Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Rogue River State of Jefferson
My purpose for a boat is strictly transportation, to get me into spots that are otherwise inaccessible. My first boat was a 14ft woodie. I had it for three years, learned a lot about drift boats, & customized it a little bit. But you can't store a wood boat outside, so when a deal on a 15 ft cataraft came up, I sold the woodie & bought the cat.
A word about two handed fly rods. Fully assembled !5 ft rods do not travel well in the average boat or raft. I was able to bungie a 15 foot rod to the frame of the cat, but it's kinda scary thinking about a bungie letting go at the worst possible time.
I also discovered inflatables are not exactly immune to the weather. UV is not good for them, and you have to watch the pressure. Air expands with heat & compresses with cold. The cat was wide & rode above the wheels on the trailer, as most rafts do. To say rear visibility is limited is an understatement. My trailer had no winch so you had to man handle that boat back up on the trailer. We took the cat down thru the wild & scenic section of the Rogue one time & then sold it.
My next boat was a 9 ft Bucks Bronco. I bought an EZ loader for the motor home & took it up to Smithers & fished the Bulckley & the Morice with it. when I got home from that trip I built a rod carrier out of 3" PVC pipe. If I have to, I can carry a 15ft rod broken down. Usually a 13ft rod hanging out the back. It does the job, but it's a royal PITA getting the toon down out of the rafters & loading that boat on top of the SUV, & the EZ Loader is a pain just getting it out from behind all the $**t in the garage.
I stumbled across a deal on an almost new 16ft Clackacraft w/ the gulf stream bottom on the way home from that Smithers trip. With Sawyer Square top oars & Cobra oar locks, that boat rows like a dream. I can stand to see whats up ahead & row, I can skull the boat side ways down thru a run, Slow the boat to a crawl, slide it over low water riffles that would stop most other boats. I've even worked out a system for storing 13ft rods completely inside the boat while floating the river. Needles to say I can carry a lot of gear, and two other people. The only thing I've found I cannot do is use a propane heater in the boat. I can live with that.
I fish because the voices inside my head tell me to.