I finally pulled the trigger on a Clackcraft Drift Boat, I have always had the urge to own one of these vessels and this summer I finally made it happen. I am unsure why it took me so long to do so but now it is sitting like a shining star in my crumbling concrete driveway. My wife wouldn’t allow me to have 2 boats so i had to let go of the blue bus before dropping the loot on a 2015 EDDY. It was difficult to let the NRS otter go but if you look at these items as tools (which they are) there are times when you need something a little different to complete a project. Since the Eagle River had dropped below floatable levels and I was spending nearly every day on the Upper Colorado it only seemed fitting that a new tool was purchased.
I am happy with the purchase and have not had any buyers remorse(yet) but I am sure some will kick in next May when I want to float the Eagle and do not have the tool to do it. Hopefully I can convince my wife that 2 is better than one by that point and we’ll have a raft to run skinny water in.
I like to refer to Drift Boats as Cadillacs because when it comes to fly fishing out of a boat there really isn’t anything more comfortable. I chose a Clackacraft over other drift boats because I have always like their design and also because I have rowed them a ton. I was eyeballing a new RO boat as well but in the end Clacka won the battle. Some of the features that I love about my new boat are the following.
Roomy – There is more than enough room for 3 people in the raft as well as all their gear. You fully walk around the front seat allowing the angler up front to move freely if they need. Both the back and front areas have casting braces with cup holders with plenty of casting room.
Storage – Each seat has storage underneath. The rowers bench opens completely allowing plenty of room for throw bags, PFDs and dry bags. The EDDY has 6 rod holders so you can bring 6 fully rigged rods and secure them with out worry. The bow of the boat also has a small cubby for storing extra gear that we all tend to bring.
Maneuverability – The biggest difference that I have noticed when rowing a drift boat vs a raft is the ability to slow down. The tunnel hull and Gulf Stream Bottom on the Clackacraft’s reduce drag. I first noticed this when slowing the boat down to almost a complete stop in some heavy moving water for some clients to nymph the slower seam on the edges. I was amazed, I couldn’t have done that in my raft.
If you are in the market for a Drift Boat there are a few things I would highly suggest purchasing along with it. I do not like getting nickeled and dimed to death but here are some must haves. If there is one thing that you should definitely have it is a cover. The covers are extremely easy to use and keep road grime off of the boat. It also helps prevent nicks and dings from small rocks on the road. If you have evre driven down Trough Road in the rain you will certainly appreciate a good cover. The anchor holder is very nice to have. Sure it is easy to take off and throw in the back of the truck but that is also how a lot of anchors get lost. The diamond shaped anchor holder keeps the 30lb weight secure and eliminates the need of taking it off when you are finished your trip. Upgrade the oars. This does not have to be done right away but if you row a boat enough you understand the importance of having good sticks. It makes a huge difference on your shoulders and elbows.
The weather has been fantastic in the high country. Now is an excellent time to hop in a boat and hunt down hungry Brown Trout on the Colorado River. Hope to see you on the water.