Come Along On A Drift Boat Trip
Fly-fishing from a drift boat is a fun way to experience a river, and there is no more satisfying way to fish it. I've strung together a narrative with a few pictures from some of my trips. It's what you might think of as a perfect day, and a description of why I love my job as a guide. Grab a cup of coffee, and enjoy a virtual day on the river.
I've always loved the start of the morning on the river. Along with the anticipation of the day's fishing, there is the camaraderie with friends and clients and the beauty of the river scenery.
The big smile of a drift boat greets you in the morning.
One of the first decisions, besides where to fish for the day, is what methods will work well with the given water level. High water means big nymph rigs and long leaders or streamer fishing on bigger rods with sink tip lines. Low water may mean dry fly opportunities and certainly some small nymph fishing possibilities.
Most clients have no problem deciding which rod or rods to bring as their choices are few. Others, however, have an embarrassment of riches.
Sometimes the start to the day is fast and furious. More often, however, it begins by a few fish showing appropriate timeliness in nudging anglers awake with gentle takes on the fly of the day. Quiet solitude is not always possible, but always welcome.
There is nothing finer than early morning rays greeting one on the river, whoever you are.
Some days, though, hold the best fishing right up front. It's unexpected but makes for a memorable day as the scenario repeats itself in one's mind over and over. These are cherished moments—days with a casual start, an easy rhythm, and a powerful surge of energy.
Big pull equals big fish. Time to think big fish tactics. Slow down. Wear down the bulldog.
The moment of admiration.
The joy of accomplishment and good fortune.
More typically, folks enjoy a good natured friendship and savor each other's successes and firsts as they come.
A friend helps with the net.
First brown trout—ever!
First double of the day.
Conditions on a given day determine what options may present themselves. Sometimes, it may mean abandoning the boat for a while in favor of wade fishing a good run.
Or, it may mean finding a good brown trout when others have forsaken the river.
Lunch is always a welcomed mid-day break and provides another round of spontaneous decisions for anglers—boat or bank, sunshine or shade, white or whole wheat?
Without doubt, the highlight of my trips, for myself anyway, is seeing people with various skill levels enjoy a day of satisfaction and self-expression, an appreciation of relationships, and giving something back to the river they enjoy.
I get a kick out of giving someone pointers on where fish live and what kinds of food they want, and then seeing an angler produce a fish using the techniques I shared.
Sometimes, a parent will take a more active hand in helping their child to learn the sport. That too, is a joy to watch.
And it is an awesome thing to witness the passing of the torch to the next generation.
Observing the beauty and artistry of angler and oarsman presenting a fly to fool a fish has its own reward.
There are times to witness, with fascination, the hatches.
And times to just try something that you hope will work when there's no sign of a natural around.
The choices are sometimes endless and sometimes set in stone. The opportunities usually abound. Come, experience fly-fishing the White River from a drift boat.
Yours for fishing,