Monday, June 6, 2011

Speaking of "Tiller"

My three youngest boys ready to work one of our favorite run's on the lower Deschutes in October, 2007.

For years I ran all my powerboat trips out of this boat.  It was one of the fastest boats on the river.  It was 20' Longton with a high output, Kodiak package LT-1 (corvette motor) Chevy 350.  It held 60 gallons of fuel, and it used it all on long days.  The thing was built so well it was just amazing.  Great boat!  It's currently in the hands of one of my best friends and he's put a new coat of paint on it and is running Salmon trips out of Winchester bay with it now. 

When my business changed from conventional tackle Salmon, Steelhead and Sturgeon trips to fly trips, it really cut back the number of days that I could or would make use of this great boat.  On the mainstem Umpqua when the water was high enough to launch this boat at many of the boat launches, the water would be too high to make fly fishing a possibility.  It was handy for running trips on the upper Willamette for summer steelhead and it was great for chasing Spring Chinook on the lower Umpqua, but that was about it.  It was time to make a change. 

I needed a boat that was more fuel efficient when fuel prices began to soar.  I needed a boat that could handle me and one or two clients at a time, not four or five.  I needed a boat that I could push off the trailer if I couldn't get the boat in the water due to low flows.  I also wanted a boat that I could use for a wider variety of trips.  I needed a boat that would be at home on the bays, yet still get me through some pretty good white water, or sneak back into the tulle's on a bass trip.  I wanted it equipped with a four-stroke motor with a pump for shallow water runnin'.  I wanted it set up with a bow mounted electric trolling motor for stripers, smallmouth and largemouth bass trips, as well as some of my fall salmon fly fishing trips where gas motors are not allowed.  It had to be big enough to be safe on bigger water, but small enough to run around on the McKenzie, upper Willamette and the really skinny water that I swing flies on for early winter fish on the lower Umpqua. 

This is "that" boat.
It even came with a duck blind and camo-pedestal seats!  The duck blind goes on and comes off in a matter of minutes so when I'm doing a duck hunting trip I just put the blind on.  The next day if I'm doing a fishin' trip, I take the blind off and store it in my boat shed. 

I added oar locks and use 9 1/2 cataract oars to side drift from it.  Works slick!  For McKenzie march brown trips where we're side drifting nymph combo rigs under bobbers I can cover the water so much more thoroughly than I ever could from my drift boat. 

In the winter when I'm running side drifting trips for steelhead I cover the water in the same way.

It has a 50 hp Honda four stroke motor with a pump that they call the "35 jet".  It has an 18 gallon fuel capacity that allows me to run all day long for three days before needing fuel.  I've had as many as three clients with me in this boat and it will still get on plane and go where I need it to go.  With just me and one client, I can even get there pretty darned fast!

The sides are low enough that its easy to get in and out of when we're using it as a "water taxi" to get from run to run when swingin' flies. 

It's very stable, has plenty of storage and its become one of the funnest boats I've ever owned.  I just love runnin' this little OD green boat around. 

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