The legendary Skagit River in northwest Washington is a large, glacier-fed river that winds its way through the Cascade Mountains before emptying into Puget Sound. World-renowned for its steelhead fishing, the Skagit was once home to wild steelhead runs in the tens of thousands, and is the birthplace of many fly-fishing techniques anglers use today. While its runs have diminished over time, the Skagit still boasts wild steelhead that often eclipse the magical 20-pound mark. In an effort to preserve this pristine river and protect its remaining steelhead, Orvis has partnered with the Wild Steelhead Coalition (WSC) and driftboat builder Ross Duncan to bring to you a unique conservation opportunity.
Orvis and the WSC will be auctioning off a one-of-a-kind McKenzie-style driftboat, hand-built by master craftsman Ross Duncan. The 17-foot custom wood driftboat is constructed with BS1088 marine plywood and white oak, and is a hybrid of traditional McKenzie framed boat and stitch-and-glue construction. Secured with System 3 epoxies, 3M 5200 adhesive, and over 300 stainless steel screws, the boat is set up with two fixed-position swivel pedestal seats—fore and aft for fly fishing or side drifting—with an adjustable-position rower’s bench rope seat. The rower’s seat is adjustable plus-or-minus 10 inches, with four different oar lock positions, and the Sawyer Cobra oar locks are set in machined derlin bushings. The bottom of the boat is coated with a high-density poly-urea coating, and the interior and hull are painted with water-based epoxy and polyurethane. The bow and chine batten are protected with 1/8-inch thick stainless steel rub stripes. The boat comes complete with 9-foot MXG Sawyer counterbalanced oars, Lee-Lock side-mount anchor system, and a painted trailer with LED lights.
The retail value of a boat of this quality would be well over $12,000. Bidding will start at $5,000 and all proceeds will go toward WSC habitat restoration and steelhead research projects on the Skagit River. The WSC will deliver the boat free-of-charge anywhere within the states of Washington and Oregon; however, should the winning bid be from elsewhere, the winner will be responsible for shipping costs. Bids can be placed online at http://auctions.orvis.com, and the bidding will close at 11:59 PM ET on October 30, 2012.