For many fly fishermen, standing in a stream or river wearing waders and trying to coax an enormous trout onto the fishing line is the only way to spend a day. Some rivers, though, are not easily accessible to fly fishermen who would normally wade out into the waters to fish. Rivers can be too deep for wading, or too wide. Because of this, the best spots for wading can become overrun with fly fishermen and overused. Another common problem fly fishermen face is the sheer fatigue and discomfort that comes with wearing waders in briskly moving water for an extended period of time. The constant rush of cold water around and between legs that are covered in floppy waterproof pants can be extremely tiring. The solution for all these problems is to get out of the waders and into a boat. On a boat, it’s easier to find quieter fishing spots that are not easily accessible by wading fly fishermen. The best kind of boat for this purpose is a one-person inflatable pontoon boat.
One-person inflatable pontoon boats have a number of advantages over other kinds of fishing boats. The first of which is that they are lightweight. If you fish by yourself, which many people prefer to do, you’ll want a fishing boat that doesn’t require more than just yourself to transport it. The best inflatable pontoon boats even come equipped with an integrated transport wheel, making the boat a breeze to move from your vehicle to the water. The wheel stows away under the boat while you fish. Additionally, inflatable pontoon boats for one person are quieter and easier to maneuver in the water. Finally, these boats are much less expensive than hard-body boats; if well constructed, they can last for many years, making that initial, smaller investment even more rewarding.
Choosing the best quality inflatable pontoon boat is crucial to ensure its long life and your own satisfaction. The most important consideration is the quality of the materials used in the boat’s construction. Choose an inflatable boat that comes with heavy-duty pontoons that consist of abrasion-resistant PVC bottoms and tough nylon tops. Better quality materials will be able to endure everyday abuses. Additionally, for strength and stability, side pontoons should be supported by a sturdy steel frame.
Different features are available with different inflatable pontoon boats, so when deciding which boat to purchase, keep in mind what kind of features you would most appreciate having while you fish. Some of the available features include an adjustable anchor system, removable gear bags, multiple storage pockets, insulated drink holders, rod holders, multiple oar lock positions, reel pockets, fly patches, and a removable stripping basket. Keep comfort in mind, too; consider a boat with an adjustable padded seat and adjustable foot rests, especially if you plan to be out on the water for more than just a couple of hours. Also, if there’s a possibility that you might add a motor to your boat at some point, you may wish to choose one that comes with a motor mount.
A couple of final tips related to weight capacity and river rating are important to keep in mind as you search for just the right inflatable pontoon boat. How much weight can the boat handle? The higher the weight capacity of an inflatable boat, the better. Consider your own weight, plus the weight of all of your equipment. To ensure efficient handling and performance, you’ll want an inflatable pontoon boat that can handle more weight than you would ever load it with. Also, before you purchase a boat, check its river rating and make sure that the rivers you plan to fish are not rated higher for whitewater. Most inflatable pontoon boats are appropriate only for Class I or Class II rivers.
Fly fishing in a one-person inflatable pontoon boat can take the most avid fly fisherman to the best spots that are not easy for the wading fisherman to access. A boat also makes it possible for fishermen to enjoy many comfortable hours of fishing, which is not always possible while wearing waders. By choosing carefully and remembering the important tips discussed in this article, you will be sure to find the one-person inflatable pontoon boat that best meets your needs and that will bring you many years of fishing adventures on your favorite rivers.