Not all public river accesses have ramps where you can launch a drift boat, however, so make sure they do before planning to haul your boat to one, or worse yet before you get on the river and plan to take out at a public accesss that doesn’t have a boat ramp, or a place to take your boat out. Also, some places are harder to get a boat out than others, so it’s always best to check out the place beforehand either in person or with a local fly shop, for example.

There are other informal public accesses but you might have to search them out in a river by river basis, or by contacting fly shops in the imedidiate area. I would also contact local fly shops for info on shuttle services.
 
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surfnsully

Active Member
In addition to many launch sites you should find a lot of shuttle services. Just check in with local fly shops for names and numbers of shuttles and you will be good to go. In addition, if you stay on public land there are a few primitive launches but you do not need those.
 

Fishcat57

Active Member
Great info guys, I really do appreciate all the wisdom and guidance. I suppose the fly shops are probably the best option in getting the most up to date information, and yes Silverbow is a great resource for the Spokane area I will look into that. I will just take some time to get all the kinKS worked out and figuring out some of these local rivers but I'll get there eventually.
 
I agree with silver bow fly shop. They will have the skinny bout shuttles and such.

Or you make some friends and shuttle yourselves. I’m thinking the Clark fork in a couple months for skwala season:)
 

Fishcat57

Active Member
I agree with silver bow fly shop. They will have the skinny bout shuttles and such.

Or you make some friends and shuttle yourselves. I’m thinking the Clark fork in a couple months for skwala season:)
This is true! I don't know too many fly fisherman here in Spokane, it's just those I've taken out from work that I've had to teach. My wife loves to row at the gym but she wasnt too fond of me asking her to row me around while I fish and she didn't like the idea of being my shuttle service either. Haha. I always want to fish the Clark Fork when I drive over it a hundred times while driving back and forth to MT.
 

Greg Price

Love da little fishies
Welcome to the DB brotherhood.

You will be amazed at how drifting a river is salve for the soul. Even on days when fishing is terrific but catching sucks.

When I first awuired my DB is read somewhere that gliding over the shallows I'd like being on a majic carpet. Try to get a friend to tow, stand at the bow to get the majic carpet feeling as the cobble zooms quietly underneath
 

bjornjon

Active Member
I would second a lot of what has already been said here. Without telling you how and where to go and all that, I would highly recommend the Clark Fork between St Regis and Superior as an area where you could learn how your boat handles and how it will react.
 

Fishcat57

Active Member
I would second a lot of what has already been said here. Without telling you how and where to go and all that, I would highly recommend the Clark Fork between St Regis and Superior as an area where you could learn how your boat handles and how it will react.
Thanks for that tip, I will be sure to do that float first to get my feet wet!
 

Old406Kid

Active Member
Thanks for that tip, I will be sure to do that float first to get my feet wet!
Depending on the flows, give the hydraulics around any bridge pilings their due respect.
You would be surprised at how many have gotten in trouble by getting sucked in and dumped.
 

Jmills81

The Dude Abides
The floats around Superior and St Regis are great places to learn how a boat reacts. The biggest thing that I had to learn is the lag time between when you make the oar stroke to the boat reacting and doing what you asked it to do. Takes some time, but it's worth it.

Pre run off on the Clark Fork can be fun. Only thing that tends to get crappy is the wind
 

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