Tribute de Hog
It won't take long to describe what Hog Island represents in their boats.....Every aspect of a Hog Island is bomber! In the years my Hog has been in the water it has seen rocks, drops, serious carnage and a ton of fish. Not only is this boat durable, and maneuverable, but it is stealthy quiet!
Pure and simple, every second I spend in my Hog is as if I had floated away to fish heaven on puffy cloud of happiness!
Captain Taylor Edrington
Taylor Edrington, Captain USCG OUPV
Royal Gorge Anglers
Cross Current Travel Group
It's been over 3 weeks since the rope burn scarred my outer right hand and I'm still getting the "what happened'" question almost daily from my friends and family. I answer by saying, "Would you believe it had to do with a drift boat falling down an 80-ft. cliff'"
We floated the lower Blue River last July just downstream of Green Mountain Reservoir in some of the most pristine canyon and grasslands country in Colorado. The take into the Blue is nothing fancier than an 80-ft. drop of dirt and rock. My buddies and I did all our homework on how to put a drift boat down a cliff side 'well almost all of it'and we decided to take the frugal (albeit not cheap) option of purchasing hardware store rope quoted to handle a 400-lb. workload.
Maybe it was the pontoon boat strapped to the drift boat, or maybe the weight of the beer, or maybe I jinxed it when two wade fishermen asked if we ever put a drift boat down this drop before (my response was "oh yeah!"). Whatever it was, that rope didn't last more than 4 seconds. Stretching and tearing into my bare hand, a sharp snap followed by the terrible noise of drift boat, pontoon boat, and gear falling into the abyss. Hearing those exploding sounds of my poor drift boat falling easily took two years off my life.
We ran down to the bank and found my poor Hog Island drift boat smashed into a tree sprinkled in apples for lunch. The siding was cracked and the hull was cracked. I did a decent job of scaring every bird and mammal out of that canyon with my shouting words of anger (not to mention the two wade fishermen taking off with smiles of laughter on their faces) -- not my finest moment. Fortunately, besides some burned hands and a shirt split in half from the rope whipping my poor friend's back, we were OK. But what were we to do with a cracked drift boat'
Float the Blue, of course.
There is not one other drift boat out there besides a Hog Island that would've survived an 80-ft. fall. Not to mention the first 4 miles of intense canyon rowing avoiding large sharp rocks and riding wave trains. She floated just fine and we caught plenty of fish to make our day worthwhile. Best of all, John St. John had a superb attitude fixing her as long as I promised not to allow that to happen again.
So a promise is a promise: Buy a static rescue rope that is guaranteed not to break and we will be back on the Blue River with a pretty, beauty-marked Hog Island Drift boat.
-Phil Pinson 8/18/2011
My Hog Island
My boat is proof that Hog Island Boats are indestructible ' my boat was stuck on a big rock in the middle of the 'Slide Rapids' on the South Fork of the Boise River for 4 days before we were able to get it pulled off and it took a tow truck with 1,000 feet of wire to pulled the boat off the rock and after all was said and done we were able to float the boat down a mile and half or so down to the next take out and after repairs, the boat is very usable and in good condition
Tom Monge Sun Valley, Idaho 4/19/10
My Hog Island
I retired 6 years ago and bought a place in Twin Bridges Montana. Not a bad start to the end of working 60 hours a week. Fishing out of a drift boat was a new thing and with all the rivers around Twin it quickly became apparent I needed one. Now remember, I have never rowed a drift boat in my life but hell, how hard can it be.
The normal research identified Clacks, Ro's etc and then I stumbled upon Hog Island. The whole way it was made seemed logical to me and I spoke with John St John about his boats. He had a demo which I purchased.
Six years have passed and I love my Hog Island! It is used about 120 days a year and I got to tell you, early on it took a beating. I have hit about every rock in the Big Hole and the Madison and it does it quietly and without damage. Big flows are not a problem as it just floats better than the fiberglass boats.
I see a lot of drift boats and I don't think they are as tough as my Hog Island. They get their chines dinged badly and everything gets "loose" while the Hog Island is just like it was. It is one tough boat.
It also tracks in the seams effortlessly, is easy to row and very secure to fish from with the casting brace system Hog Island uses. One of my fishing buddies is 89 and fishes with a lot of guides in other boats and always tells me how much safer he feels in the Hog. In fact, he only fishes seated in other drift boats and loves to stand in the Hog Island.
John has also become a friend and I appreciate his personal touch and enjoy watching the evolution of this company. Get you one, you will be happy!
My name is Scott Gobel,
I am the head guide for Wildcat Creek Outfitters, in central Indiana, I have been on the sticks of several different brands of drift boats, and rafts, and I can tell you with out a doubt that this the best drift boat on the market today. It rides high in the water and glides over rocks that would grab fiberglass boats or rafts. If you do hit a rock dead on never fear you will slide off and around it. If you did actually do any damage (doubtful) heat it up to ?weld? it back together, and away you go!
Comfort is second to none for clients and guides alike. The interior is very roomy with plenty of leg and gear room, and I challenge anyone to find a more comfortable seat installed in a drift boat today! As for the guide?s area, great storage, drink holders and even a moveable rowing seat to accommodate different size oarsmen.
Oh yeah did I mention fishability? Incredible! Snag free casting, great stabilizing bars to lean into and un-paralleled stability. The first thing I noticed when on the maiden voyage was the ability of the boat to maintain center when anglers creep to the side while fishing. Other boats are notorious for leaning to the side but not this one, dead center every time.
One of the best things about Hog Island Boat Works is their commitment to excellence. John loves what he does, and it shows in his products. We have spoken on several different occasions and he has thanked me for purchasing one of his boats, but I would like to thank him for having the passion and vision to create my perfect boat, Thanks Johnny!!!!!
My name is David Grossman and I am proud to be a Hog Island Boat owner. My pride stems from my boats journey through Jurassic Park on Mr. Jones Ranch. This private, semi-commando float holds not only monster fish but monster drops and snaggletooth rocks. My new Hog made it through the float superbly. The take out however was a completely different story.¬ After pulling the boat out of the water 20 feet up a hill and around a tree I came to discover the nastiest boat wrecking crease I had ever seen in a boat. This crease would have cracked any wood or fiberglass boat I have ever encountered. This crease would have made any aluminum boat a trash can quickly taking on water. All I could think of was how I could explain to my wife why I needed to buy a second new boat within a month of the first. The boat was taken back to the shop to see if it could be at all salvaged. To my amazement the next day John called me and informed that the dent had all but disappeared when the boat heated up in the sun. I thought he might be blowing smoke at first but the excitement in his voice could tell no lies. I drove to Steamboat and the dent was for all intensive purposes, no more. God bless the miracle of modern plastics. I can say with out any reservations that this is the toughest river dory on the market and I have never been more satisfied with any purchase I have ever made.
In early May I and fellow guide Josh Hanna decided to lower the Hog into Cardiac Canyon on the Henry‚??s Fork River. We bought a rope that turned out to be too small for the job. We did to our credit lower the boat to the edge of the tree line using the trees to belay the boat down the hill. The last belay point was below the boat. That‚??s when the trouble started. Josh slipped and when the rope came tight it snapped. The boat took off down the hill about a good 150 yard run, hitting speeds clocked at thirty miles an hour. I thought that the boat was going to take off and float down stream but luckily it landed on a sand bar and stopped. It looked like somebody had taken a sludge hammer to it. Both sides under the oar locks had to huge holes the size of watermelons. There was a crack underneath the entire hull and the stern was smashed in as wells as a myriad of other holes. We picked up our gear strew across the mountain loaded the boat and floated through class II and III rapids. The hull filled with water but the boat never sank. Try repeating that process in a fiberglass boat and see what happens. I.m now a proud owner of a new Hog that I use to guide form on the Snake, South Fork, and the Upper Green.
Well, after a very, very long winter that kept the rivers swollen beyond fishability throughout the Northwest, I finally was able to float my new Hog Island. As you can see in the attached picture it was just beginning to snow that day and continued all day long with a couple of white-outs to make even more fun. This was one of the few nice days we have had since I pick the boat up the last week in October. This picture was taken February 2 on the Yakima River between Ellensburg and Yakima Washington. Water was 38 degrees, so the fish were sluggish to say the least. However, I was out there finally and thoroughly enjoyed myself. We ran down several rocks with little or no concern. Love the boat, and am looking forward to many days on the water. Thanks a lot.
Being a professional full time fly fishing guide, I had certain requirements prior to investing in a drift boat. These requirements are very important as I researched for a safe, value packed affordable drift boat‚?¶In my Hog Island Drift Boat, taking on New York‚??s Salmon River and Massachusetts‚??s Deerfield River, stretches called ‚??Pinball Alley‚?Ě, is done with ease and the peace of mind knowing that my boat is not as susceptible to damage from rocks or to hanging up where others can. The unique slickness in this material allows for sliding over rocky shallows with ease. Floating and being Happy is great but stealth and quietness is just as important for fishing, too. No more clanking or cracking sounds echoing on the rivers from this hard bodied drift boat. In my opinion, this boat is by far the quietest hard bodied hull available today.
Northeast Fly Fishing Guide Service
38 Elm Street
Hatfield , MA 01038
I am Jason Reep and own and operate East Tennessee Fly Fishing. I have been a professional guide for over 13 years here in the mountains of East Tennessee. I have owned and paddled every kind and type of drift boat you can imagine from a wooden Don Hill to a Aire raft and every combination in between. I called John at Hog Island and talked with him last year and told him I was interested in one of his boats to Guide out of. I received a new green Hog Island drift boat around Christmas of 2005 and now have about 40 days on the river in it as of mid April here in TN. I bought the boat for two reasons. I wanted to try something different and the Watauga river gets very low here in the late summer as many rivers do and it can be very hard on fiberglass boats. The Hog Island just had the feel of durability to it and with the slick bottom it slides over rocks like a dream. I had some doubts as to how it would handle at first as it was a little bigger and a little heavier than some of the other boats. I figured just being more durable and lasting longer would make up for a little extra work on the paddling end of things. Man was I surprised when I got the boat on the water. Loaded down with three guys and gear it floats high and slides in and out of seams better than any boat I have ever owned. It will also ferry across currents and hold in fast water with little effort. It is a pleasure to guide out of as my clients love the soft comfortable seats and all of the room that you have inside. If I have a client that likes to lean to one side to get that little extra distance on there cast the boat does not lean way over and make it hard to paddle like most drift boats do. I do not find my self saying center up to my clients all day so the boat will float level like I use to. I let a guy row it the other day that had never rowed a drift boat before and he hit a lot of rocks and went through one rapid backwards. This boat is super tough and very stable it rows great is also the quietest boat I have ever fished out of. Thanks for hooking me up. I am hooked on the Hog Island.
East Tennessee Fly Fishing
111 Infinity Dr.
Elizabethton, TN 37643
As a former professional river guide and currently a Professor of Outdoor Recreation, I have logged thousands of river miles in the past 20 years behind the oars of a variety of boats. Recently I purchased a Hog Island Drift Boat from John St. John at Hog Island Boat Works and my world has been changed! Whether it is taking the family down for a day trip on the Gunnison River, an afternoon float throwing streamers at Browns, or lashing down the cooler and dry box for an overnighter, the boats versatility is amazing! It is easy to solo-launch and trailer, spins in and out of eddies like a top, and glides through the water like a River Otter! This boat is BOMBER! If you are looking for a drift boat that will stand the test of time, look no further. Treat yourself to the boat you have always wanted, release your inner-child, and go Hog-wild, you will thank yourself every river mile!
Dr. Mark A. Gibson
Assistant Professor of Recreation, Outdoor Leadership and Instruction Emphasis
June 14, 2005
I had a small two man drift boat that I fished in the tail waters around western North Carolina. It was not a safe boat for two "larger" people as my fishing partner and I are. We upset it on a river and lost two fly rods and reels and numerous fly boxes. I wanted to find a safer, for an old guy, drift boat and one that an average or slightly less than average rower could handle without ruining the boat. I love the shiny look of the named drift boats but the polyester construction would be a problem because scratches and other serious dings could be easily noticed. Then I stumbled onto your web site and ended up buying the Hog Island boat. I have only been able to float it in two times since buying but I have learned to appreciate the roomy, uncluttered construction, adequate plus storage space, and the ease of rowing. It slides easily over shallow rocks that would grab an aluminum boat (remember my early paddling days in a Grumman canoe) and bounces off rocks I don't avoid in rapids. It is the most stable drift boat I have ever been in. My fishing friend thinks it is the most beautiful drift boat he has rowed. You have a great boat and I would think guides would find it most attractive because of the room, quite floatability, ease of handling and safety. Thanks for building a great boat. It will see many hours of use once the weather becomes a little more tolerable. ~ Ed Redman
As guide's dogs we wanted to let others know how we feel about this awsome product. This boat rocks. 21" high at the oar locks, allows us easy acess in and out of the boat. The wide 54" bottom allows for a stable ride even when my brother and I get off center. The dual polycarbonate rod holders keep us from reeking havoc on our dads high dollar fishing sticks. The super comfy seats and plenty of room lead to an enjoyable float for our dads clients. Who in turn tip well to keep us in dog biscuits. The seats are easily removable which allows us plenty of room. Camping out of this boat is awsome, plenty of room for all the comforts of home. The rowers seat has plenty of adjustment so our mom can grab the oars and row it up while our pops fishes. We think the best aspect of this fine fishing craft is the super low maintanance, easy to clean and repairs,from our mom hitting rocks are a snap, like P-texing a ski base. This means on our dads guiding days off he can take us floating , which makes us happy, instead of timley costly repairs.This is without a doubt the most dog/family friendly driftboat on the market today. The fact that John, Dave, Kelly, and the rest of the crew at Hog Island are super cool, friendly, and customer service orientated is the best bonus of all. Thanks for hookin our dad up with such a bomber product. Get your mojo on and "float and be happy". Don' t forget to take your family too. Lola and Sophie see you at Hogfest on the Green for some doggie mayhem this summer. ~ Tigger and Monte Dibblee
Having rowed fiberglass boats I found the roto-molded Hog Island boat to be easier to maneuver on the river, easier to row in the wind, and a whole lot more quiet when you hit rocks. After the rocks I hit on the Miracle Mile in winter flows any other boat I've seen would be in the shop. ~ Karl Eppich - Sheridan, Wyoming
Best concept and material I have seen yet. Handles and rows easily, and roomy inside.
Bart Taylor - Professional Fishing Guide - Jackson, Wyoming