Out With The Old (Boat) and In With the New (Boat)

2011-11-20pic003(Edited)(Resized)As I have mentioned in a previous North Fork of the White River trip report in December, I am the owner of a “new to me” drift boat.  I traded my 1994 Hyde High Side Drift Boat (yes….the $800 drift boat) in on a 2010 Hyde XL Lowpro drift boat.  The old Hyde served its purpose over the years, and I have had many memorable trips with it; but there was something about the sexy lines on the Hyde XL Lowpro that just kept me coming back to it.  In November, I happened across a color combo and boat layout in the used section of Hyde’s site and inquired.  The rest, as they say, is history.

Here are some specs on the new boat:

2010 Hyde XL Lowpro
G4 Bottom Shoe (this stuff is the real deal…..particularly after 2 trips down the NFOW)
Yetti Cooler with Seat for front seat
3/4 Walk-Around Rowers Bench
Floor Anchor with Pulley System
Rear Walk-Around Storage Seat
Cataract Composite Oars
New Premium Trailer

I can’t say enough good things about dealing with Hyde, and in particular, Matt Hyde, during the purchasing process.  There were a couple of times that I was ready to walk away from the purchase but Matt was persistant in his appeals and creative in the trade-in and other areas that in the end it was a deal that I felt good about.  Matt and his staff went above and beyond to ensure that I was happy and got the boat outfitted the way i wanted.  The only hiccup in the whole process was shipping, but in the end Eldon (the delivery driver) and I worked it out and everyone was happy.

I am looking forward to many years with the new boat and many memories made.  If you are interested in my old boat, Hyde currently has it listed on their website, along with a bunch of other used drift boats.

–Matt Tucker

North Fork of the White River — Putting In The Time

2012-01-08pic003(Edited)(Resized)It seems that the North Fork of the White River is pretty hot right now.  With Brian Wise, Justin Spencer, myself, and several others are posting photos on local forums of all the big fish the river has been giving up recently; the stream is definitely getting some good press (there also was an article in the latest issue of Fly Fisherman by Zach Matthews featuring friends of the OC (Brian Wise, Kyle Kosovich, and Randy Hanner).  The only saving grace about the press the river is getting, is that it is so damn hard to get to from all of the populated areas in Missouri and Arkansas.  It helps to keep the crowds down.

With all that being said, and the fishing being red hot, I found myself back on the North Fork of the White River this past weekend with a couple of streamer addicts that I met over the internet (Dan Held and Paul Chausse).  Dan and Paul are good guys, even if they are flatlanders, and they offered to swing by my house on the way through STL to pick me up and afforded me the first trip in a long time that I didn’t drive on……and it was damn nice.

We ended up staying at River of Life Farm on the banks of the North Fork of the White River.  With the “Winter Rates”, the place is an affordable fish camp with some high end luxuries.  It is a bit tougher to cook potatoes o’brien, scrambled eggs, and biscuits and gravy while tent camping along the river; but it was easy peasy this past weekend.

The weekend was a streamer weekend, and Dan and Paul came prepared.  We were fishing big nasty schlappin inspired streamers.  On Saturday we floated from ROLF to Patrick bridge and didn’t squeak a fish into the boat the entire day.  We floated the day with Brian and Jenny Wise and Jenny had a consistent nymph bite on a brown wigglestone down deep.  It was a great day to be on the water, the temps were in the high 50’s and we didn’t see an another person on the river the entire day.  It was the way a winter day on the NFOW is supposed to go.

On Sunday, Paul and I floated from ROLF to Blair bridge and took our nymph rods out of the boat so as not to tempt us into breaking the skunk off.  It was a short float, as Dan stayed back because he wasn’t feeling well and just met us at the take-out.  In the short 3hr float, we boated 3 fish with the biggest being a 17″ brown.  All the fish were caught on a rainbow schlappen inspired fly tied by Paul Chausse.  It was a good float and much needed after the day before.  But quite simply it was a weekend that we had to put in our dues.

Traveling with new fishing buddies is always a delicate dance, it is the fisherman’s equivalent to the first date.  How does he pack, what does he pack, can he fish, does he pitch in and help around camp, etc.  A fishing trip is a fishing trip, but we all know that there are only a few that we can travel with.  Dan, Paul, and I seemed to hit our stride and the traveling and the fishing went well.  I am certain it was the first of a few more trips.

All in all it was another good weekend on the water.

I have quite a few things planned in the coming weeks, so be sure to check out the site for updates.

–Matt Tucker