Trying to learn about drift boats. Can anyone pointg me to a forum on the subject.
I have an 18' square stern Grumman canoe that I have had for years and over time my body just cant stand the sitting for long periods of time anymore
I need to stand when I need to stand and a canoe and standing and casting gets very challenging. Its great for getting to favorite spots to wade but really can limit.
Maybe a drift boat?
I just can't seems to find out much about them in the forum format. Really would like to find out about getting the most for the least (oh sure!).
I know what you mean. I bought a used Hog Island drift boat last spring and there isn't much written information on drift boats out there. Both Clacka and Hyde have DVD's out on how to handle a drift boat and Hyde offers a training program and there are several fly shops that offer training programs, but most that I found were in the OR area. I bought the Hyde DVD on EBay and the local fly shop loaned me their copy of the Clacka DVD. There are also a few forum members who have rowed drift boats for years. Last spring Davo (a forum member who guides out of Jackson Hole, WY) offered to help me with some rowing techniques by doing a drift on the upper Green River near Pinedale, WY.
Tell us what your questions are, I will try to offer some advice and the others on here that are way more knowledgable than me may also jump in and offer advice.
I forgot to mention that last year when I was looking for a used drift boat I found that there wasn't much offered on EBay, so I started looking on Craigslist. You might also look on the Hyde and Clacka web sites as they sell used packages fish ready usually with warantees. Last year I didn't want to buy a new boat as I didn't know whether or not I would like it or how much I would use it and most of the new boats are going for $8-11k. I was on the Hyde web site today to buy a second anchor and I noticed that they are now selling a complete package for $5,995.00, but I don't know much about the model they were selling other than it was fiberglass.
Can a drift boat be handled and fished from comforably without a second person? I seem to think I see more with two persons in the boat than one. Most of the water I would be in is 3-4 maybe 5 knot current when one generator is being run. Moving but not roaring by any means.
With a drift boat what is a comforable size. Beam I suppose really plays into it. What is the normal range, a big one is how long and how wide? Compared to a small one which is?
Rowing..I love to row, always did, (when I was 9 years old) not the same with paddling. Can a drift boat be rowed upstream say in a 4 knot current or is it a real chore? Im not think along the lines of a motor but it could happen.
I weight near 200lbs. If I stood up both feet on the handrail (just pretend I could balance that well) will it capsize? Can one stand with a foot on the hand rail and not feel like it was going to flip?
I can picture myself drifting down the Caney Fork spinning in circles try to cast. Can this be kept under control with out a lot of oar work or is it learned to do both, cast and manage the drift
Ive done a little reading about the designs and some pro's and cons of the different design features and picked up a few things but what do you think would be a preferable style considering Id be alone most of the time. More rocker? Less length.
I just copied this and it tells me a a few thing ti keep in mind
"# Big boats are for big water and small boats for small water
# The taller and/or lighter a boat the more it is affected by wind.
# The faster the water the more a river boat needs to be efficient when it is in line with the current and when it is sideways to the current.
# It's best to keep the center of gravity as low as possible."
Anything anyone can add sure will help. It would be good to find a guide and get in one to really find out.
Wow that's a lot of money. I could imagine building a kit....maybe.
Have you considered a pontoon or raft? I used a canoe for years but recently switched to a raft that can be rowed. I fish alone mostly and found that a small raft is easy to control and fish out of. Several pontoons offer a standing platform as well and both rafts and pontoons are a good deal less expensive than a drift boat. Plus no trailer, no registration (unless you mount an electric motor), no boat launch hassle.
Answers to your questions are embedded into each question below.
Can a drift boat be handled and fished from comforably without a second person? I seem to think I see more with two persons in the boat than one. Most of the water I would be in is 3-4 maybe 5 knot current when one generator is being run. Moving but not roaring by any means. It is possible but not very practical. I sometimes do that on the Grey Reef, but by the time you get in a couple good drifts itís time to jump back on the oars to correct the path of the boat. It might be more practical to use the boat to get to a spot and then fish from there with the anchor out.
With a drift boat what is a comforable size. Beam I suppose really plays into it. What is the normal range, a big one is how long and how wide? Compared to a small one which is? I think the normal range is 16 ft to 14 ft. There are some larger ones made but they are for special purposes, like carrying more than three people. Of course the wider boats are going to be more stable, I think the 16 ft drift boats have a beam of around 72 inches.
Rowing..I love to row, always did, (when I was 9 years old) not the same with paddling. Can a drift boat be rowed upstream say in a 4 knot current or is it a real chore? Im not think along the lines of a motor but it could happen. Yes, rowing a drift boat is really fun, it can be addicting. You see guides drift down through a seam and then maneuver the boat over to the side out of the main current and then row back up stream, yes it is work but it allows the clients to fish a seam multiple times before heading down river. Against a 4 know current could probably be done but would be a real chore.
I weight near 200lbs. If I stood up both feet on the handrail (just pretend I could balance that well) will it capsize? Can one stand with a foot on the hand rail and not feel like it was going to flip? I think that will depend on the boat, but I donít really know if you could put 200 lbs on the hand rail or not. I use my boat in both streams and lakes. When Iím fishing a lake with the anchor down, I can comfortably walk all around the boat without the boat tipping.
I can picture myself drifting down the Caney Fork spinning in circles try to cast. Can this be kept under control without a lot of oar work or is it learned to do both, cast and manage the drift. My boat will spin if I donít leave the oars down while Iím drifting and fishing, but again that may depend a lot on the boat. My boat has high sides so the wind will easily catch and try to spin the boat, but I like the high sides as I feel more comfortable in rough water and when I have kids in the boat. Both Clacka and Hyde make a low side boat to minimize the impact of wind on the boat. They also make drift boats that look more like over sized prams, these are really for flat water drifting, but on rivers like the Grey Reef section of the North Platte in WY they work great.
Ive done a little reading about the designs and some pro's and cons of the different design features and picked up a few things but what do you think would be a preferable style considering Id be alone most of the time. More rocker? Less length. I would recommend that you take a serious look at pontoon boats, some pontoon boats have a standing platform and a metal cage to allow leaning against to help you stabilize yourself as you are standing and fishing. If I fished alone most of the time I would have bought a pontoon, I just like to fish with my son, wife or friends. Another advantage a pontoon has is that you can throw them in the back of a pickup so no trailer is needed. Some also have a motor platform on the back so that you can use an electric motor. I see that a lot on the lakes I fish, the pontoon boats will very slowly troll around the lake looking for fish.
I just copied this and it tells me a a few thing ti keep in mind
"# Big boats are for big water and small boats for small water, That is true, high side boats are designed to float down rougher water than low side boats.
# The taller and/or lighter a boat the more it is affected by wind. True.
# The faster the water the more a river boat needs to be efficient when it is in line with the current and when it is sideways to the current. Iím not sure what this means. You row a river boat facing down stream and rowing up stream. When you see an obstacle approaching you turn the boat say 45 degrees and row backwards, once you have some clearance from the obstacle you turn the boat so it is facing downstream. In fast water you want to be facing downstream most of the time, I think that is mostly so that if you happen to hit a submerged rock, you will be hitting the rock with the bow allowing you to spin off the rock. With a drift boat you never want to hit anything along the side of the boat, that is where it is possible to pin the boat against the obstacle. If you canít avoid a collision always hit it with the bow.
# It's best to keep the center of gravity as low as possible." Maybe in real heavy current, but in most drift fishing situations on a drift boat, the boat is very stable with two fisherman standing and the rower sitting maneuvering the boat.
Anything anyone can add sure will help. It would be good to find a guide and get in one to really find out. I totally agree! I had fished with a guide who used a drift boat 10-12 times over the years so I had a pretty good idea on how stable they were and how the guide used the boat, but it still takes some time to really learn to row correctly. In the beginning it is very easy to over row, all beginners will do that. As you gain experience you learn how to row without using excessive energy.
No need for another forum. NAFFF has many members who fish drift boats.
Go to the Hyde site and watch some of the videos. For one man in your area I think the Hyde Drifter would be a good fit. It is light weight and has good rocker so it would be easy to maneuver. Its not a heavy water boat but I don't think you need that. The boat is short enough that you could cast from the rower's seat in any direction. Especially if you stood.
I hope that "tie one on" jumps in here. He fishes a full sized drift boat by his self most of the time. I think his thoughts would be very helpful.
If you fish water where motors are allowed you might want to take a look at a Freighter Canoe. I used a 20 footer with a 25hp jet on the back in Alaska. This is my all time favorite boat that I have owned. It is a fishing machine. Mine was cedar and canvas and only weighed 200 pounds. On man can handle it with ease.
One trick you can use is to suspend your anchor in the water but not on the ground. This will keep the boat in a straight line with a light currant. In water with a slow currant you can also use a drift sock. Of course this won't work if you are dodging boulders. You best bet is to analyze your fishing waters and pick a boat that fits those circumstances the best for one person.
Yes, Frank knows I have a LHA Signature Hyde drift boat. I do take mine out a majority of the time by myself & I am 6'2" & weigh just shy of 230. I've never had a problem with this boat by myself. I have a 6HP Merc that takes me upstream & the boat has a Bow & Stearn anchor.
I did tons of research & reading on drift boats. In fact I was all ready to purchase a new Clackacraft, but the salesman changed the price on me at the last minute & I pulled out. It just so happens that there was a Hyde dealer on the way up to the college that two of my three daughters attended & I stopped there to see what they had on hand. They had a nearly new LHA Signature that a guy had bought loaded up to start a guide business, but it did not work for him & he returned the boat. The price was good & I bought that boat.
I had learned to row a aluminum boat when I was young & it did take some practice to handle the Hyde, but now it handles like a dream. It did help, as some others mentioned, to watch some video (DVD) of how to row, etc. Once you get the simple basics, handling the boat is not hard at all. If you have any questions I'd also suggest calling Hyde. I've sent them numerous e-mails asking questions & they have always been very helpful.
Just from my perspective/opinion : If I had to do it all over again, or trade up/sell my boat, I would not hesitate to go with another Hyde. I've had mine out when huge slab ice chunks were coming downstream at my boat & they bounced off. However, I did move the boat one time when one hit that spun the boat 360 degrees even with both anchors down. Safety still rules.
Hope this helps & keep asking questions that's what this Forum is all about !
If you only need room for one, might I suggest a powered kayak. I have a mokai and have been satisfies with it so far (I've had it for a year but haven't used it as much as I'd like mainly because I don't fish as much as I'd like.) I think it would handle the currents you are talking about and I can stand in it (when the current isn't screaming). You can check it out online at Mokai Manufacturing Inc.. I must warn you though, that purist paddlers will turn there noses up at you. Good luck on your search!
That Mokai is interesting. I had never seen or heard of them before. Not completely sold that I could stand and fish in one, but it looks like a great way to get from one area to another. I also like the looks of the Hyde Drifter. I know drift boats are designed for use on rivers and moving water, but can they be used on small stillwaters, say 100 acres or less?