Across the country we are currently seeing snowmelt leave the peaks and head to the valleys. With this increase in river flow comes the start of a new float season! After standing in partially frozen waders the past few months, I could not be more excited to dust off the raft and hook the boat trailer back up to the truck. Safety is always a priority on any of our fishing trips and we just wanted to pass along a quick checklist to review before the first float of the season. Do not push off until you have the basics covered.
- Give the boat a thorough look over. I have seen mice do unspeakable things to drift boats during an offseason. If you have a raft, pump it up full and make sure no slow leaks formed over the winter.
- Following up on our previous point, if you have a raft, how is your repair kit looking? You not only want to have one ready to go, but familiarize yourself with how to use it. My personal favorite repair kits for quick fixes are Tear-Aids but regardless of which brand you use, if you are floating on rubber, make sure you have 2 different patch kits, one for quick fixes and one more permeant solution.
- Do you have back up oars and life jackets loaded up? You always want enough lifejackets on board as you do guests in your boat. Also, make sure you have your back up oar packed in an accessible place as well.
- How is your boat trailer looking? Equally as important, how are the tires on your boat trailer looking? Is your trailer’s registration up to date?
These are some of the things you want to be confident in before you drop the boat for the first time of the season. Remember safety should always be first out there, Mother Nature can lead to some dangerously high rivers. Know your limitations when floating and your local water laws. Cheers to spring and a great floating season!
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