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Old 07-21-2009, 07:07 PM
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Default Fly Fishing Boats?

Hey All,

What all do you recommend to fly fish from?

I was thinking about a inflatable pontoon, but down the rivers and in some of my lakes we have a lot of woody debris. Branches that have fallen in the water and the sharp edges poking out the surface. Don't want to get a puncture. Any suggestions? Or any suggestions for a different kind of stable boat to fly fish from? I was looking at drift boats but that's out of my price range.

Thanks!
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:34 PM
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Default Re: Fly Fishing Boats?

I think you cant get much better than a kayak or canoe. I just love fishing from my kayak because the look on the guys in johnboats are getting stuck in 8 inches of water on the river.(the ocmulgee river in s. ga.)
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:10 PM
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Default Re: Fly Fishing Boats?

There are a lot of folks that fish from sit on top or sit in kayaks, pontoons and other craft from drift boats to jon boats and canoes. Unfortunately I'm not one of them, but i think you might want to give more details about the waters you fish- slow moving or fast? Shallows that you might have to get out and wade through? Portability and launching facilities if any and the vehicle you'll be using to transport it? Your physical condition, agility and weight-- and whether or not you might want to take folks with you? Whether or not you plan to float a section one way or need to be able to do a round trip against current with a motor or row/paddle upstream to the starting point.

I'd be especially concerned about safety- some "transparent" obstacles (like the tree branches you mentioned) in a fast flow that allow water to pass through but can trap and flip boats with the force of strong currents can be especially deadly with some types of boats like "sit in" type kayaks that could potentially trap you upside down underwater.

Because we have members from all over the place that fish everything from slow moving rivers down south to roaring white water out west I'm sure you'll get a lot of specific recommendations that might work great for you if you give more details.

mark
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Old 07-22-2009, 07:33 AM
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Default Re: Fly Fishing Boats?

Thank you for your reply. Here are some more details Q&A style.


Quote:
Originally Posted by peregrines View Post
slow moving or fast?
steady with medium current definitely wade able. strong current in some areas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by peregrines View Post
Shallows that you might have to get out and wade through?
John boats all the time down the river have to get out and push in certain spots, so something that would go in the most shallow water would be a plus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by peregrines View Post
Portability and launching facilities if any and the vehicle you'll be using to transport it?
There are a lot of places to launch down the rivers and the lakes also. I have a Pick up truck with a long bed. Don't have a trailer but if I had to I would get one. I kind of just like the idea of putting the boat in the bed of my truck and unload/load it like that. Seems like a whole lot easier than to use a trailer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by peregrines View Post
Your physical condition, agility and weight-- and whether or not you might want to take folks with you?
Physical conditions great. Athletic, Young, 26yo/150lbs. I'll be going solo on my trips. I do like the feature of some pontoons that you can take out a seat or put a seat in, to make it 1 or 2, or even 3 person boat. Would be cool to take a fishing partner out in or my wife but that doesn't happen often so just a solo boat would be fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by peregrines View Post
Whether or not you plan to float a section one way or need to be able to do a round trip against current with a motor or row/paddle upstream to the starting point.
I can have someone meet me at destination. But a motor would come in handy to go upstream with definitely. Would probably be easier and more convenient than to have someone meet me at another location. I don't want to row or paddle upstream.
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Old 07-22-2009, 10:37 AM
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Default Re: Fly Fishing Boats?

By the way Jcrazy, welcome to the forum, I see that you're new here.

One thing that might help a lot is to fill out your profile a bit with the area you're from, and also to let folks know what waters you fish on this thread.

Hopefully you'll get a lot of recommendations from people that fish similar waters.

Something to think about is how you'll be doing most of your fishing. In moving water, some folks use water craft to go from spot to spot, then get out and wade. (A sit on top kayak, canoe or pontoon might be good for this) If that's not practical, you'll have a couple of issues, one of them is how you'll fish and control the boat at the same time in current by yourself (Jon boat with electric trolling motor for fishing and gas kicker for going upstream?)

If you fish a lot of still water something like a pontoon or jon boat will keep you a bit higher than a sit on top kayak for easier casting, and would be more stable than a canoe if you want to stand.

Hopefully others will weigh in with recommendations. But in the mean time take a hard look at what others are using on the waters you plan to fish. I guess there's no such thing as the perfect fishing watercraft for all waters - but it sounds like you're in great shape, so you have a lot more options than less fit folks for stuff like kayaks and pontoons, and it sounds like you won't have white water to deal with from a safety stand point which is one of the strengths of drift boats, and the shallow depths of some of the river stretches would seem to rule out v type hulls because you'll need shallow draft, and doesn't sound like you'll need the clearance for waves on lakes.

Hopefully you'll get some good feedback from folks here.

mark
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Old 07-22-2009, 11:53 AM
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Default Re: Fly Fishing Boats?

Hi jcrazy,

Getting the right boat can take a bit of trial and error. The right boat for one person can be a terrible boat for someone else. Here are my thoughts.

Pontoon Boats
Pontoon boats are very tough and good rowing can keep you out of trouble. Unless there is a very sharp stick that you hit very hard I don't think you have to worry about punctures. That is if you buy a good grade of boat. You can put a small gas motor or trolling motor on the pontoon. It is according how far down the river you go. If it is any distance a trolling motor may run out of juice. So for a river I think a small gas engine is best. If you start looking at a two or three person pontoon the price is quite a bit higher than a one person pontoon. You can use flippers to help control your drift. So you can always be facing the direction you are fishing with out picking up an oar.

Kayak
A kayak is a love hate type of boat. They are very maneuverable and fast. The standard sit-on-top Kayak requires you to pick up the paddle to control your float. There are some kayaks that have foot propulsion but they may need a little bit more draft than a normal kayak. The big drawback of the Kayak is the sitting position. The have very comfortable backs but some of us old people can't sit in a Kayak for very long. I like the speed of a Kayak but never liked to fish from one. You need to try one before you buy one.

Canoe
A canoe would be a good choice for the water you describe. They are nearly as fast as a Kayak but the sitting position is much more comfortable. I think you should look into a Square Stern Canoe. Equip it with a small motor and this should be a good boat for your water. You have plenty of room for gear and a friend.

Jon Boat
A jon boat may be your best choice. You could haul it in the back of the truck and is a good knock around boat. If you don't get one too long a small gas motor will push it well. Some where down the line you might want to use a Jet and make it into a real river boat. Jets are pretty expensive these days. The big problem I have with a Jon boat is when you lose power. You can't steer it down stream very well unless it is equipped with oars. Even with oars it has no or little rocker and is hard to control.

So I think any of the above would work for you. My first choice if you want power is the Square Stern Canoe, then the Jon Boat. If you just want to go down stream a Pontoon would be my first choice.

Have you considered making a small drift boat out of plywood. You can buy kits with everything you need but the plywood. It is not a hard construction job if you can work with wood.

If you end up with a boat with power it is always best to launch where you can fish up stream. Then if you have a power failure you can drift back to your launch site.

Frank
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Old 07-22-2009, 01:55 PM
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Default Re: Fly Fishing Boats?

Thanks Frank! Great suggestions. The pontoon I was thinking about getting was a North Fork Outdoors pontoon by Dave Scadden. They are rated Class IV-V White Water. I will look into the Square Stern Canoe though and see how stable it is and in the wind.
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Old 07-22-2009, 09:38 PM
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Default Re: Fly Fishing Boats?

take a look at Riverhawk Boats...index.html. I bought the b52 Duck Boat for FF and duckhunting. It's roomy, very stable, and runs like a charm with a 10 or 15 HP or strong trolling motor. It only drafts about 4-5" of water so it can go almost anywhere.
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Old 07-22-2009, 10:07 PM
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Default Re: Fly Fishing Boats?

JCrazy, found another of my forums...LOL These guys can really answer your questions
You know me, for the conditions you are talking I am all about the Venture Outdoors 10'er
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Old 07-22-2009, 11:10 PM
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Default Re: Fly Fishing Boats?

I Like the SOT Kayak, but I use it for transportation only. As Frank said, it's just too uncomfortable to cast from that possion for long. If your kayak doesn;t have a rudder, it can be very difficult to keep it floating in a straight line. Sometimes I can't even finish a streamer retrieve without stopping to straighten the boat, and the back end always wants to spin around and pass me. I've seen this is many different models; if you look at thetop view, you'll realize that a Kayak isn't usually symetrical, and the center of gravity with the person aboard is off center. The lighter end always drifts at a different speed than the heavier end.

So when I'm but myself, I take the Kayak, paddle upstream far enough to get well beuond the waders at the access point, then I pull ashore and fish a run. When Im finished there, I float downstream to the next spot and get out again.

I second the recommendation on the River Hawk, and a very similar boat Gheenoe. They're the number 1 and 2 popular boats on the tailwaters I fish in Tennessee.
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