Friday, February 1, 2008

The AuSable River Boat

The AuSable River Boat was originally designed and built in the 1870's to transport tools and supplies to the lumber mills and logging camps on the Ausable River near Grayling Michigan.The flat bottom and relatively wide beam allowed for heavy loads to be transported in the shallow water. It is believed that the boat was converted to and modified for flyfishing in the early 1900's by a Michigan game warden and fishing guide. River boats are neither motorized, paddled or rowed. They are poled from the rear downstream. A drag chain is deployed to slow the boat below the speed of the current. New models, made from cedar strips and marine plywood are available in 16 and 24 foot lengths. My boat is a 16 foot 2 man model and is easily portaged to and from the river. It was made by Bob Smock Jr. of Grayling Michigan. For more detail see

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