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Old 05-07-2012, 10:03 PM   #1
quaksmack
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Default Question for you drift boat guys

so i really want to get a drift boat, or raft something to run the coastal rivers with. but i dont have a whole lot of experience navigating these types of rivers so here is my question. how did you get started navigating the river? what kind of boat or raft? are there certain rivers that are easier to learn on? is there anyone who wants to take a newbie out and show me the ropes? i dont even care if the fishing is good! i just want to start getting some river time so when the winter run comes ill be ready

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Old 05-07-2012, 10:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: Question for you drift boat guys

Exactly. Team up with people who have one and ask for time on the sticks. Also go on easy drifts such as Oxbow to Dabney on the Sandy...or even Dabney to Lewis and Clark to just have time getting used to working something in a current.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:21 PM   #3
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Default Re: Question for you drift boat guys

that was another thing i was hoping to find is someone that would be willing to take me out and teach me a thing or two, sense i dont know anyone with a drift boat right now.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: Question for you drift boat guys

Take one of our boats out to a lake for a day and learn how it rows. I can give you a cut rate on a rental for that. Also, NW Steelheaders (Tualatin Valley Chapter) is having a rowing class coming up on May 12th. Call Tim lenihan at (503) 310-9824 for more information.

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Old 05-07-2012, 10:32 PM   #5
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Default Re: Question for you drift boat guys

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Originally Posted by Spade View Post
Exactly. Team up with people who have one and ask for time on the sticks. Also go on easy drifts such as Oxbow to Dabney on the Sandy...or even Dabney to Lewis and Clark to just have time getting used to working something in a current.
You kidding me there are several nasty rapids on that drift. i've only done it once and i was scared as hell, i may have been in a open 3 person toon but it was knurly.


My only advice is stay away form oxbow on the hoh river thats the scariest rapid ever. just practice on easy rivers you've been down before. thats what i plan on doing when i start. if you get scared do be afraid to pull over and with a bunch of rope walk your boat down a rapid
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:20 AM   #6
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Default Re: Question for you drift boat guys

where do you live? If you want to do the lewis I'll take you that's about as easy as it gets.
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:03 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by quaksmack View Post
so i really want to get a drift boat, or raft something to run the coastal rivers with. but i dont have a whole lot of experience navigating these types of rivers so here is my question. how did you get started navigating the river? what kind of boat or raft? are there certain rivers that are easier to learn on? is there anyone who wants to take a newbie out and show me the ropes? i dont even care if the fishing is good! i just want to start getting some river time so when the winter run comes ill be ready
You will find a lot of bad advice here from very well meaning people.
There is a lot that has been written about floating Oregon rivers. I have been boating for more than thirty years but I still find the descriptions of rivers contained in the book "The Soggy Sneaker" to be the best at giving me a factual review of a river I would like to float and explore.
Never forget that boating skill and advice is always relative to your ability utilize it. An easy rapid to one person could present a life endangering situation to someone else. Just ask the half a dozen folks that sunk there boat this last season on the Moonshine run.
Hire a drift boat guide to give you lessons, I know several in the Eugene area that would also give you a discount to let you row the boat for them.
My only real advice is to be very selective about the advise you accept.

I love rowing my drift boats and my rafts, sometimes I head out to fish a new river and never even wet a line. Floating a wild river has its own attraction with bigger rewards than any fish you will ever catch.

Perfect River Levels

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Old 05-08-2012, 09:26 AM   #8
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Default Re: Question for you drift boat guys

I started foating easy floats that I have done on innertubes and blow up rafts . I also took my bro inlaw the first tim, who has had a DB for 15+ years. After I got confident with the basics I started goin with a buddy who has his own boat and we just "buddy boat". It's a lot less nerve racking follwing the lines of someone who knows. Good luck and when you buy a boat save some money for good comfy PFD's that you'll actually wear.
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:42 AM   #9
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Default Re: Question for you drift boat guys

I agree with Perfectriverlevels! Use soggy sneakers!
Also a lake is a good idea. If you have not ever been on the sticks before, you need to teach your muscles what to do and the motion. Do some front strokes and some back strokes, some spins left and right. You need muscle memory so you dont think about what you have to do, you just do it!

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Old 05-08-2012, 10:45 AM   #10
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Default Re: Question for you drift boat guys

I took a few rides with a buddy in his boat and when I bought my own boat, he was willing to ride in the front seat and give me pointers on what to do and where to line up. The first ride with me on the sticks was a little exciting; I don't remember him actually screaming in terror, but I am sure his heart rate was elevated a little.
I don't know where you live, but once you get a little experience there are learn the river trips on the Santiam every year and the lower sections are suitable for someone without a lot of experience. They are an opportunity to both learn a river by following an experienced group and also to improve your skills at the same time.
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:50 AM   #11
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Default Re: Question for you drift boat guys

Send me a message and I'll let you row my clackacraft down here in Tillamook for a day springer fishing if you're interested. No problem!!!

JD
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:35 PM   #12
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Default Re: Question for you drift boat guys

Thanks for the advise and offers! Hopefully I can get out on the river soon, I would love to do some overnight camping trips this summer also. So my other question is, is it a better idea to start on a raft, or just start of right of in a DB. The only reason Im thinking this is a raft might be slightly more forgiving
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:47 PM   #13
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Default Re: Question for you drift boat guys

Rafts are forgiving but driftboats are forfishing...

As others have suggested, just start on a pond to learn the boat before you start worrying about learning how to read water. Take JDarr up on his offer! I bet you will learn a lot more than just how to row
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:57 PM   #14
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Default Re: Question for you drift boat guys

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Rafts are forgiving but driftboats are forfishing...

As others have suggested, just start on a pond to learn the boat before you start worrying about learning how to read water. Take JDarr up on his offer! I bet you will learn a lot more than just how to row
I agree. If the choice comes down to a raft or a DB strictly for learning's sake, go with the DB.

Take things slow. Get lots of practice in, and I do mean lots, before you start more technical water. Get to know other people with boats and follow them down rivers.

Fishing out of DBs is one of the most rewarding skills to learn.
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:49 PM   #15
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You kidding me there are several nasty rapids on that drift. i've only done it once and i was scared as hell, i may have been in a open 3 person toon but it was knurly.
Are you sure you are talking about the same float?
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:32 PM   #16
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Are you sure you are talking about the same float?
At first I thought he was talking about the Oxbow campground on the Hoh river. There is a pretty nasty drop into the campground area, but not really bad if you watch yourself.

The one from Oxbow to Dabney on the Sandy was one of the easiest I have done.

The easiest, by far, has been the salmon hatchery on the NF Lewis to the golf course.


Have fun learning and exploring in your drift boat. They're a lot of fun!
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:41 PM   #17
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Yes. He is confused.
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:07 PM   #18
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Default Re: Question for you drift boat guys

Would anyone be intrested in teaching a 16 year old to row? I have the money for a boat and I like the concept of drift boats but have only been in 2 and before I go spending money I want to know if I will enjoy fishing and rowing it! Thanks
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:25 PM   #19
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Default Re: Question for you drift boat guys

Take people up on their offers to go ride with them, not only will you learn a lot but you need to decide if you want a raft, cat, or DB. They are all very different and all have there positives and negatives. After some research I went with a cat, loaded it up, put the wife in the front, and went down the wilderness section of the Rogue. We were immediately hooked, and now we do multi-day floats every year.
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:43 PM   #20
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Default Re: Question for you drift boat guys

Just a side note for ya. When you have a drift boat you usually don't fish unless your on achor. The people in the front of the boat do the fishing. If you get good at rowing and you have two good fishermen in the front of the boat good things can happen.
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:05 AM   #21
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Send me a message and I'll let you row my clackacraft down here in Tillamook for a day springer fishing if you're interested. No problem!!!

JD
One heck of an offer, well worth the drive!!!!
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:25 AM   #22
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Hey come with me!!! I'll show you how it's done!!! LOL!!
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1336573540.411680.jpg

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Old 05-09-2012, 07:00 AM   #23
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Default Re: Question for you drift boat guys

I will deffinatly be taking people up on there offers to take me out, or at least as many as I can. Im starting a new job next week so things are slightly crazy right now but this new job will eventually give me more time off and to get out on the river! I appreciate everyones offers and I hope that I can get out there with some of you guys this summer.
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:03 AM   #24
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Hey come with me!!! I'll show you how it's done!!! LOL!!
Attachment 51098
That looks like a hell of a ride!
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:30 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by duckhunter4life View Post
Would anyone be intrested in teaching a 16 year old to row? I have the money for a boat and I like the concept of drift boats but have only been in 2 and before I go spending money I want to know if I will enjoy fishing and rowing it! Thanks

Gotta learn sometime. Same offer as Quaksmack. If you make it to Tillamook, you can row mine around. Message me. Maybe you and Qucksmack can ride together and both learn on the 19th?

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Old 05-09-2012, 06:29 PM   #26
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Default Re: Question for you drift boat guys

Take 'em on the Wilson....guide shop to overpass take-out. Easy drift.
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:32 PM   #27
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www.transportboats.com tell you Josh told you about them.

A kayak would also work great!
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:00 PM   #28
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Default Re: Question for you drift boat guys

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You kidding me there are several nasty rapids on that drift. i've only done it once and i was scared as hell, i may have been in a open 3 person toon but it was knurly.


My only advice is stay away form oxbow on the hoh river thats the scariest rapid ever. just practice on easy rivers you've been down before. thats what i plan on doing when i start. if you get scared do be afraid to pull over and with a bunch of rope walk your boat down a rapid

Dude! You have to read that again. They were talking about the SANDY river in Oregon. Not the HOH. While the Oxbow stretch on the Hoh is a little more challenging, you are wrong about it being the scariest rapid EVER. Everyone has a different experience level and I can appreciate your respect for a particular piece of water. Realize however that there are MUCH more difficult runs in several nearby rivers. ( Sol Duc, Calawah ) I'm not familiar with many Oregon rivers but I'm sure that there are plenty of places that make the Hoh canyon look like childs play.
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Old 05-10-2012, 04:47 AM   #29
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I have a killer ready to fish tomorrow drift boat for sale right now in the classifieds!!
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Old 05-10-2012, 06:29 AM   #30
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Default Re: Question for you drift boat guys

Here's what I did. Bought drifter, took it down Dabney to Lewis and Clark, then Oxbow to Dabney, Lower McIver to Feldheimer on the Clack, I did the lower wilson float from the guide shack. Went to the Deschutes and ran Buckhollow to Beavertail...big mistake, I was told there were no major rapids in the lower stretch to macks. There is a whole bunch of whitewater between Buckhollow and Pine tree, we got lucky and just had to do some bailing. By the fall we, my wife and I, were running all sections of the deschutes with the exception of the splash and giggle section.

So, learning on your own is possible if you don't rush it. I will say it took many years for my nerves to settle down running the big stuff. The book, Driftboats, I think the author is Alsop was a great aid. Buy good life jackets, carry 100' of rope for lining if you get scared, always carry a full length extra oar, an extra oarlock, an audible devise, ect.

Get a drift boat.

Good luck, be safe.
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:38 PM   #31
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I have a killer ready to fish tomorrow drift boat for sale right now in the classifieds!!
i saw that on there, looks like a nice boat but im no where close to being ready financially to buy a boat yet
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:09 PM   #32
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i saw that on there, looks like a nice boat but im no where close to being ready financially to buy a boat yet

Dang, just ordered a new one myself....
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:55 AM   #33
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Default Re: Question for you drift boat guys

Quaksmack and duckhunter4life are floating with me in the Clacka High Side next weekend for a morning "How to try not to hit things and sink. Maybe even catch a fish if there's a bunch of dumb ones around" trip.

I figure these two could row my boat down I-5 and do less damage than what I've done to since I got it. Apparently, there's are reasons I'm the only one at the "launch" some days.

JD
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Old 05-24-2012, 02:43 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by PerfectRiverLevels View Post


You will find a lot of bad advice here from very well meaning people.
There is a lot that has been written about floating Oregon rivers. I have been boating for more than thirty years but I still find the descriptions of rivers contained in the book "The Soggy Sneaker" to be the best at giving me a factual review of a river I would like to float and explore.
Never forget that boating skill and advice is always relative to your ability utilize it. An easy rapid to one person could present a life endangering situation to someone else. Just ask the half a dozen folks that sunk there boat this last season on the Moonshine run.
Hire a drift boat guide to give you lessons, I know several in the Eugene area that would also give you a discount to let you row the boat for them.
My only real advice is to be very selective about the advise you accept.

I love rowing my drift boats and my rafts, sometimes I head out to fish a new river and never even wet a line. Floating a wild river has its own attraction with bigger rewards than any fish you will ever catch.

Perfect River Levels
I just received my copy of Soggy Sneakers in the mail today. What a help it will be! Very descriptive but to the point. Very well worth the $15 I paid at Amazon...
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