fez congrats on your decision to move to such an awesome state! As you pointed out, there are a lot of threads on here debating this point. Its interesting to discuss though. As birdhntr and I have posted, there is no ideal boat for all waters and circumstances out here. If you are living in southern Idaho, it pretty much means a jet boat unless you are mostly a water skier. There are a lot of kinds of jet boats that can run the Snake. Here's what I have. A lot of guys run what is basically a bass boat, like my Tracker, all welded green MVJon boat with a modified, beefed up transom to hold the jet at the right height. These can be tiller steer or a console. Advantages are light weight, relatively low cost and drab color. Disadvantages are long term durability, low sides and getting pounded on waves (like all jet boats). I would definitely recommend getting at least a 90/65 jet on an 18 foot boat, no matter the design underpowered jet boats blow. The big Thunder Jet is an awesome salmon, steelhead, big water party barge, but its not cool to get it stuck! As discussed you can definitely run most parts of the big Idaho rivers in an 18 foot sled, as long as you use your head and realize the limitations. Here I am referring to a real jet sled, like a Wooldridge or any of the other fine northwest style sleds. These are boats that are designed to be jet boats, thicker bottoms, better stringers and a transom designed to hold a big jet. Not cheap, but you get what you pay for. If I was just going to have one boat, and I might, this is the way I would go. Some will say these are not duck boats, but my experience in Idaho is that my jet boat gets me and a ton of crap to where I'm going to hunt. See the overloaded Tracker. The birds will see your boat, whether its green or silver. You just leave it a little ways away from where you hunt. I don't have much use for a boat blind out here, so that is not a consideration for me. I'm also interested in the Phowler boats. My suggestion is to ride in some when you get here, insist on test driving what ever you look at, with a load. Any of the boat dealers will allow this if you insist. Don't be afraid to buy a good used boat. Good luck and let us know what you decide to do!