View Full Version : Wooden Boat for Flyfishing

Flyfisher Mike
10-29-2000, 11:33 AM
I will soon decide on which set of flyfishing boat plans to purchase. I would be rowing most of the time but would occasionally use a 3hp elec motor. The majority of flyfishing would be on sm to med sized lakes and would include a lot of casting while standing, it must also be stable enough for my two young sons and choppy water. After reviewing countless websites my favorite is the 14ft rowboat by Greg Tatman www.gregboats.com, (http://www.gregboats.com,) unfortunatley Greg has no plans avail. Therefore my next choice would be the 13.5ft "Little Gem" by Ken Swan www.swanboatdesign.com (http://www.swanboatdesign.com) and final choice the 13.5ftWB "Power-Row Skiff" by Ken Hankinson www.boatdesigns.com. (http://www.boatdesigns.com.) Questions;
1. Are there other recommedations or plans of simliar boats to that of Greg's 14ft rowboat?
2. Comments on the Little Gem or Power Row Skiffs

Flyfisher Mike

10-30-2000, 08:28 AM
I thought you westerners went for drift boats. All that big water would seem to make them useful in not a necessity. Aside from the obvious safety/seaworthy issues, I'd think for fly fishing you'd want stability for standing to cast and lots of storage places for all that gear you guys use. How do three people, two of them young boys, cast from a rowboat without tangles and hooking each other. And in chopy water yet.... Are you sure you don't want a drift boat?

Todd Bradshaw
10-30-2000, 12:27 PM
I absolutely loved the drift boat that I had. It was incredibly stable and seaworthy, but on a lake it really had a tendency to blow around and took a fair amount of effort to row very far. In any kind of wind, you would need to be anchored unless one person wanted to spend the vast majority of his time rowing to position the boat. They often have nifty little anchor cranes on the stern that make anchoring pretty quick, but I think I would prefer a boat that had less rocker for lake use. As long as we're spending Mike's money, why not have both?

garland reese
10-30-2000, 10:57 PM
Hey Mike,
I came across a fantastic boat a while back, that will meet your needs, and is made for for your type of flyfishing.......even has a proper name, "Blue Dun". That is the good news....the bad news is that there aren't plans for the boat; it is built by Larry Hammick of Angler's Craft Boat Builders.

But.....the good news is that the design is a derivitive of the "Yankee SKiffs" from the latter 1800s, and there should be plans available from Mystic Seaport Museum, since they have one of the remaining few of these vessels in their posession. John Gardner also developed a version of the yankee skiff, according to Mr. Hammick. These are close in hull shape to the Blue Dun, but construction and interior layout are very different. Gary VanVlandren and Larry Hammick worked together to develope the Blue Dun into the boat as it is. You may be able to get plans from Mr. Hammick......might be worth a shot. Or, if you are up to it, you could use plans for a skiff of the same type, modified for your construction preferences, and design an interior layout like that of the Blue Dun (or similar), or whatever would be to your liking. The nice thing about the Blue Dun is that it is long, a big advantage with more than one flyfisher aboard.

You can get some looks at this boat and more information at www.anglers-craft.com (http://www.anglers-craft.com)

One other idea.......Marc Barto's 16 foot version of the melon seed skiff could be a start toward a nice flyfishing boat. Skip the centerboard and sail, and open the cockpit up some. Design the interior that you need/desire.

Walt Simmon's Wherry designs could work too. He has a web site, but I don't know the address. It is called duck-trap woodworking.
Good luck in you search.

11-18-2000, 09:25 AM
Hey Mike,
If you haven't settled on a plan yet I think you should take a look at John Gardner's Dory Book. I built a Gunning Dory and find it extremely stable and easy to row. I flyfish from mine in Buzzards Bay and the low freeboard double ended design is extremely safe. If you do build one I would recogmend keeping the frames on the mold to make the interior of the boat "Cleaner". I think with good strong white oak battens on the seams there would be no strength problem at all.

Don chapin

11-18-2000, 01:09 PM
I'm with Don. A gunning dory with some of those nifty BlueDun touches added in would be pretty nifty. If I'd had a boat like BlueDun I might still be flyfishing. I couldn't support flyfishing AND skeet. Shotguns make such satisfying noise.

Richard C. Sposato
11-18-2000, 09:02 PM
Don Hill has a set of plans for a 14 foot drift dory. You can find him on the web.
I have a set of his plans not easy to understand but do-able. He is more interested in selling kits.

11-19-2000, 03:48 PM

Here are the boats used for flyfishing on the St. Marys River , Nova Scotia . Guess you would increase the freeboard for a lake . The anchor is a bundle of chain ( snagproof ) sized according to wind or current conditions . The flat bottom of the boat increases in width toward the bow in order to float the chain and its' supporting crane . Step ashore dryshod over the bow . ( Photo by Wayne Barrett " Small Wooden Boats Of The Atlantic " ) .

[This message has been edited by Will (edited 11-20-2000).]

Ian McColgin
11-19-2000, 07:43 PM
'Leeward' is a gunning dory and I dearly love her - Don - look me up next summer.

But I don't know if she's the right boat for you fly guys. My impression is that you want a nice normal easily driven hull and then, like in the WB article and cover pix some time back, trick her out with a gazillion drawers for all those mysterious little things you carry around . . .

It's like, you don't design the house around the home entertainment center. You make a house for your family and fit the center in. And only let your 14 year old in when you can't access the PPV you wanted . . .

Anyway, find an easily driven hull and put your creativity into turing it into an 18' tacklebox.