Kick boats are NOT for rivers !!!!!!!

As we were getting ready to head out on our float today on the Yak,The last words Danny at the Worley Bugger told me was to be careful, A lady from the Bellingham womens flyfishing club drowned yesterday on the Yak
We were floating down from Rhinehart park in the same section the lady drowned and it made me sick as we came around a bend off riverbottom rd and there was her kickboat. There is nothing worse than recovering a mother of 3s personal effects and items meant to have a weekend of fun turned tragic. Please people be safe and use these boats for what they were meant, That stretch of river is the same that claimed a driftboat last year and should not be attempted if you are not familiar with it and a very competent rower. My prayers go out to the ladies kids and family


Active Member
KOA- to Ringer on the Yakima is only for those that --- A. Know what they are doing on a river with a floating craft, & B. those that pay "attention" when controlling said floating craft. Good advise on any river.

I know of the Clackacraft lost last year on the stretch.- they were "experienced" fisherman and driftboaters and prominent dentist's from Seattle. Admittedly the one guy said he simply wasn't paying attention when they ran up on the sweeper.

I have harped on this for years. And now the stretch is 10 fold worse than it was 10 years ago when I was floating it fultime.

Perhaps there were two that went down.

I am saddened at the loss. The river seems so innocent. Not like running the Siuslaw or something. Guess that why it happens.


Active Member
I don't believe life jacket laws are "the" answer. Yes, they might help, but they can hinder as well, get caught on oars,oar locks , foot braces,etc. People have been drowned by their own boats in these accidents because they got caught up on something.

Do I wear one? Sometimes,I wear SOS,but think it's each and everyones own call to make. In heavy water I ,and my passengers, wear a true whitewater jacket with head protection. In a 'Toon I think I would always wear one but don't think it should be legally mandated.
What exactly is a kick boat? I've always assumed that when people refer to kickboats that they mean any boat that can be propelled with fins. That would include craft such as pontoons, watermasters, u-boats, etc. I float the Yak in my pontoon boat and have never felt unsafe. Should I be reconsidering?


Just Another Bubba

Kickboats are not for rivers, marijuana leads to heroine and masturbation will make you blind. These are all ill conceived statements that are debunked by the slightest examination, unfortunately calling into question most any other words of wisdom uttered by the same person.

People are not made for rivers; anytime you step into or float upon the current you are taking a risk and should be aware of it. I suppose you should feel unsafe but certainly not hysterical.

In GWH's defense I suspect two things, one is that he was very emotionally "rocked" by his experience and hyperbole didn't seem unwarranted at the time. Two is that in his examination of the craft in question he found it to be of a standard that was well below the qualities necessary for such water, but again due to his emotional state he forgot to describe the exact nature of this particular kickboat.

Although after waiting for his website to load (a little compression would be nice) I see only boats with standing platforms for sale, so maybe the use of fins on the river is verboten to our beloved hunter and we are all headed for a watery death who practice river kickboating. In that case I will sign off for good now as the Internet will be useless to me with my immediate blindness, and I need to go stock up on my heroine. :confused:


Defeat terrorism
So Bubba, are you suggesting until proof is supplied by G.W.H (such as a link to the story) that it should be discounted, and possibly considered a lie?


Just Another Bubba
Chromer said:
So Bubba, are you suggesting until proof is supplied by G.W.H (such as a link to the story) that it should be discounted, and possibly considered a lie?
I have no idea what you are talking about? I think you might want to reread what i wrote because you picked up on a tangent that I can't find in my post. I guess I do think that the statement "kickboats are not made for rivers" is a flawed opinion; but flawed opinions really aren't lies.
The boat she was using was a "Water Otter" which is a very early model with tubes about 6-7' long and a aluminum frame. That style of boat is NOT designed to be taken in moving water period, let alone by a inexperienced person. It even says so on the id plate from the manufacturer that was almost ripped off the boat when it was swept under the snags. Paul, I am not trying to push boats and never made reference to doing so and I also didnt come here to argue the merits of larger boats. You might feel comfortable in a smaller kickboat in the river as well as others might, But the facts are that if you get caught in a sweeper or under a snag, you ARE going in the water and the boat will be swamped which is what happened in this case. A link to the story is here:

so maybe the use of fins on the river is verboten to our beloved hunter and we are all headed for a watery death who practice river kickboating
And if what you are reffering to here is whether Id use a kickboat on a river... You are damn right I wouldnt be caught in one, but to each his own. I just think people might underestimate the power of flowing water


Just Another Bubba
Yea those old water otters were marginal river boats, but were some of the first kickboats on the Yak...Red even rented them as I recall. Didn't mean to imply that you were pushing boats, just observing that you don't seem to cotton to kickboats.

The problem I was pointing out is that when you deliver good information like:
That stretch of river is the same that claimed a driftboat last year and should not be attempted if you are not familiar with it and a very competent rower
under such an obviously hysterical header the good information can often gets swamped my the hyperbole.

The link doesn't work and I was trying to find the story, what paper or news source?
copy and paste from article
Yakima Herald-Republic (WA)

April 23, 2005
Section: Main/Home Front

Woman dies when raft overturns in Yakima River

Mark Morey
ELLENSBURG - A 57-year-old Bellingham woman died Friday afternoon in a rafting accident on the Yakima River, Kittitas County sheriff's deputies said. Linda Sherman was pronounced dead at the scene about a mile south of Ellensburg, Undersheriff Clayton Myers said.

The pontoon-based raft, with a rowing frame, became caught in a log snag, which caused the watercraft to capsize.

Friends in her flyfishing group brought Sherman to shore and tried to revive her, but she died about 2:45 p.m. after rescue crews unsuccessfully continued efforts to save her, Myers said.

She was not wearing a personal flotation device. Myers did not know whether she knew how to swim.

She showed no obvious injuries. The sheriff's office and the county coroner will conduct an autopsy.

Myers said Sherman was a single mother of three children.

Copyright, 2005, Yakima Herald-Republic. All Rights Reserved.

Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
Paul, I reread the post (had my own judgement on it) after reading the responses. I saw it as "kickboats". I don't call all pontoons with an open foot area a "kickboat". The whitewater boats (16-18' long) had open areas where you'd kick your feet, but I wouldn't call them "kickboats". LOL. I call "kickboats" those that are under 8'. Ones that are more "oversized dryer bellyboats". Ones that are too small for our rivers here. Especially when you head over to the Olypen or hitting a couple of the S rivers (well, most of those aren't floated by fisherman anyways, they fish the lower stretches).

I personally say that "kickboats" aren't made for rivers either. But I'm talking about those (even with oars) that are just too small for river usage. Especially ones with any technical water and that keep more of your body in the water. I don't always use boats with "floors" BUT, I always use boats that keep me up out of the water more, where fins are useless (which I won't endorse any use of fins in rivers, especially whitewater, I've pulled half dead people out of rivers who've got them caught up while paddling through). But I've been on the dirty end of boats. One most people don't see (the S&R end, mostly in swiftwater extraction) and it jades you a bit about proper usage. The water otters are probably great for the slower rivers heading east. But if you have some turbulent water (not sure on the section of the Yak, I don't know it that well), smaller the boat the more dangerous they are. Hell, when we had whitewater play days. A 12' boat was considered "small" for big water (this is classed water that those with $300 pontoon boats claim they do no problem with their boats), since we can barely keep them upright. The bigger boats are the ones that are prefered for stability/safety of course. A couple feet makes a difference. Hull design makes a TON of difference. Think those watter otters are full rocker hull. That small length and full rocker hull on a fast river is only asking for trouble.

Also, a PFD is prefered, but won't always save you. Know quite a few people who have drowned wearing a high floatation vest. Most won't wear "outfitter grade" vests, since they are to "bulky" as they say. But will always right you head up if you're unconscious. But have heard (and seen) of people drowning with vests on, but were face forward in the water sucking water. I won't ever wear an inflatable vest on a river. That's something I learned a long time ago. Especially those running hard water. If it's not working the second I'm hitting the water, I won't use it. Those who go in my boat, aren't allowed to use inflatables either. (I kept two of my outfitter grade vests for passengers to use). Now blue water, I'll use an inflatable (have two British made RAF inflatables).

Ok, I said my peace. :D LOL Coming off my soapbox. My heart goes out to her and her family. Sad news indeed. Something you never want to hear happening. But at least it happened while fishing. I'd rather die that way then in a car accident or a fire. But that's my personal opinion (Yes, I've nearly drowned a few times, even while whitewatering, so know the feeling, better then being burned).