What to do if you want to float a river in a drift boat and don’t already have one?
Rent a Drift boat!
The Au Sable river’s Trophy Water below Mio Dam is fairly big and while wadeable in many stretches, most of the wade access points in the big water are fairly difficult to wade, and the parts that are wadeable are crowded. My accomplice had fished the Au Sable last year and decided that the only way to effectively fish the trophy water was from a drift boat. Trouble is neither of us have one, yet. So we rented one for two days, covered the water very thoroughly, with every tactic we could think of, had a blast, and learned a lot about some new (to us) water.
The boat pictured above is the one we rented from Gott’s Landing Trophy Water’s Fly Shop on the Au Sable River in Mio, Michigan. While its not a marvelous wooden beauty, like we typical fawn over at the Fiddle and Creel, it worked fairly well. One thing we did was quiet down the oar locks with some duct tape. Before we did that they were super sloppy and sounded like we were slinging around a bag hammers in the boat, trout just love that. The folks at Gotts’ Landing also run a shuttle service for your tow vehicle for an extra ten bucks, well worth the money.
So the next time you’re thinking, man that looks like good water, but I just don’t have a drift boat, call some local fly shops and RENT ONE!
By the way, that really fishy deep run and subsequent junction of two threads in the background of the picture, looked like it should hold some nice fish, and probably does, but I couldn’t get them to chase anything. Alas, there were plenty of other great spots that did.