I fished Rattlesnake Lake today on my Outcast Fish Cat Deluxe, i.e. a float tube. No luck at all, even though there were lots of rises. As I was taking out I was approach by a WDFW officer who asked to see my license and fly. No problem there, it was a very positive interaction and all was in order with both. Actually pleased to see that they are on the look out for poachers. But he did remind me that I needed a PFD on a float tube. I had thought that float tubes, inner tubes, mattresses, etc. were exempt from this, but he said that a float tube is a vessel because it can be used to get from point A to B. Not having the law in front of me, I didn't want to discuss it further, and he wasn't going to ticket me, it was just a friendly reminder. I checked the law, which I believe can be found here: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/WAC/default.aspx?cite=352-60 The relevant section is: (1) Vessels less than sixteen feet (4.9 meters) in length, and canoes and kayaks of any length, must have one Type I, II, or III PFD of the proper size for each person on board So, is a float tube a vessel? "Vessel" means every description of watercraft used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on the water, other than a seaplane. However, it does not include inner tubes, air mattresses, and small rafts or flotation devices or toys customarily used by swimmers. By this definition, a float tube is a means of transportation. The only question is the intent of the commas in the exemption above. I'm not trying to debate the merits of wearing a life vest. When I started fishing off the tube, I always wore a PFD because I didn't feel very confident without one. Not so much lately. I'm sure that most people that drown didn't intend to do, so I can't say that having one (and having it on) all the time is less safe. Although when I do find myself wearing one, I tend to be doing stupid things like wading water that's likely too high. Just wanted to pass on some first hand experience. My plan is to throw one behind the seat in the future.