help please, cataraft and lakes - Fly Fishing Forum
Inflatable Watercraft Rafts, pontoon boats, kickboats, etc.

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Old 10-30-2004, 05:32 PM
rufessor rufessor is offline
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Location: Utah
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help please, cataraft and lakes

Hi All-

I have spent some time reading with interest the information people have posted with respect to pontoons v.s catarafts and have decided to look seriously at saving up for and purchasing a Skookum 10 ft Steelheader guide model with the anchor system. That said, I am far from certain and would like to know what people think and if people think I will be getting too much boat for what i plan on doing. So here is the plan and your comments will be welcome with an open mind.

I believe in buying something once, so durability and quality are important.

I fish a LOT in the late fall and early spring, so cold water is the rule and I know what will happen to me if I dump in a lake 1 mile out and the water is 40 degrees... my boat will be in an estate sale. So stability and RELIABILITY are IMPORTANT.

I would LOVE to be able to stand and sight cast to fish on a lake or a river.

I usually wear waders, its just more rain proof, warmer etc, but I like the idea of being "dry" and have used float tubes and find that kicking around a lake is pretty much useless unless you are willing to work REALLY hard or drive within 200 yards of where you want to fish. That said, should I consider a more pontoon like configuration with a kick style boat... keep reading to see what I will use it for. My thought is that there is no way I am going to be able to move very far with kick fins on a 10 ft boat so why even bother....

Ok, so I fish reservoirs and rivers about 50:50, can I row a 10 ft cataraft with any efficency at all on a lake, what about wind (Major concern on mountain reservoirs in UT), will I be in a "sail cataraft" and pretty much tracking down wind???? Will I need a motor (sounds very FUN to me.... something I would likely add, but do I Need it. See above concern vis kick style propulsion.

Now for rivers, I would be on the upper Green river in the A or B section so I don't see any major white water concerns here, but I am not a dare devil and thus like the idea of a 10 ft catraft for stability and safety. I will also head out to the Salmon river in the Salmon/North Fork area of Cenrtal/N Central ID, there are sections on that river that would be "interesting" for me in that I am not an experienced rafter/catarafter/pontoon driver and would like to keep it safe (you might see a common theme here).

So, sorry for the length but If I dont tell you what I want to do, and why, you will not be able to really provide much help. Basically, I see this as my one purchase that will involve a boat that will not be a 19 ft flats boat with a 100 hp motor, which is my eventual goal in 5-10 years. So, I want to use it to fish for everything from Large mouth bass (standing to cast would be a BLAST), for Steelhead in big rivers, for trout in reservoirs, for Lakers in Resrvoirs, and for trout on large rivers. I am asking a lot out of one boat and considered seriously a canoe but for many reasons ruled it out (mostly due to being solo and standing). I do not need room for two, it would be great but 90 % of the time I will be solo.

Have at me! PLEASE.
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Old 11-01-2004, 11:33 AM
FLGator FLGator is offline
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Skookum makes a nice product from what I understand and think you would be happy with their product. In the cataraft category I'd also recommend taking a look at Dave Scadden's products ( which I also understand are top quality.

Since you are going to split your time 50:50 lakes/rivers here are some "drier" options you might consider: Endure Boats 10' Aluminum Pram (, Hyde 11' Drifter (, Koffler Boats Inc. 10' Whitewater Pram ( Lavro offers an 11' Fly Fishing Boat ( that might also be of interest. These boats all afford stable platforms from which to stand and fish, are dry, all appear to have sterns you could mount an electric motor/small outboard if you desire, and can all handle the white water you describe. Might be worth a look.
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Old 11-01-2004, 06:37 PM
rufessor rufessor is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Utah
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Drift boats...hmmm

Hi Thanks for the response.... Now that you summarized so neatly what I want, which is a boat that will handle 50:50 lake and river, i wonder if you might be right about looking into drift style boats. It would be SWEET to stay dry and be able to bring others with me on a trip.... but man are they PRICEY! Know anyone with a new boat that decided they hate fishing and are also a millionaire and looking to unload their boat cheap?

I would still like to hear from others experience with rowing a cataraft on lakes and other concerns I had... but I will at least look into the Drift boats, I of course knew of them but sorta decided it was not what I wanted... now I wonder but have reservations about using them on a lake.
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Old 11-01-2004, 10:24 PM
FLGator FLGator is offline
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This whole boat thing is complex: I have a good friend with a single person pontoon, a canoe, a 14' raft, a 2 person 12' pontoon, a drift boat, a float tube, a jon boat and a jet boat. He thinks he needs them all...need I say more!

The prams/drift boats I mention above are about 1 1/2x the price of a top quality single person pontoon. They are a bit pricey but, I thought they might fit your needs and would bring them up. Having spent a whole lot of money over the years trying to figure out what "the best" product actually is for a given application, I often wish I could go back and have paid a little more from the get go. I would have been thousands of dollars ahead and a whole lot more satisfied from the beginning. Might be worth saving for an extra few months or a year and get exactly what you want and not settling.

Get them to send you some literature and perhaps a couple of references to talk with and mull them over.

Just a couple of ideas for you to kick around and hopefully help you make the best decision for your application.

Let us know what you decide.
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