Fishing from an Au Sable longboat – aptly named after its river origins – is a truly a one-of-a-kind experience. The longboat provides fly fisherman the ability to approach feeding trout quietly and the capability to maneuver in tight spots giving the angler a decisive advantage.
The Au Sable longboat was originally built in the 1870’s. Without a keel, the craft was pushed by a pole from the stern allowing lumber companies to move tools and equipment up and down the river system. These handsome yet utilitarian boats featuring a pointed bow and stern were typically 24’ long and 2½ feet wide, built from cedar and white pine planks, and weighed between 300 and 400 pounds.
The Rube Babbitt family modified the longboat design in the 1880’s to accommodate fishing by adding a live-box. This original design remained basically unchanged for the next 100+ years.
The Old Au Sable Boat Company continues the tradition of building quality longboats today. New epoxy plus systems, fiberglass and beautiful woods such as mahogany, black walnut, oak, ash, cherry and okoume marine plywood are now used to build these outstanding river boats, offering a stable, comfortable and pleasant fly-fishing experience.