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Benefits Of Fly Fishing From A Boat – (Raft/ Drift Boat Fly Fishing)

Fly fishing from a boat is one of my favorite ways to spend a day. With float fishing, you can cover a lot more water, as you spend the day with friends. If you live near a floatable river, this article is for you.

With raft and drift boat setups, there is a rowers seat, and usually two fishing seats. One person is on the oars, and the other two are fishing. You can take turns throughout the day, so everyone gets a chance to fish. However, if you hire a guide – they will row you the whole time. Covering miles of water means you have more chances at catching trout.

This article will cover the benefits of float fishing. I highly recommend it, as it is extremely fun.

You Cover More Water In A Raft/ Drift Boat

Generally, my floats range from 5-15 miles. That is a lot of water to cover, and you couldn’t do it wade fishing. You get to fish lots of different holes and runs, and you’ll get plenty of shots at fish. If you mess up a cast, you don’t have to worry – there is plenty of more water downstream.

You will also get to see more of the river. You’ll really get a feel for your local waters, and how they’re laid out. This will make you a better angler, as you understand the river more.

You’ll Get Longer Drifts In A Raft/ Drift Boat

When wade fishing, our presentations are pretty short. It is hard to get a really long drift with a nymph rig or a dry fly. The cool thing about float fishing is that you can get long drifts. Just keep your flies in the water, as the rower matches the speed. You can get some super long drifts, which increases your chance at hooking a trout.

You Can Fish Through Private Property

Here in Colorado, we have pretty strict laws when it comes to private property. Land owners can actually own the river bed, which means that wade fishers cannot access it.

However, rafts are allowed to float through – as long as you don’t anchor or touch the bottom. This allows you to access water that you couldn’t fish normally – which is a huge plus!

Generally, the put ins and take outs are on public property. This allows you to put your boat in and take it out legally. However, there is usually private water throughout the course of the float.

Fishing In Places That Are Hard To Access

A lot of fishing spots can be hard to access on foot. Rocky banks, canyon walls, etc. Some holes are just too hard to get to, and too hard to fish. Float fishing allows you to fish these areas with ease. You can get presentations in holes that you couldn’t fish normally.

These places have trout that aren’t used to being caught. They don’t see flies very often, and they can be easy to catch. As long as your presentation is good, you’ll probably get a bite.

More Shots At Catching A Trout

Once you wade fish an area for awhile, the trout can get spooked. They get wise, and will eventually stop biting. With float fishing, you are always covering new water – this means that the trout don’t know you’re coming! As long as you don’t spook them with the boat, you can really sneak up on fish.

Better Streamer Fishing From A Boat

Streamer fishing from the boat is a blast. You’re always covering new water, and you can get lots of bites. The streamer folks who do well, are generally fishing from a raft or a drift boat. Although wade fishing with streamers can be good, it is so much better when you’re float fishing.

Downside – Boats Are Expensive

Rafts and drift boats are not cheap. For a full raft and trailer setup, expect to spend around $10k. For a drift boat and trailer setup, you can spend upwards of $15k. These price points are the main barrier to entry for most people. I often recommend buying used from a reputable seller. Especially someone who has treated their boat well.

If you’re willing to take the plunge, floating is a great activity. However, it is very expensive to get into it.