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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I recently made the plunge and bought a 10 foot Skookum Steelheader Guide cataraft. I spent a lot of time researching and decided this was the boat for me. I don't have much paddling experience so I hoped I could get some general advice from those wiser than I (i.e. everyone on this forum). I took the boat out earlier this week on the Yakima (lower canyon) and it worked great. It is definitely heavy, but I managed to set it up pretty easy. I have an anchor system but have not bought an anchor yet. I quickly learned that without an anchor you are pretty much limited to shoring the boat and wade fishing. I don't think I will ever be coordinated enough to fish while paddling. Some questions:

1. Advice on anchoring. I have read quite a few differing opinions. Some say never anchor a pontoon (though I think this cataraft is more solid than most), others say no problem if you are smart. Any advice? I know enough not to anchor in fast current. There seemed to be a lot of areas where the current was relatively slow, and the water not deep, but the bottom was just loose gravel. Will anchoring work in this situation? Any tips? How much weight? Pyramid versus chain anchor?

2. Any general advice on general ways to effectively use my boat for fishing on rivers? Anyone with a Steelheader and advice on issues that have come up particular to the boat?

I'll appreciate any and all advice. You guys are the best

Dave
 

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I'm not very familiar with this boat but looked at it on the web site-looks really good. I notice the standing platform is removable. For a river like the Yakima, I would remove the platform and learn how to use fins. This in my mind is the biggest advantage to a pontoon or a boat like the Watermaster. Without fins, you are floating by a lot of prime water with no ability to get to it. I'm not sure how the platform on that boat works. On my Scadden, I can slide the platform back under my seat while I'm finning and slide it out if I anchor and want to stand up to cast. When you get an anchor, use a lot of caution when anchoring. Do not anchor in fast water! It is so easy to jam your anchor and take the stern of the boat down! When I'm fishing by myself with fins, I like to stop and stand up, cast a few times and back in the seat. Have fun with your new boat! Rick
 

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If it is the guide model you can't effectively use it as a kickboat. Frame sits on top of the pontoons so you're too far out of the water. Anchoring in moving water is very doable with your boat. I think many people make too much out of this issue. Yes, it is dangerous if you don't use common sense. Start in slower, shallower water and then use your judgement and experience when proceeding to anchor in heavier water. Over time you'll figure out what you are comfortable with.

Also, I have a couple of anchors that are real close to 20# (slightly lighter) that I'd sell if you wish. You could borrow one for a while to see if they are right for your boat. Let me know if you want to use one. I've spent quite a bit of time in that boat and 20# is just about right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks PT and Rick for the advice. Yeah, I have the Guide so fins are not much of an option. I knew that going into my purchase but wanted a pretty stable set-up if I ever graduate to more challenging whitewater. Also, I like the idea of being out of the water during winter/ spring trips. In an ideal world I would have both the Steelheader and a Watermaster or Scadden - maybe some day. Rick, if you live in the Seattle area, I would be interested in buying an anchor from you. Thanks again!

Dave
 

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If you want one of the anchors let me know. Nice boat. I had an Osprey for quite a while and loved it.

As I stated before, you'll be able to safely anchor that thing in most areas you want to fish. Just start out on the cautious side. Keep a knife handy just in casel. And, use your oars to help stabilize the cat while on anchor.
 

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Hi Dave,

I have the Guide II and use a 20 pound pyrimad and sometimes a 25 pound mushroom. I've only hung up once on the Yakima, but was able to free it with some work. When I take a guest, I switch off the oars and get some casting and floating in, otherwise, I float and enjoy the sights until I can beach or anchor. I will say the boat tends to 'wag' a bit in the water at anchor. Mostly I try to find a safe eddy. I'm out in Forks now and hope to get a solid week of floating, maybe a steelhead...

LKY
 
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