The Best Boats for Extreme Mountain Lake and River Fishing
Extreme fisherman know that finding the good fishing requires a little dedication and hard work. The lunkers are rarely found underneath an Interstate Bridge or lake packed with Wave Runners and tubers. It depends on the species of course, but those looking for some peace and quiet, untouched waters, and their own personal “Nessy”; must look beyond the traditional fishing spots and access points.
This fisherman never understood the appeal of standing shoulder to shoulder with their goombas competing to catch the next sucker or squawfish. While drinking beer and fishing certainly have their place, this angler likes to crack the cold ones after being named grand national champion of first, biggest, and most.
Often times finding solitude is itself worth celebrating. For those accustomed to chaos on the water, I warn you, the description you are about to read will have you longing for the life of Jim Bridger or Kit Carson. Ah, one can dream…of being deep in the rugged mountains of Western Montana.
Your feet haven’t touched pavement since you left home. The noise of cars, kids, the TV, and radio have been replaced by a gentle breeze carrying the smell of crisp pine. The crunch of your feet marks the beginning of your trek to a rarely touched, remote, isolated mountain lake. It’s the middle of July and still, a compacted triangle of ashen colored snow sits between two ominous crags of rock, slowly creating a cascading stream of water into the far end of the lake.
The non-existent fishing pressure has you envisioning the rainbows, cutthroat and golden trout being as plentiful as a bowl of boiling noodles. You know you aren’t going to catch a state record today, but you’ll likely catch something with every cast. You know the best fishing; where the 15-inch plus cutthroat will be lurking is at the deep end of the lake nearest the mountain.
Okay, I’m back. Where were we? I suddenly came down with a severe case of the sniffles and had to find immediate respite (fishing). Doctor’s orders, I swear.
So, this lake, like every other mountain lake, doesn’t have a maintained trail. That’s right, no trailhead, trail number, no “Do not attempt when Hungover” signs– nothing. They don’t even trim the branches and snags or cut the deadfall! Maintenance is strictly left to the wilderness gods and they are saying: “True Sportsman Only-If Ye Make it You’ll Be Rewarded Aplenty”.
There’s my sign. When posted, don’t be surprised to see a middle-aged, slightly rotund sportsman hurdling deadfall faster than Carl Lewis could run the 100 in his prime. Carl’s got nothin’ on me. This Sportsman is comin’ in hot baby. And this Sportsman is coming in prepared.
If you want to reach the far end of the lake to catch the big fish you only have one option: to be ON the water. “But you said deadfall?” That’s right, there are options and carrying in the ol’ dingy ain’t one of them.
Unless you are Jim Bridger or Kit Carlson’s kin, and have the inhuman ability to portage a hand-hewn dugout canoe up the side of a mountain – we suggest an inflatable.
One such company that makes incomparable inflatables is Sea Eagle. While they have enough options to satisfy virtually any sporting endeavor our two favorites are the Sea Eagle PackFish7TM and the 375fc FoldCat TM. The PackFish is a perfect option for mountain lake fishing, while the FoldCat TM is ideal for the river. The river, in our case, always means “non-traditional” put-ins and take-outs. Listen, if you really want to get to the untouched fishing spots you can’t do so by backing in your raft at perfectly maintained cement put-in. If it’s easy for you – it’s easy for everyone else!
Here are a few highlights that make the PackFish7 TM and FoldCat TM on our list of favorite mountain lake and river fishing boats.
Sea Eagle PackFish7 TM
• Completely dry enclosed hull
• Seated or standing with a wooden floorboard
• Only 32 lbs!
• Sets up in under 5 minutes
• This thing is essentially a “backpack boat”!!
Sea Eagle FoldCat TM
• 1 or 2 man pontoon fishing boat
• Lightweight patented folding frame design
• Fits easily in a car of the back of a truck
• 75 lbs
• Sets up in 10 minutes
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