I bought a toon...now what?


Active Member
I finally did it. I was at the Silverbow gear swap and picked up a Clasic Acessories 7' toon. Its just a basic one with no frame but super light. I dont really feel like risking my life on the river yet with very minimal float tube experience, and I was thinking of just taking it on a lake to test it and learn a few things.

Anyways, I wanted to get some feedback and advice to get me rolling. Any insight would be greatly recieved!
You basically answered your own question, go to a lake and get some experience on the oars and learn your boats limitations.before trying it on moving water. Nothing teaches you more than time on the water.
A friend of mine drowned when her pontoon boat was swamped by a sweeper on the Yakima River a few years ago. Despite the fact that her two companions pulled her out quickly, it was too late. Her pontoon was a model with low-riding pontoons, probably better for use on stillwater than on a river. I'm not sure if that was a contributing factor. Regardless of the size and type of craft, once overturned and held down by underwater trunks and limbs, one is in extreme danger. Wear a life vest; practice maneuvering quickly on gentle streams; assume nothing.


Not to be confused with Freestone
Take one of your skilled WFF members with you... we're all free pizza and beer whores at heart ;).

Seriously, if you go on any rivers, go with someone who knows the section and has floated it. I have also found that paying for guided float trips not only offer great fishing, but a chance to pick up excellent local tips on fishing methods and first hand survey of various river sections. That, I came to find, was very valuable when I first started fishing MT and knew nothing about many of the rivers. Always check with local shops about any new significant hazards... RMW rivers are always changing... what was a free sailing drift one day could be a major problem the next.

Have fun and be safe.
When you say "the river" I assume you mean the Spokane River. I wouldn't take that frameless pontoon boat on the Spokane... seriously - careful.


I lived in Spokane for 10 years, that's a powerful river.

I have an 8' Bucks Southfork that is supposedly rated for class III rapids and there's not a chance you'd catch me in class III in it.

Now, all that said, you want to float the Canyon Stretch of the Yakima in that? Okay, I can see that. And, that looks like a really sweet rig for stillwater fishing.


beads are NOT flies and snagging is just ghetto
stay away from popular stretches of water until you can contrrol your boat. dont try to fish from it when you are in a crowded stretch, focus on maintaining control. always pull (dont push) on the oars to keep you moving slowly, giving you more time to avoid conflict with anglers, rocks and other out of control boats. wear your pfd. try to stay alive :eek:


Skunk Happens
Spokane Fly Fishers does a pontoon safety class. Their website seems to be hosed and I can't find my last newsletter. You might try hitting them up on Facebook.

Definitely start out on a lake.
A lake is a lake.. A river is a river.. Apples and Oranges here.
I would start off with something very easy when you feel comfortable enough to use your pontoon on a river. Go with someone who knows the water and is an experienced oarsmen. Most importantly always wear your life jacket!
A lake is not a lake and a river is not a river. Sorry but I just flat have to take exception to that statement. Take that toon down some rivers and you would be well advised to have signed last will and testament before departing.


Skunk Happens
Maple Street Bridge or Water Street to TJ Meenach is a good stretch when you're ready. Mid to late July when flows are down take a ride and make fishing your second priority. Given how many people make it through that stretch every year with nothing more than air mattresses and inner tubes and a belly full of beer, you should be fine. If you want a fishing partner, PM me when you know when you want to go.

This stretch of water has three places where I really pay attention; Sandifur bridge, the run just before the confluence with Hangman, and a bit above and below TJ Meenach.


Active Member
This is all awesome advice guys. I need to pick up a PFD before I go, thats for sure. My oar skills are slim to none, and the Spokane didnt even cross my mind. Around this time of year people are always being reported missing, injured or worse on that river. I did float the Spokane a few years ago in the summer on a lounge tube. I remember it being pretty rocky and dragging my tailbone a few times. I was thinking the NFCDA in about a month. I really know nothing about these things. I thought this tube would be nice because it had a low center of gravity and it had decent inflatables. I probably need flippers too, eh?

And I would be very grateful to have someone to kick around with and teach me a few things, and of couse pizza and beer would be included. Damn, the Flying Goat sounds good right now.
Stewart nailed it on the head. Its a joke to say that boat wouldn't make it down the river just fine. Buy a pfd, take it out to medical, get your bearings, and get ready for a great season on the Spokane!