Yakima River Rafting with Boys


Active Member
My second boy just got back home this past weekend after spending two years in Armenia doing church work. My oldest boy and his wife (who got married while boy #2 was gone) flew out from the east coast for the homecoming. We wanted to go out and do a little reunion fishing. Our first couple of choices were too far away for the limited time we had and the weather was a little sketchy so we decided to just do a quick trip on the Yakima. Fishing was typical; a few adult stones, midges, and mays around but unfortunately the March Browns were sparse. Regardless of how well the fishing was (or wasn’t), we enjoyed ourselves catching up on the things of life and watching my two boys turn into young men before my eyes. We did find a few sporadic risers feeding on BWO and MBs but very few. Once we found them though they were fairly easy to catch. Probably should have tried streamers or nymphing but we didn’t need to catch fish that bad.

On a side note, the outcome was better regarding raft performance…or shall I say oar lock performance than the earlier trip down the river. The previous Sunday, after dropping off @PV_Premier at Red’s for a drift down the river, I got a call saying the oar lock shaft had seized up. Apparently, the shaft diameter that Pro Loks uses is slightly larger than the 5/8” shaft that traditional oar locks use. After cutting off the Pro Loks with a hacksaw, we still were not able to pound out the shaft and wound up dragging the raft back up the road, cutting their test trip short. We felt terrible that their flight up from California was affected by a mechanical malfunction. My one and only other time using Pro Loks I didn’t experience any problems. Luckily their guided trip the following day with Red’s proved to be more productive. The funny thing was both the previous Friday and Saturday I wanted to take the boat out and ensure things were working fine but the lousy spring weather we have been experiencing in Ellensburg put a damper on that. Thanks to PV_Premier for understanding that unexpected things sometimes happen while on the water.

On a side note, you’ll see in the photo that although we used the Pro Loks oars, we went back to traditional oar locks for this last trip. The smaller shaft diameter than most oars meant there is a little more slop between the oar lock sides. I would imagine tweaking/tuning the oar lock would reduce the amount of slop between the sides.

Now that March is behind us, I'm looking forward to a productive year of fishing throughout the northwest, which means no salmon/steelhead fishing in Washington. :mad:


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    my 2 boys.jpg
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Active Member
Jim, they get bigger but they will still be my little boys even when all grown up.

Grube-this is pretty close to the SRB. This is built on the Hyside Mini Max, which is just a little big bigger than the Maxxon raft. This allows a third person to be used behind the rower on occasion. But the bigger size makes it a little more difficult to put in the back of a truck, unlike the SRB. The the trade off is a bigger, more expensive boat with the Hyside that is capable of a third person in a pinch but has the I-beam floor, rather than the drop stitch floor, which is my preference on the SRB.


Active Member
Thanks BDD, that's a sweet looking rig. I think I'd prefer the drop-stitch over I-beam too.

Nice report fishing with your boys too. Family and fishing, that's a great combination.

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