Lance Gray of Lance Gray & Company and I held our sixth Pontoon Workshop on the Lower Yuba River yesterday, and once again it was a great success. It was hot out, near 90 degrees with sunny skies. I was so tempted to go swimming during the heat of the day. This was our last Pontoon Workshop for 2016. We will have more dates opening in 2017 so check my blog frequently or head over to Lance's site.
Our day starts early at Sycamore Ranch boat ramp as we assemble our crafts making sure they are up to par to make the float down safely. We then shuttle all the boats and our guests up to Parks Bar bridge.
Once all of the boats are down on the north beach Lance and I go through safety measures, must haves for your boat, proper cases to carry your rods safely, and tuning your oars and seats for a personal fit. I then go through all the maneuvers one needs to effectively float down. Back strokes (your friend), forward strokes, single oar pivots, and scissor pivots.
I then explain how to ferry across the river, this is a critical skill to learn so you can pilot your craft from one side of the river to the other. I also went over how to pick safe lines by looking far ahead, and how to avoid dangerous obstacles.
Then it was time to float!
About half way down we parked the boats and had a delicious streamside lunch on the banks of the Lower Yuba River. The shade that the pop up provided was much welcomed!
We then beached the boats and tied them off, and broke out the rods. Swinging sculpin patterns and Hopper/Dropper rigs were most effective.
We worked on proper presentations for all styles of fishing. There were also more salmon in the system than previously reported by other guides, still though, it was light for this time of year.
Special thanks to all of our guests who attended the Pontoon Workshop, we all had a blast floating with you and teaching you the mechanics of being an oarsman. Big kudos to Steve Bohnemeyer for helping out! I can't forget to mention Outcast Boats for their continued support, they really are the best Personal Watercraft on the planet! We hope to see you for one of our workshops next year, until then, be safe, and experience the glide of drifting down your favorite river.