Fly Fishing Boats

As was true in buying a rod and reel, before looking at fly fishing boats you need to decide what type of water you will be fishing.

As we continue our study of fly fishing basics, why would you want to buy a fly fishing boat in the first place?

  • Not all trout are accessible from the bank and you can cover more water in a boat than by wading. 
  • It is also sometimes hard to wade to some fishing spots. 
  • There are also those times when there is heavy fishing pressure from other bank fishermen. 
  • Last but not least, it is enjoyable to be out on the water.

Lets take a look at some of the options available for fly fishing boats.

I would like to thank Ken Evoy and the staff at SBI for giving me the tools to build this site. 

Float Tube (also known as a kick-boat or belly boat)

Advantages of a float tube are many.

  • First of all they are very affordable. Some are half the price of a pontoon boat. 
  • They are also very portable.
  • They can be carried into the backcountry or other remote waters. 
  • They are best suited for small lakes and ponds.

They have several disadvantages.

  • They are dangerous if used on rivers, and on large lakes they can be a problem when the winds come up. Kicking against the wind is no fun.
  • Since you will be sitting in the water it could be a little cool after a while. 
  • Keep in mind that you will need to bring extra gear (waders and fins) if hiking into the backcountry.
  • They are more susceptible to puncture, so always wear a life jacket.

Fly Fishing Pontoon Boats

Pontoon boats are also very portable. Most are easy to transport in a pickup or trunk of a car. Because they are easy to maneuver they work well on lakes or rivers.

They are more durable than a float tube and you sit up out of the water. This makes them better suited for river conditions.

Fly fishing pontoon boats will take longer to set up than a float tube and are more expensive. However, they have become very popular in the last twenty years and you may be able to find a good used one for sale. Click here to learn about Fly Fishing Pontoon Boats.

Inflatable Fly Fishing Boats

I will include several different boats in this class.

These inflatable drift boats come in many different sizes and shapes. They come in everything from small inflatable kayaks to large whitewater rafts.

Inflatable kayaks are good for floating rivers if you may encounter white water. Inflatable rafts come in many sizes and they are able to carry more people and gear.

Fly Fishing Drift Boat

Drift boats are truly the classic fly fishing boat, designed for the larger rivers of the Northwest. They have ample room, making them easy to stand and cast from. They are also easy to maneuver.

They can be very expensive, they require a trailer and as a general rule require a boat ramp of some kind.

Always Wear a Life Jacket

May I say again, WEAR A LIFE JACKET!

I am a good swimmer but I am not sure of my ability when I have waders on, or how far I could swim in 60-degree water.

Wear it!

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