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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to this forum, so I am sorry to jump right in with questions. I am considering buying a single person pontoon boat to use primarily on the Yakima. I have almost no paddle experience, and have some questions. First, are pontoon boats a good and safe way to fish the Yakima? Would it be advisable to take some paddling lessons before launching, or is it pretty straightforward? Is it easy to fish directly from a pontoon boat, or would I just be stopping at good spots and getting out? I know, pretty ignorant questions, but I am new at this. Finally, any particular recommendations for boats? I've been looking at he Outcast PAC-900FS. Anyone have experience with this?

I appreciate any help and will try to pay back the forum somehow down the road. Thanks
 

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Welcome - except during the highest flows, and qualifying that statement with "depending on the hazards present and your level of experience on graded water" you can use a pontoon boat effectively on the Yakima. Even more so during period of low flow, read "shoulder seasons." Small craft are especially useful when dragging around log jams, diversion dams (when necessary).

Now, temper my opinion with the fact that I've only observed guys in various sizes on pontoon on the river. I guide out of a drift boat, but I've piloted on rivers for 30 of my 39 years on this planet, from the Upper Rio Grande, The Colorado, The San Juan, the Green (UT), the Arkansas, Conejos, Yakima, Kootenai, etc...

Again, welcome to the forum!

Derek
 

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My first experience on the Yakima was with EmergingRivers just a short time ago. Now that I've seen it I know that my pontoon boats are perfectly suited for the stretch I've seen. I have had my pontoons down a few rivers and don't have a wealth of rowing experience. I have never gone alone. I always wear my PFD in my pontoon boat. I use my boat to get me to spots to fish, I've not yet mastered any coordination effort that makes fishing and floating seem possible. There are many others who have tons of experience and many will freely assist you along the way. I have had countless messages or posts in response to my questions, still learning but the group here can shorten the learning curve and keep you grounded. Best of luck and welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the above info guys - it is good to hear some first hand experience. I am pretty amazed at the amount of knowledge and willingness to share in this forum. What a great resource!
 

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Skunk Happens
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My two floats on the Yakima have been in October. I think that is part of what Emerging Rivers is referring to as shoulder season. Red's to Big Pines is an easy float. When floating the Yakima (Spokane, Bitterroot, and Blackfoot) I wear fins and rarely have a need to touch the oars and can fish along the way and can stop whenever. Take your new boat out on a lake first just to get used to it and build some confidence. I had maybe 3-4 trips in a driftboat doing some of the rowing before I bought a pontoon. Pontoons maneuver exceptionally well and can be forgiving to a beginner (although the river itself never is). Wear a PFD on a pontoon on the river.

Two very imporant things to know: point your bow at the danger and row away from it; have a good idea of what "danger" is.

Welcome to the board.
 
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