We meant to tell you about…
…this awesome project that Tracy Allen and Adipose Boatworks put together for us last summer. Each summer, the Headhunters guide staff takes a group of veterans and active duty military personnel fly fishing on the Missouri River. Project Healing Waters and the Pat Barnes (Helena) Chapter of TU facilitate the trip. Last summer we had our first wheelchair angler and needed to get a boat rigged up for him.
Scumliner and Tracy had several brainstorming sessions, having both guided wheelchair bound anglers in the past. It’s relatively easy to rip a seat out of a drift boat and put a chair in it. Making sure the chair is level is also important. The biggest trick when you’re on the water is turning the angler right or left so he can get a clear shot without contorting his upper body. Spinning the angler while fighting fish is another concern, especially on a river like the Missouri where fish often make long upstream runs. Try fighting a fish thats behind you sometime and you’ll see what I mean! The guide can’t always stand up to unlock the wheels and spin the chair, especially if this needs to happen in a hurry. Our guest, Robbie, had limited use of his arms, and would not be able to hold the rod while spinning the chair himself. This added another element to Tracy’s design.
When Tracy showed up with his design, we were all blown away. A swivel deck was mounted in the front of the Adipose Flow Skiff. Aluminum rails sat just inside the wheels on the deck, allowing the chair to be river strapped securely. We sat Robbie’s chair in the boat the night before, and it fit perfectly. The skiff design (no front knee locks) gave Robbie a clear path to cast and see.
The next morning the group launched at Holter Dam and with the help of guides and members of Task Force Raven, we got Robbie and his chair quickly secured in the boat. After a quick casting lesson, we hit the river.
As the guide, I immediately found the best part of Tracy’s design was that I could spin Robbie easily with my feet while rowing. Even if Robbie just needed a couple of more degrees to the left or right, it just took a gentle nudge from my foot. This was especially important when fighting fish.
Robbie had a great day, including catching 4 nice fish on dries his first day with a fly rod in hand. After the trip he told us how great that system would be in his bass boat back home in South Carolina.
Hats off to Tracy and Mike at Adipose for taking the time to rig one of there own boats for a single day of fishing. He made my day as a guide easy, and made Robbie’s first day on the Missouri a huge success.
Missouri River Flows
Great Falls Intl Airport, MT
Last Updated on May 24 2013, 11:53 am MDT
Current Conditions: A Few Clouds and Breezy
Wind: SW at 23mph
Used Drift Boat For Sale
Used 2005 EMR with trailer, Cataract Oars, anchor, new rope, new NRS rowers seat. Trailer just rewired and hubs packed. Used hard but still in good shape. $4000 OBO. Call the shop.
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They’re Just Sayin’
- Squeeky Oar Lock on Headhunters Flyshop Giving Back in Helena MT
- Richard 45 wt on Headhunters Flyshop Giving Back in Helena MT
- Richard 45 wt on Project Healing Waters Missouri River via Erie PA Excursion
- Murray on Project Healing Waters Missouri River via Erie PA Excursion
- Kevin Hospodar on Project Healing Waters Missouri River via Erie PA Excursion