Show Notes: wetflyswing.com/177
Roger Fletcher is here to share the history of the drift boat and how it all started back in the early 20th century with a few river guides that needed a better boat for whitewater. We discover the connection between the Rogue, Mckenzie, Grand Canyon Dories and why the name drift boat stuck over the river dorie.
Roger describes how the drift boat design came to be through a few key people over the last 100 years. Roger is the leading authority on drift boats so is very exciting to have him on the podcast today.
Drift Boat History Show Notes
– I noted Jerry Briggs and the Colorado River dories.
– Milo Thomson used the old scow boat and were the first boats on the river until 1925. Milo and the early guides on the river were there to focus on drift boat fishing and guiding their clients.
– We hear the story of Keith Steele and the first boats built for the Colorado River and Martin Litton
– I noted the Pete Mcbride video and Martin’s boat.
Drift Boat Plans
– We talk about the Dorie Book by John Gardner. In this episode we didn’t go deep into drift boat Plans but you can check out Drift Boats and Dories for 10 full plan sets and how to build your own boat.
There are a number of drift boat plans in Roger’s book but there are other resources around the web. There are various boat school and classes that you can take advantage of.
– Veltie Pruitt is the guy who built the old scow for the river. Veltie shortened the boat and made it much lighter of a boat.
– in 1925 Prince Helfrich saw veltie go by in the new 13 foot boat. So Veltie built a boat for Prince.
– Woody hindman moved in around 1934 to the area from Texas. Woody is maybe the most important person to contemporary design. He built the first double ender and is basically what we see today in a contemporary drift boat.
– We talk about Ray Heater and the 14′ rapid robert has great carrying capacity and can get up on step
– Joe Koffler with Koffler Boats talked about getting up on plane with a sled in a recent podcast we put together.
– colorado rapids on the deschtues
– The lava falls dorie and the boat rolling and dumping. And if you thought you needed a huge drift boat to run the Grand Canyon, think again. This guy ran it in a 13 foot drift boat.
– We talked about Roger’s Martin Litton interview and why Martin was a bigger than life figure.
– Tom kaarhus played a big role in the evolution of drift boats by innovating plywood as the material of choice for drift boats.
– Vintage wooden boat tours over in Jackson Wyoming
– We talk about my Ray’s River Dorie boat and how to refinish an old boat.
– The winkle bar boat was a lot like the log driver boat from Maine. This is the boat that migrated across the country and landed in Oregon.
– you can get the book Drift Boats and river dories here at Anglers Book supply.
– Here’s the old photo of Martin’s son in an early Colorado River Dorie.
Woody Hindman was the biggest influence on drift boats
He is the guy who created the double ender which is what has given us the current drift boat design. His boat of choice became the 16′ double ender. He added the motor on the transom and is now the boat we see for most wood boats and drift boats.
Drift Boats for Sale Resources
You can go to Ray’s River Dories for a new wood boat or Jason Hayes on the McKenzie. Then over to Montana where many are stih and glue.
Wooden Boat People is a great place to find and sell wooden boats.
We also touched on Don Hill boats and the effect on the McKenzie boat style.
DH Drift Boats is now owned by another person.
– The emerald mile and the run.
You can find Roger at RiversTouch.com
Drift Boat History Resources Noted in the Show
John Gadner and the Dorie Book
Drift Boats and River Dories
Drift Boat Videos Noted in the Show
Rogue River Whitewater Video – Great Views
Drift Boat History Conclusion
We discover the history of the drift boat from the guys who wrote the book on it. Roger Fletcher shares some great stories including how a little-known boat builder from grants pass produced 35 of the greatest Colorado river dories in history.