Thursday, September 20, 2007

Float Tube Efficiency

A very efficient way to fish with a fly rod is from a float tube. The primary advantage, besides being able to get out on the water away from fly eating trees and bushes, is hands free fishing. Since your feet do all the moving and steering via the fins used to propel the craft, you can dedicate every arm motion to fishing. Casting is a breeze once you adjust to your lower height above the water. Tubes do fairly well in a mild breeze as well. Many inflatable float fishermen prefer pontoon boats because they move much faster. However, get a fair breeze in a toon and you'll either have to anchor, be constantly on the oars (which precludes fishing), or spin around helplessly. You can kick in the wind (again we're speaking mild wind) and continue right on fishing in a float tube. Yes, it moves fairly slowly but I have found that this causes me to fish the water much more effectively than when I'm off rowing to the other side of the lake in a toon. Here's my Super Fat Cat rigged for a recent bass fishing trip. With lunch in the back compartment I was able to stay out all day. I returned just before dark. That's a net sticking up from a pocket behind the seat. The blue on the seat is an inflatable life preserver. If you look closely you can see an anchor bag hanging from the right side. The fish finder is laying across the back, just behind the seat. Once under way this is dropped into the sleeve on the left (barely visible.)

Here's the same tube rigged for trout fishing. Note the two fly rods in holders on the right, the fish finder (sonar) on the left. All gear fits into the two pockets on the sides. The net and additional items go behind the seat. In this model you sit high and dry with your wadered legs wet only below the knees.

Here my grandson in his tube. He has an ODC 420, another pointed nose model which is very similar to the SFC, only about half the price. Note the fish finder on the right of the picture, the sleeve that it fits in, and the rod holder on the left. He wears a blue inflatable PFD.

Here is his tube in action. In this photo he's landing a trout that he hooked while executing the deadly tubers troll with a fly.

Here's a side view of the SFC. Perfect line position for casting or trolling.

Here's a shot with the diver's fins I use. These are Mars Plana Avanti 3's (they're blue in the picture.)

Fish finders mount on tubes very easily, helping you keep track of structure, depth, and temperature. Here's a shot of one I use. It's mounted on a plastic pipe cap which fits into the cup holder on the tube. A PVC pipe with the transducer mounted on it is bungied to the side of the tube for easy raising and lowering.

The only drawback I have found with float tubes is that carp are quite spooky of them. Though you can work stealthily up on most freshwater gamefish, carp seem to be put down by the leg motion. A fly fisherman is also too low to the water to spot carp when sight fishing.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

More Stillwater Trout

What a difference a week makes! Last Monday we had a 95 degree scorcher that drove the trout down to sulk on the bottom. Surface temp was 72 degrees. Fishing results showed it. This Monday (9/17/07) we had pleasant, mostly cloudy weather with some rain and a surface temp of 61. Trout were happy for the change - and almost suicidal in the low light conditions. Action started right at my arrival on the water at noon at my favorite trout lake. First pic is a good representation of the dark day. The fish loved it.

Fish were consistently 16-19 inches. Fat, chunky rainbows in good health and hungry as bears just out of hibernation.

As a testimony to the change of the season, this summertime bug hitched a ride on my tube when the damp air became too much to keep his helicopter wings flapping. He stayed with me until I went ashore.

Trout continued to cooperate in a big way.

The fly selection wasn't at all complicated. Seal buggers early and chironomids later when a few started showing on the surface.

I hit the docks early. 5 PM and I called it a day with plenty of daylight left to stow my stuff and make the two hour drive home. Since my buggy friend was so faithful in hanging onto the tube, I gave him a nice resting spot to see out the remainder of his days. Made a pretty picture.

What a wonderful day on the water! Final score was: zonker - 15; trout - 0

Monday, September 10, 2007

Stillwater Trout Tubing

In spite of excess heat warnings from the weather service I decided to break from the carping today and chase some trout in a favorite pond. Though it was warm throughout the day I hoped to at least score a few fish as evening approached. Though the results weren't spectactular, it was rewarding. I spent my time in the float tube - something I have enjoyed for many years.

I also broke in a new fish finder - a Buddy 4200. This replaced an older model that I've used since the early 90's.

Fish didn't cooperate until nearly dark. As the water temp finally dropped a couple of degrees I caught four from 16-18 inches just before dark. Succesful fly was a black/red Seal Bugger and a black/red Beadhead Wooly Bugger.

A very nice change of pace.


Friday, September 7, 2007

Some Carp Surfing

No. That's not a new technique. I was just surfing the net and came across a nice carping video with a bit of a wrinkle. The wrinkle was using a partner to spot feeding fish. The video is called Carp, an Introduction. It's on a website called Great stuff. A description of this is on The Day Tripper Blog.