Many Years In The Making…
LaMoyne Hyde built his first drift boat with his father Keith Hyde (right). This boat served them on countless trips down the Salt and Snake Rivers in Wyoming.
This boat was the beginning of a life of boat building for LaMoyne and his family.
LATE 1950’S THROUGH 1960’S
During this time LaMoyne worked in aviation building single prop airplanes for crop dusting. Those years of experience building and flying airplanes gave him a strong comprehension of fluid dynamics. Understanding how the design of an airplane affects air flow ultimately helped build the foundation of Hyde Drift Boats bottom design. The picture shows a Single Prop Airplane similar to the type built in the 1960’s by LaMoyne Hyde.
LaMoyne and his sons (Matt & Steve) started building wood drift boats to sell commercially. These boats had a rocker style bottom including a front brace to hold anglers while standing in the boat.
The first production aluminum Hyde Boats were rolled out. The Hyde aluminum drift boats took 7 different designs and many tests to make them row and perform optimally. Photos: The photo above is Hyde’s first aluminum boat produced.
One of many Hyde Boat testing sessions on Lunch Counter-Snake River in Idaho.
OTHER NOTABLE EVENTS IN THE LATE 1980’S
Hyde Boats continued growing and needed more space! Several additions were made to the manufacturing facility to accommodate the need for increased production.
LaMoyne Hyde built the first fiberglass Hyde Drift Boat. Made with a rocker design and plenty of interior space. This boat was the best all around drift boat in it’s day.This picture shows one of the first Hyde Fiberglass Drift Boats in the 90’s.
The fiberglass Hyde Boat model went through several revisions before the popular 16.8′ high side model was developed. This Hyde design has been the choice of many anglers all across the United States, Canada, South America, and Australia ever since. The image shows the Traditional Style Hyde Drift Boat.
Hyde started building the first Hyde Low Profile Drift Boat models. This new line was designed to meet the needs of anglers who wanted easy entry and exit from their boat. The Low Profile was also designed to handle high wind areas. This model instantly became one of the best selling drift boats in the industry. This photo shows the 1997 Hyde Drift Boat.
LATE 1990’S – EARLY 2000’S
Hyde’s R&D department redesigned the stern on their fiberglass boats. The new rounded design reduced drag with the water significantly, adding one more feature to increase the ease of rowing a Hyde Boat.
Hyde added large level floors with built in tread as a standard feature in their boats. This added comfort to the passengers and rower by providing a flat surface to stand on throughout the day. It also kept water tracked in by boots, wet dogs, etc… under the floor system.
In response to the requests for a drift boat that could be “carried in” to small remote waters, Hyde built the Sportsman’s Drifter Series (seen below). This boat was about 130 lbs and could easily fit in the back of a pick-up truck or be trailered. Built to carry two anglers, this boat is perfect for back-country rivers and streams.
Hyde also built a line of flat bottom canoes for several years called the “Hyde Kanoe”. To focus the company’s efforts on drift boats, this popular canoe line was ended in the mid 2000’s.
Many anglers wanted the ability to drift down a river and motor back up to the boat ramp at the end of the day. The Hyde Power Drifter was designed to meet this need. Built with a small 60/40 H.P. jet motor this boat could move up stream with ease.
Some of the features included:
– Tunnel in the transom
– Leg Brace
– Cooler seating for passengers
The blue Power Drifter above was first seen on the Dean River, BC Canada.
Hyde Started Building the Contender Series. This new line offered a more simple boat, comparable to our competitor’s high end drift boats lines. While more simple than Hyde’s Professional Series, this boat still offers more features than competitor boat models, including:
– Several interior seating options
– Front and Rear Leg Braces
– Built-in rod storage with recessed pocket (for the reel) and open side storage compartments
– Hyde introduced the new 3-Point Leg Brace in this model. This brace allowed anglers to stand and face any direction in the boat while maintaining full leg support. The brace also helped keep passengers centered in the boat.
Taking their drift boats to the next level in luxury, Hyde built the LH Limited Edition as seen above. Featuring the new G4 bottom and built-in storage compartments.
Hyde also came out with a completely redesigned Sportman’s Drifter model (shown above). One of the major upgrades included Hyde’s innovative front leg brace (built into the bow). This addition provided increased stability and comfort to anglers fishing in the front of the boat.
The redesigned Sportman’s Drifter Featured:
– All fiberglass design
– Inclusion of built-in front leg brace
– Added the rounded stern to decrease drag and improve the ease of rowing the boat
For our many customers in the Northwest U.S. and others that run really big water, Hyde developed the Northwest Series (seen above). It’s footprint is similar to Hyde’s Classic 16.8′ model, but with even higher sides to allow it to run many types of large rivers.
To answer the call for a boat with even more room for anglers and gear, Hyde came out with the XL Hybrid Series, as shown above. The XL Series Hybrid was the first in this line with nearly a 17′ centerline! The Hybrid model had a combination high side bow with two low profile sides (to allow easy entry/exit from the boat).
The Hyde Hybrid model was such a success that they designed an XL Low Profile model, as shown in the image above. This boat provided all the benefits of the professional series low profile, while providing even more room for anglers and gear.
Requests for a boat that could get into small backwaters, while still providing ample space in the boat’s interior, lead to the creation of the Hyde Rocky Mountain Skiff, as seen above. The skiff can make it’s way through small waters and cut through windy weather.
OTHER NOTABLE EVENTS
– This year marked the 50th TV show featuring LaMoyne Hyde.
– The Hyde Outfitters, Last Chance Lodge was sold after 10 years of operation and thousands of professionally guided fly fishing trips. As more drift boat models were being designed and produced, the time came to let go of this part of the business to continue expansion of our drift boat lines.
After years of testing, the Contender Series went through a couple design revisions. Some of the changes were as follows:
– The front leg brace was restyled to be more sleek like the Hyde Professional Series
– The recessed rod holders were extended to house longer fly rods
– The chines were slightly modified
– Larger storage boxes were added to the boat with a top end lid
From the excitement of Hyde’s other XL Series models, and due to many customer requests, Hyde came out with an XL Series High Side Drift Boat. Using the same footprint as it’s companions in the XL series, this model had full high sides while still giving a nearly 17′ centerline. The XL High Side provided a great option for anglers who run diverse waters and want plenty of room to stretch out.
THE FUTURE OF HYDE DRIFT BOATS?
…Whatever new ideas you give us!
Here at Hyde Drift Boats listening to feedback from You (our customers), has made us what we are today. Thank you for making our history rich. There have been years of adventures accumulated by all the fishing that’s been done in Hyde Boats, and we’re grateful to be a small part of your many fishing memories. We look forward to more great years ahead fishing with you.
Hyde Drift Boat Team
(Photo above – 2012 Hyde Drift Boats Team)
OTHER NOTABLE ITEMS
Meeting of some great minds in the fly fishing industry: LaMoyne Hyde, Jack Dennis, Buck Goodrich, and several professional fly tiers.
One of many fishing trips with friends in a Hyde Boat: left to right – Kohn Smith, Johnny Bench, Bobby Knight.
COMMUNITY & WILDLIFE OUTREACH
- – Annual contributions to Trout Unlimited. Hyde has also competed several times in the Green River Single Fly Tournament.
- – Annual contributions to the Fly Fishing Federation
- – Sponsorship of the Jackson Hole One Fly Tournament
- – Contributions to Ducks Unlimited
- – Contributions to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation – helping the preservation of Idahos’s Elk habitat.
- – In 2011 LaMoyne Hyde received the Lee Wulff Award for his many river conservation efforts and innovation in the industry.
All the families of the Hyde Drift Boats Team
One of many sessions filming on the river with John Barrett, John Havlicek and LaMoyne Hyde for ESPN’s Fly Fishing America.
The Hyde Drift Boats Team took 3rd place in the ESPN Fly Fishing Challenge: from left to right – LaMoyne Hyde, Cassandra Osborn, Rod Bowden, Pat Bennett.
Buying a Drift Boat in Idaho Falls
If you’re a wade angler, you know there’s nothing like putting life’s concerns out of your mind while wading through the water anticipating your next target. It’s a feeling of Zen and exhilaration all at once.
Now imagine how much better the experience would be floating along the river in a beautiful Idaho Falls drift boat, casting out under trees and just behind boulders. There are a lot of great spots out there that you simply can’t reach if you’re out by the bank.
If you’re new to the art of drift boating (and all that it entails), there is more to purchasing, using, and maintaining a drift boat than you might realize.
Whether it’s an idea you’ve been mulling around in your head for some time or something you are adamant about doing this summer, arm yourself with the following information.
Tips On Selecting Your First Drift Boat
Before purchasing or renting one of our Idaho Falls drift boats, consider the following:
High Side vs. Low Side – Which is Better?
The answer to this question lies in what kind of water you’ll be traversing. Low sides are great for big, gentle rivers and they handle well in the wind. In places like Idaho Falls, low side drift boats work for a lot of spots, but if you’re going somewhere with a lot of rapids, you want to go with a high side drift boat.
Ease of Use
If you’re new to drift boating, you want to get a boat that isn’t sluggish and heavy. These can make your trip a lot more work than play. Basically, don’t pick out a clunker.
- Wood: Wood drift boats are great for a number of reasons. They’re beautiful and generally easy to row, but keep in mind they’re a little more high maintenance. If you don’t mind putting in some extra elbow grease, wood might be the way to go.
- Fiberglass: A lot of pros and fishing guides swear by fiberglass. It’s a current industry standard for a number of reasons. It’s low maintenance, durable, stable, comfortable, and you might be surprised how easy it is to row. That said, when it comes to form vs function, you’ll probably find a fiberglass drift boat falls more on the “function” end of the spectrum.
- Plastic: Plastic drift boats are not only light, they’re pretty dang strong as well; plastic whitewater kayaks can hold their own, so a plastic drift boat shouldn’t have any reason to let you down.
How to Operate a Drift Boat (and In One) – Essential Tips for the Newbie
Get Some Experience Before Purchasing or Renting a Drift Boat
Before purchasing or renting one of our Idaho Falls drift boats, it’s a good idea to gain a little bit of experience with a buddy or a guide first. This will:
- Give you a better idea of what you’re looking for in a drift boat, and
- Build up some confidence before taking your new boat out on the river
Rowing isn’t as easy as you might think. There’s technique involved, and a real learning curve.
Obviously, the person doing the rowing isn’t going to be fishing at the same time. You and your buddy (or buddies) should all take turns manning the ship.
You Shouldn’t Have to Make Long Casts
As you get better at rowing, or fishing with someone who is skilled at it, you’ll quickly find it easy to get close to places that are more promising for catching fish. Often these areas are up against the bank.
Basically, you shouldn’t have to cast more than twenty feet when fishing from a drift boat, although there are exceptions to this rule. For instance, if you’re stalking rising fish you may end up casting about 40 feet from the boat.
You’ll Have to Learn to Cast in Tighter Spaces
You’re going to be casting in a tight space surrounded by your buddies. Many of our Idaho Falls drift boats are pretty spacious, but they’re still drift boats – there’s only so much room in there. The last thing someone wants on a fishing trip is a hook lodged in their scalp.
It’s especially important to avoid hooking the rower – this can lead to dangerous consequences, especially on choppy rivers that require more technical rowing. A fist fight between friends is one thing – the whole boat capsizing is another.
Obviously if you’re right handed and casting to the left, or vise versa, then the sky’s the limit. But if there’s a risk of hooking someone, remember to keep the line high and straight over your head when you cast.
So You Got Snagged – Now What?
A lot of people end up getting snagged when casting up against the bank. Loosen your drag if you need to and give the rower some time to circle back so you can get your fly.
But what if there’s no way of getting your fly back? At that point, a sacrifice to the river gods will have to be made: point your rod directly at the snag so that your line breaks instead of your rod tip.
Keep Your Line in Your Zone
That’s the space you’re fishing, which is either in front of or behind you. If you’re standing in the back, cast slightly behind the boat. If in the front, cast to the right or left, or slightly ahead of the boat if in slower current.
Share the Front of the Boat
The one fishing at the front of the boat has a slight advantage because in any given run, the fish are going to see his or her fly first. It’s common courtesy not to hog the front spot.
Keep Your Fly in the Water as Much as Possible
Unless you have an incredibly gracious rower who’s willing to back up, you’re only going to hit a good run once. The longer the drift, the better the chances of catching a fish. More false casts means more missed opportunities, and more chances of hooking the rower.
Take the Time to Wade Fish
You’re going to come across some amazing spots to get out and wade fish. Do it! With our Idaho Falls drift boats, you’ll have the opportunity to fish some spots that would otherwise have been inaccessible because the hike would have been too long, or you would have had to trespass on private property to get there.
If you’re ready to purchase or rent a drift boat in Idaho Falls, come on into Hyde Drift Boats today! If you’ve had some practice with your buddies, decided on the right material, and memorized the above fishing recommendations, you’re more than ready for a good time on the water.