Maiden Launch – Maiden Voyage – What a Moment!


A Moment becomes a special visit with Tom, Tom’s Father and their friendEmery.  Thank you!  Visitors’ to this blog…please read the 4 comments about this special launch and the history of this boat.  Just press the word “4 comments” above.

Why this is noted as really special evolved from a close-up view of “The Drift Boat.”   There was something special about this boat.  Have seen them  on the river many times as they floated by; however, this boat glowed from the sun with a caught up feeling their was a story before me.  Guess what…there was.  Tom greeted both me and Gracie, my sidekick.  There was a proud smile on Tom’s face.  It was all about this moment.  The maiden launch and maiden voyage of this special drift boat.

Tom shared that his Dad just arrived from Washington State after completing this drift boat renovation.  Tom came in from Michigan near Lake Superior and friend, Emery, from Wisconsin, near the Mississippi.

Tom and friend, Emery, getting ready for their maiden voyage up the Yellowstone River

What a special moment in time for these 3 men.  I wish them great success in catching some handsome tasty trout however, there special moment together is the “real catch.”   The real catch of special moments together, enjoying their friendships, combined with the roll of this great environment …Paradise Valley, Montana and the Yellowstone River.

If you are seeking some special moments along the Yellowstone River.  There is nothing like Gray Owl launching area along the Yellowstone.  Just a mile away from O’Carroll’s Bed and Breakfast and Cabins.  Great place to stay and enjoy your fly fishing moments right in front of O’Carroll’s.

Learn more about this area, O’Carroll’s and additional resources and info below.

This area of Yellowstone:  Downstream from Yankee Jim Canyon, the river flows past the towns of Miner, Emigrant, Pray, Pine Creek, and Brisbin before entering Livingston. The stretch from just below Pray to Livingston is a wonderful and famous stretch. Rainbows and browns with quality hatches of insects and beautiful scenery make this an excellent piece of water. Floating is the first choice of most anglers although wade fishing is available in some parts. The section from Gardiner to Livingston is followed by Route 89.



5 thoughts on “Maiden Launch – Maiden Voyage – What a Moment!”

  1. Adele,

    Thanks for the great post and pictures. We had a great day on the river. We caught a couple nice Yellowstone browns.

    Thanks again,

  2. Hi Tom,
    I am so thrilled that you were able to catch some fish! I do hope you enjoy that special boat.
    Sorry, I did not meet your father and take a pix of the three of you. Hope you were able to take some photos on your maiden voyage.

    Best in all your fishing adventures! If you come back again. My friend at O’Carroll’s Bed and Breakfast is just North of Grey Owl where we met. She would love to serve you some of her special breakfasts. The photo on Brook N’ Dell is on the website with Emigrant Mountain in the background.


  3. Adele,
    We have really enjoyed passing your pictures and kind words around to interested family and friends. Thanks so much for your time and interest.
    When Tom and I first drove up Paradise Valley from Livingston we knew we were entering a very special place. The sensational vistas of snow covered mountains and the wide expanse of the beautiful valley sent an unexpected chill up my back. We were fortunate to have had that great day weatherwise to enjoy it.
    Tom’s boat is called a McKenzie River Drift boat and was built in Salem, Oregon in the early 1960’s by a local boat building shop, it has passed thru the hands of many unknown owners since then. The design of the boat was developed to run and fish the McKenzie and Rogue rivers in Oregon. As you know there are many copies out there now, but Tom’s is a real good example of a two man boat. Our initail plan was to buy a kit and build a new boat, but this one appeared on the internet and was located at Silver Lake, Wash., only 20 miles from my home in Longview. The owner had just spent quite a bit of money hiring a local boat builder to upgrade the exterior sides and bottom, what was left to do was an equal job on the inside. This is where I came along looking for a “winter project”. It turned out to be the perfect choice for me, not too much time and money, yet a great outcome. I was able to incorporate “scrap” wood and misc. screws and other odds and ends from Tom’s uncle Terry and his grandpa Art’s collections that passed to me on their deaths. Thoughout many peoples lives they make conscious decisions to save this piece, or that item in hopes of making use of it at a future time, many die with lots of stuff on hand and it falls to someone like me to haul it all away and either dispose of it or keep it in hopes of using it later. Tom’s boat has the spirit of these two fine men who loved him dearly riding along any time he interacts with his boat. Best Wishes, Bob

  4. Hi Bob,
    It is such a thrill to receive your message. Loved learning more about the history of this McKenzie River Drift boat and how you brought life back to this special fishing boat. Your winter project has truly provided a great outcome and immeasurable moment for you and your son. For all of us who saw your boat we indeed were a bit envious knowing that you were about to embark on a special fishing trip down along the shores of the Yellowstone River.

    With your info we now can appreciate even more about the journey of this special boat built from the time of it’s 1st maiden voyage in the 1960’s to its’ most recent launching in 2012. Your story has definitely added an ingredient of flavor to the few photos that are posted. I am sure many visitors will find more meaning to this post as well as knowing that you had fun catching your Yellowstone Brown’s the day of your maiden voyage along the Yellowstone River.

    Hope you will come back again. Just let us know.
    Best to you and your son! Happy Fishing wherever your journey leads you,

  5. Bob, nice job on the driftboat. Looks like you missed your calling as a professional boat builder. I recognized Tom, even with the beard. He’s still the avid fisherman from his younger years.


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