Driftboats: A Complete Guide
Driftboats: A Complete Guide, by Dan Alsup. Published by Frank Amato Publications. 95 pages in an 8.5 x 11 inch format, soft bound. $19.95. retail. Available in some fly shops, from the publishery, or online (google title and author).
riftboats are an icon of Western angling. Born in the whitewater of southern Oregon, they are now spreading eastward with new-found popularity, bucking the odds created by pontoon craft, jet boats, and rowing rafts.
The history of our Rapid Roberts, Square-Enders, McKenzies, Rogue River Specials, and Double-Enders--early names for the modern driftboat--is a young history, and one that evolved almost exclusively for the benefit for freshwater river fishermen.
Dan Alsup's apparent intent was to write a guide that would document the origins of driftboats, plus provide instructions for handling, river running, water reading, equipping, buying, and keeping the rocker side down.
I was especially intrigued by the historic research documenting the evolution and design of these specialized crafts, including contributions from such notables as Glenn Wooldridge, Willie Illingsworth, Veltie Pruitt, Everett Spaulding, Woodie Hindman, and Tom Kaarhus.
Alsup does a good job of mixing the esoteric pleasures of driftboating with the practical how-tos that will keep you alive and dry. "Rowing is more than a skill," he writes, "it is an art, an exercise that with time and practice melds the mind, body and the oars into the motion and intricacies of the water. The expert oarsman has achieved a state of being in which his oars have become an extension of his arms and he has attained a heightened awareness and understanding of the undulations of the river and its currents."
Into that philosophical word-weaving, the author hammers home manual-like instructions for running boulder beds, turning the boat in whitewater, lining rapids, anchoring, reading water, sinking, floating, equipping, and fishing.
Alsup compares fiberglass to aluminum to wood, and points out the good, the bad and the mediocre of each, along with other considerations critical to driftboat selection and operation. He includes a lexicon of terminology, line art instructions, and illustrates the parts of a driftboat.
If you own, float-in, or are considering putting a driftboat in your future, this is a book you need to read.
Bottom Line: Good read for anyone owning or planning to own a driftboat. Reviewer Rating: 3
5=tops 3=average 1=low
No user reviews have been submitted yet.
You must be registered and logged-in to submit review comments. How to do this.