Out & About: Buddies quench drift-boat desires

OUTCAST – Jeff Mayor knows the advantages of fishing with guides, especially in a drift boat on new river stretches.  But he and two buddies had a great time recently fishing on their own in a rented drift boat on the Yakima River. 

They even caught some trout.

Here’s the cheat sheet from the Tacoma writer’s News Tribune story to help other anglers do the same.

Costs: At Red’s Fly Shop, south of Ellensburg, drift boats are $169 a day, rafts are $159 a day and pontoon boats are $60 a day. The pontoon boat fee does not include shuttle service.

Preparation: Allow plenty of time, including at the shop to take care of paperwork. Also, allot enough time for being on the water. A popular float is from the Ringer ramp to Red’s, about 10 miles. That will take at least eight hours, including time for wade fishing.

While not required, it’s not a bad idea to end your trip at the shop, where you can simply tie off the boat to a post and head home. Otherwise you must arrange for a time to meet the shuttle back to the shop.

Load: Drift boats cargo space is limited, so combine as many gear bags and coolers.

Timing: River flows are lower in the late fall to spring, making it easier to row. But you also might hit low spots. Summer flows are raised for downstream irrigation. That makes for faster water and faster trips.

Info: Red’s Fly Shop www.reds flyshop.com/ (509) 933-2300.

Join avalanche warning team

OUTBACK – Winter snow travelers who see avalanche activity in North Idaho or the adjoining areas of Washington and Montana can boost the safety of other snowgoers by reporting their observations to the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center in Sandpoint.

“We would appreciate hearing from anyone who observes any recent avalanche activity while out in the backcountry or just wants to let us know what is going on in their area,” said Kevin Davis, hydrologic technician.

Contact: Kevin Davis (208) 265-6686, kevingdavis@fs.fed.us

Locals share fishing insight

OUTCLASS — Winter is prime time to learn the fundamentals of fly fishing before the spring waters warm and the bite is on.   Here are two local opportunities:

Jan. 24-25 – Begining Fly Tying Course at Silver Bow Fly Shop, 924-9998.  Learn to tie six reliable fly patterns with techniques that can be applied to tying many other patterns. Instructor:  Angela Morgan. Cost:  $75, includes tools and materials. Classes run 6-8:30 p.m. Preregister: (509) 924-9998.

March 10-April 28, Spokane Fly Fishers Fly Fishing School:  Classes held Thursday evenings in North Spokane along with three Saturday casting classes and two pontoon safety classes.  Cost $100 for nonmembers older than 17, $60 for members and spouses as well as for youths 12-17.

For course details and how to enroll, see the club’s website: spokaneflyfishers.com


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