About Us

Water Otter Inc. went into production in 1986 here in Hamilton Montana, under the ownership of Darryl Osburn, an avid fly fisherman, outfitter and licensed fly fishing instructor. Darryl had developed a reputation among the local fly fishermen and guides for manufacturing rowing frames for rafts that soon became the standard in this area. The idea of a single-person pontoon boat was suggested to Darryl by his good friend, and world renown fly fisherman, Doug Swisher. With Doug’s encouragement, suggestions, and help in proto-type testing, the first Water Otter was brought onto the fly fishing scene.The concept of floating rivers and lakes in a single-person pontoon craft was a new concept for most fly fishermen, thus starting an educational process to the public. First selling the concept, then selling the Water Otter craft.The sales in the first years were painfully slow because of this being a brand new idea for the industry. The sales were predominantly direct sales to the customer because of the unwillingness of dealers to take on this new concept. And as it turned out, we still market mainly to the end user today. As more and more of these craft surfaced on the waters across the country, this type of fishing drew a surprising interest from both the public and other manufacturers. As other manufacturers entered the market place with their versions of the “Water Otter”, this type of angling soon became a legitimate method. This new method of fly fishing has now become the accepted standard within this industry and, has spawned a whole host of competitors,Water Otter Inc. has been manufacturing single person pontoon boats for over 25 years, (longer than anyone in the industry) and has a reputation for quality and durability. Although Darryl Osburn, the founder of Water Otter Inc., has since retired, the idea and ingenuity of his craft carries on.We still maintain those same design principles that Darryl spent so much time refining. And we still build one of the lightest, and without question the strongest and most durable craft in it’s class on the water today. Consider the last time you saw square tubing on a pontoon craft. Ponder the strength of square versus round. Then ask anyone who owns a Water Otter or a River Otter and they will tell you, dollar for value…we own the market. Our nitch consumer continues to be the angler who refuses to lug around the heavier boats that are offered today, or those who pack-in to remote lakes or rivers. These craft are lightweight yet exhibit enormous strength. Most pontoon boats available today sacrifice one for the other. We combine both ingredients to arrive at the extremely practical and durable work horse of the industry. And it is still the most quality packed craft in it’s class today. That is the marvel of the original Water Otter Craft. Accept no substitutes.