Friday, September 4, 2009

A float down the Manistee River

It was a beautiful day and I wanted to get my drift boat out and 'exercise' it.  It hasn't been in the water for a couple of months and I knew the river would be almost deserted.

I got down to the Tippy Dam launch on the North side of the river.  Nobody was around.  I got the boat into the water and rowed across the current and dropped the anchor.  I wanted to test the motor before I drifted too far down stream.  It finally started after I remembered to turn the gas lever on.  Looking over at the boat launch, I saw a huge crowd.

There was a group of young poeple getting ready for a float of their own.  I noticed a beer keg inside of two truck tire innertubes.  Now, they know how to float the river!  I drifted down a little bit and enjoyed the scenery.  The Manistee River is so beautiful this time of the year.  The salmon are still down stream and awaiting a drop in the river's temperature so not many people are up here now.  In two more weeks things will change.
This is the view down river.  No people and a beautiful day. 
I heard the sounds of kids launching their boats. They were having a great time on their last days of summer.
It didn't take long for them to drift down out of sight and sound.  They were enjoying the river and so was I.
I did manage to catch a couple brown trout and two rainbows.  Not much size but fun to have on the fishing pole.
Wow, can you see the trout?  I didn't think so.  Have to get better pictures next time.  It is difficult when you are out by yourself.  It is a little hard to handle the drift boat alone.  I have to be very aware of the current, the gravel bars and other fisherman wading in the river.  The drift boat just glides along and has a very shallow draft but the motor can hit the bars when I start upstream.  When I have someone fishing with me, the other person can spot the gravel bar from the front of the boat and guide me.  When I am alone, the nose of the boat is high and I have  trouble seeing where to go.  So i bought a tiller extender so I can stand closer to the middle of boat and see around the high bow of the boat.
This is the back of the drift boat and the anchor is located right next to the motor.  The back of the boat is pointed upstream and I drift down facing forwards.  When I am ready to go back upstream, I have to pull up the anchor as I start the engine and get the boat turned 180  degrees while floating in the current.  It is a little tricky.  I made it back to the launch without any problems and was glad I had a chance to practice my boating skills when the river was not crowded with wading fisherman and other boats.
I try to take time and notice the water, the trees, the view and be thankful for living in such a beautiful place.
Whenever you are up this way, stop by.  The river awaits!

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