Pontoon for the Deschutes [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Pontoon for the Deschutes

01-07-2004, 10:01 AM
I am going to try and pick up a pontoon boat of some kind to fish the Deschutes with this coming season. I wil probably drift from Macs to the mouth. I can line it around washout. I want something that will carry enough gear for 3 days.

What are you guys using????

01-11-2004, 04:13 PM
I don't know that river. But, I'm using a custom 16' cataraft and a steelheader cataraft. The one bennie to both of mine are they are whitewater based boats with heavier handling capacity. I've done 2 day trips with my 9' Steelheader and 7 day trips with my 16'. The 9' handled all my fishing gear, tent, stove, etc for those two days, plus food and my buddies gear who was using his outcast. For heavier holding capacity, you'll want more of the whitewater grade boats like the steelheaders, sotar fishing cats, etc. They'll carry at labout 400#'s more then boat of similar size out there. Plus, will be more stable while floating with that much weight since you won't be maxing out the weight like on other boats. Just a thought.

01-11-2004, 04:27 PM
My personal experience with P-B's is very limited but Mike Parson's purchased one of the above boats a short while back. The thing looks/built like it would take a torpedo to sink same.

Extreamly well built, even to the un-trained eye. But cheap it wasn't. Get what you pay for.

01-11-2004, 06:13 PM
Could you give me a link to the steelheader catcraft? I am looking for a one man, something I can put in my pick up. The 9 ft sounds interesting.


Whiskey Dick
01-11-2004, 10:30 PM
Hi Skilly, here is the web site you are looking for, www.steelheader.com an other one for you to check out is www.bucksbags.com and also www.davescaddenpontooncraft.com
I first floated the Deschutes in a one man pontoon boat about 10 years ago, i used an 8' bucks bronco and went Macks to the mouth with no real problems. I agree with Steelheader69 you need at least an 9' or 10' or 11' pontoon boat to carry any gear for a 2 or 3 day trip, my 8' boat was over loaded with a tent, sleeping bag,pad, and cooler with enough food to last 3 days.
As for lining it through Washout you can go tight right or tight left and you will be fine just remember to wear your life jacket at all times. One other tip i can pass on is if you are going to float the lower river on days the Jet Boats are running get a 10' light weight pole with a flag on it and attach it to your pontoon boat, When you are bouncing through some of those rapids(Rattle Snake comes to mind) the jet boat operators will not spot you in your pontoon boat and start up the same rapids as you are coming down and speaking from experience it does not make for a fun Trip. tight lines and have fun down there,brian

01-12-2004, 11:15 AM
Wiskey Dick

Thanks I will check them out. Thanks for the Idea of the stick and flag so the jet boats can see me better. I ran it with a jet for several years and I know how hard it is to see a boat or raft coming down fence line. (Rattlesnake)