Names are earned so this gal is yet to be identified by a grouping of letters. It’s not for a lack of history though. Although the skiff is new to me, she’s seen her share of time on the water. The guy who sold it to me said it was an old Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks boat. He put a new layer of paint on the fiberglass and coated the bottom. I mainly bought it for the trailer as the rollers and winch are perfect for my raft. The drift boat was really a bonus but I couldn’t be more excited about getting it on the river.
The open interior setup is awesome. I love having the space available for gear and any custom configuration I want. A cooler would be fine for a front angler. All it needs are oarlocks, a set of oars and an anchor system. The anchor system kits are crazy expensive so I’m working on a design to build something simple. There’s plenty of room for a dog to run around, or a few dogs as is often the case. I can see this boat working out on multi day trips and plenty of flat water day trips.
Most fishing and fly fishing drift boats are designed to accommodate multiple people with casting braces, seats, storage compartments, etc. I no longer guide and would rather have something setup for my own trips, fewer people and no braces in the way. I can load this up or leave it empty. Drop anchor and have a bunch of space to move around while I fish. It’s light, the trailer is light and outside of a little polishing it looks ready to fish.
I think Fish Wildlife and Parks uses boats like this for electroshocking surveys. There’s even a random wire and piece of conduit that may have been a battery link for their equipment. I’ll do some inspecting to see if it has any value. Maybe I’ll hookup a new battery and a base to get those fish in the mood. I’m sure the guides would be stoked about me floating by with gangster rap blaring at full volume.
I think a short day float is in order and potentially a Smith Trip end of April. I’ll have some trip reports and hopefully a good name lined out after that. I might even get some decals setup with the name if all goes well.
Hopefully she floats!