Individual taste in books varies as much as the favorite rod or fly.  With that in mind, we hope to review books and videos from the ever-growing fly fishing world, and share them with you.  Books will be the best of all worlds, new and old.  Many of the old books are now available in reprint, and the wisdom contained is timely today.  Others can be found in second-hand book stores, or by mail order dealers. As we find videos we feel are outstanding they will be included. Be assured, reviews are based on what we have actually read, and due to that fact, may not appear weekly.

March 13th, 2000

By Dan Alsup
Published by Frank Amato Publications Inc.

Driftboats I live west of Seattle, Washington, of course I know what 'drift-boats' are, I have even fished from them a couple of times. My first encounter, however, was during a cocktail party in Denver, Colorado. The impression was a memorable one for it was the intensity and fervor of those engaged in the conservation of the moment. Now boats are not a stranger to me, been kicking around in them since I was a pup. But this was a big fly-fishing show and my head was chock-full of fly-rods and such. Certainly not 'drift-boats.' I feared I had fallen in with fanatics. I endured about all I could enjoy and an hour later left the clannish gathering with the various names and virtues of 'river-dancers' firmly implanted in my mind.

McKenzie Boat

So it may be with you. "Boats is boats," you might say. For you perhaps, but not for a heck of a lot of guys who fish, guide and otherwise operate (row) river-boats. They have as many clubs, groups, chapters and organizations as there are rivers and access points. And there have been books written about this stuff for as many years too. This book, Driftboats, gives one the whole picture, the history right up to now on about anything you might want to know.

Remembering I don't own one, I found it an interesting book for the history, well covered by pictures, and the excellent chronology of events recounted. These river guys have been at this a long time, way back to the days of logging in the Pacific northwest. Todays little 'river-dancers' are the evolution of such times and crafts.

Roger Fletcher's model 
of the Veltie Pruitt 'light' boat

Oh sure, the book tells all about the different makes, kinds, sizes, materials, lengths, and styles. There are also instructions for proper basics of rowing your driftboat, reading the water, drifting a river, outfitting your driftboat and what to look for when purchasing your first driftboat. It really is a complete guide. It also brings some magic, some re-living of times gone by, a peek backwards into the past. Delightful.

If you own one now, may own one in the future, or don't think you would ever want one, but would like to expand your knowledge a bit, this book is for you. ~ JC

Driftboats: A complete guide
95 pages
Soft Bound: $19.95 US
ISBN 1-57188-189-1
Published by Frank Amato Publications Inc.

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