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Last weekend seven pontoons set out from Steelhead Park in Savona for a day drift/fish along the mighty Thompson River. One experienced whitewater paddler, two with some experience and four with no experience. The first rapid below Steelhead Park got the blood pressure and the pulse rate up a bit as we set off down the river in search of the legendary 'bows on the fly.
Approx. 1/4 mile down we were into our first fish and during the day the seven of us hooked approx. 25-30 fish in the 1-3 lb. range, mostly on 'hopper patterns, green sedges, and stonefly nymphs. There were long stetches on inactivity, but several spots we stopped at gave up 3-5 fish in short order.
Ribwart, Professori, Anthony, and yours truly along with a few family friends made up the seven. Those of you who couldn't make it missed a beautiful, scenic, and rewarding day on the river..The weather was perfect, with a bit of overcast and very little wind to prevent our casts from finding their marks. Perhaps a wee bit more sun would have spwned some additional hatches, but all in all it was a good day.
The river should not be attempted without someone with knowledge of moving water. It is HUGE river with deep fast runs and some fun,challenging rapids. Be sure and take some food and water with you, along with all the standard safety gear , including patch kits, sunscreen and sunglasses.
The pontoons were of various makes and sizes but all handled the river with relative ease. Only the last rapid just above our take-out point at Juniper Beach really got the heart rate going as we drifted through some irregular standing waves of 2-3 ft.
It was a trip I have wanted to do for a long time and it was really fun to share the experience with a few others. Definitely go with a group if you want to do this trip and I certainly would save it for an August weekend, as the river was considerably higher a month ago and much more dangerous.
Plans are already on the board for next year,One more thought if you are planning on going....Be aware that along the entire length of the river are two tracks that carry trains at a frequency of 3-4 per hr., 24 hrs. a day. We camped at Hat Creek Ranch approx. 6 miles north of Cache Creek and it was nice and quiet, and made for a good sleep after a full day on the river. Total river drift was approx. 12 miles and took us 8 hrs...........Ortho 8)
 

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thanks Ortho for making my mouth salavate with thoughts of pontooning a river

guess i will have to get rid of the Tube and get a pontoon and will have to pay a little more for one thats worthy

anybody know of any makes, models that are not super pricey i dont wanna be spending 1000 on a pontoon more like half that

HOOK
 

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Hey Hook

Check out the Outcast line I got mine the 9' Discovery for right around $600.00. Wait for the sportsman show and Hub sports will have a major sale on as they do every year.

CENTERPIN
 

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thanks CP that sounds like a good plan

whens the sportsmen show isnt that like April or something??

Float - dont think i would check out Ebay as everything isnt always what it seems from there so i have heard and seen from friends that have purchased some things there

thanks

HOOK
 

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Steelheadstalker said:
Hey guys. Lemme know the next time this is being set up. If it's on a weekend, I may be able to go. I have a FishCat Cougar, 5 weight and 3 weight. Can't wait!!!! :happy:
Forget the 3 wt. A good rod for the Skagit, but a 5 wt is the bare minimum.
 

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Just finished our annual summer trout trip to the T. Wow! Our drift went from Juniper to Ashcroft. The river is big & fast this year so don't cheap out on a pontoon boat, get a quality unit with GOOD oars. Spend the money, you won't regret it, this river can be unforgiving. Safety first!
 

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rshew said:
Hello fishortho,
Just curious, what type/make/size pontoon boats were used.

This will give me a better idea as what type to purchase. :confused:

Thanks!
From a newbee flyfisher.......
Ortho is off the forum for a while travelling. There were 3 Waterskeeter Speycast boats, 8' 6" Steel frame; 1 8' Bucks Bag South Fork, aluminum frame; 1 9' Outcast Discovery, not sure of the frame. I don't recall what the other 2 boats were.
 

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Thanks Professori,
I have been looking at the Outcast Discovery and Panther, but now wondering if I should get one with a standing platform? (so much to choose from) :confused:
I will be doing mostly stillwater fishing and maybe the odd trip on a river like you guy's just did. :cheers: (maybe with you guys sometime) :thumbup:
 

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Yeah, a standing platform would be really nice on the lakes. Just makes casting and sighting a lot easier. Also great to be able to change positions on a long day on the water, it can get tiring sitting for 4 or 5 hours with no change in position.
 

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Hey newsman

I am aware of the no fishing from boats on the Thompson but I am curious of the reasoning behind it. Do you have any idea as to why.

Centerpin
 

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We were all well aware of the regs Newsman, and thank you for pointing that out. Centerpin, I believe there are several reasons why fishing out of boats is not allowed, all of which work toward conservation of the fishery.

Fishing out of any type of boat in there would pretty much slay the fish in huge numbers, in the past it was permitted and those that took advantage of the opportunity did far better than anyone fishing from shore. Steelhead and salmon came under huge pressure, as did the rainbows. As many know it is a very large river, by limiting angler access it gives the fish plenty of room for safe haven.

The rest is history. A good move too I might add, a world class fishery like the T should be protected, and this was one of the most effective ways to do so.
 

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Hey Rib


I figured that was the main factor behind the reg and like you said a good plan to protect such a great fishery. I will definitely be joining you guys on the drift trip next year. :cheers:


Centerpin
 
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