First Time Float Tube Report

IHFISH

Active Member
WFF Supporter
In the spirit of broadening one's horizons during the quarantine, I studied up on stillwater fly angling and resolved to give it a shot. My first few trips out once things opened up were to rivers and the salt, but in due course a FishCat 4 and the necessary accessories arrived and it was time to go.

In keeping with the punfest on the SRC thread today, let's say I decided to go down a rabbit hole and celebrate my unbirthday on a well-known east King County lake. Being new to the lake game I rigged up a 5wt with the RIO CQS intermediate I normally use for beach fishing and my 3wt with its standard floating line. The game plan was to strip buggers and leeches on the 5wt and throw soft hackles on the 3wt if conditions seemed decent for it.

I got to the launch in the late afternoon and there were several folks out on the lake and another crew soaking marshmallows and powerbait at the launch. This being my maiden voyage in the FishCat, I was just excited not to trip over my fins or break a rod mounting up in front of the powerbait crew. They were friendly and wished me good luck . One of their girlfriends did almost land a glob of mallows and worms in my lap as I finned out, but it was definitely an accident.

I started out casting the bugger to some rises near the launch and was happy to bring in a 12" stocker pretty quickly. This got the attention of some young kids fishing from the dock in front of a log cabin style home so we chatted for a bit about the fishing in front of their place and various wooden boat projects their folks were working on. I dropped off a light olive bugger for them to try out. I missed a couple other trout in that vicinity and then things slowed down for a bit.

A few bugs started coming off and the swallows were swooping around, so I decided to throw some soft hackles. Not long after that a guy came by in another FishCat and mentioned that people were doing really well on soft hackles just down the lake so I headed over there. A guy in a kayak was indeed landing several fish and a little while later another stocker smashed one of my quarantine gray hackles. A picture of it would be imbedded here, but it broke off as I was digging out my camera. I tied on a another soft hackle and was about to head back to the launch when a bass grabbed it and bent the 3wt to the cork. It threw the size 12 hook on a big jump. Disappointing not to bring it in but it was definitely a lot of fun.

All in all a great first time out in the tube. As usual the wealth of information available via the search function was invaluable, as was Cordes and Kauffman's "Lake Fishing with a Fly" lent to me by @Rock Creek Fan. Here's the flies that had success; the gray SH is obviously a little worse for wear from it its encounter with the bass:

IMG-0228.jpg
 

Rock Creek Fan

Active Member
It is great that you are using information from various sources to expand your horizons on different places to fish as well as different techniques. It makes fishing a lot more fun as well as successful! I am also pleased you are utilizing the books I provided to help you in this regard. Fishing on a lake has certain tried and true techniques and Kaufmann put many of these in his books back in the day. Glad it helped you!

To go out on the first time in a float tube and catch fish - many of us are envious for sure! I know I am...

Keep going out and learn something every time you fish. It is a life long learning experience that I know you will enjoy - even when skunked (which happens).

BTW I did not loan you the books, all I asked is for you to 'pay it forward' for the same price I asked for them - zero - when you transfer the ownership to someone else. I believe helping others is full payment for such a great sport and lifestyle...
 

SquatchinSince86

Totally Unprofessional
Great report! There are some real gem lakes around to reward those who put in the time. Fall is great time also when fish get a little feral and a little chunkier. Not to mention alpine lakes you will want to hike into and explore.

Soft hackles, were killing it today for me as well.
 

Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
Congratulations! The float tube remains as my favorite floating device after some 50 years of using one (I made my 1st one; things have vastly improved over the years.).

I put-on my fins AFTER I'm seated in open-front design tubes. Makes getting into & out of the water much easier! I do have a collection of "entertaining" float tube maiden entries from back in the round tube days though . . .

Enjoy!
 

IHFISH

Active Member
WFF Supporter
BTW I did not loan you the books, all I asked is for you to 'pay it forward' for the same price I asked for them - zero - when you transfer the ownership to someone else. I believe helping others is full payment for such a great sport and lifestyle...
Yes indeed! I used the term "loan" as the books are not going to stay with me forever. There is probably a better way to say it though! In any event, they will passed on to someone else when the time is right just as you describe. Thanks again!
 

troutpocket

Active Member
Nice report! Float tubes are a unique experience. I sold off a collection of other boats to fund a drift boat but I kept my Supercat. Now you should research fish finders! Mine doesn’t find many fish but it gives me valuable information about depth, temp, slope, structure, weeds, flats, etc. I use that information to identify where fish are cruising and try to keep focus on working productive water.
 

wanative

Retired, gone fishin'
WFF Supporter
What a great report, thanks for sharing. I conjured an image of you where you say "This being my maiden voyage in the FishCat, I was just excited not to trip over my fins or break a rod mounting up in front of the powerbait crew." Well done.
Congrats on the successful maiden voyage.
I too bought a new float tube this year after digging my 30+ year old mouse chewed bass pro shop donut tube out of the shed finding it ruined.
I had a successful maiden voyage as well on Squalicum lake the day fishing reopened in Washington. :)
Earlier this week I went to another local for me lake and fished for several hours. I had lots of hits and short takes but could not hook one solidly.
Finally I had to do what everyone has to do but old farts like me do on a more frequent basis.
I finned into a secluded mini cove out view of other fishers and homes.
I looked around for prying eyes and finding none I eased my way out of the tube into the knee deep water. Now this is why they make zipper front waders.;)
That was easy. I pull the tube into position to get back aboard, while holding the tube steady with one hand on each side. Simultaneously I push down on the tube and on tiptoes I slide my rear end onto the seat.
Easy enough except for a small unforeseen issue. The seat is smooth vinyl and was wet causing my ass in wet waders to promptly slide into the knee deep water soaking my body from the shoulders down while my float tube is lazily floating away behind me.
:mad: Motherf*#!?er that 60 degree water is cold!
As fast as is possible for a 65 year old curmudgeon soaked to the bone with swim flippers on I regain a vertical stance. My tube is now 10 feet away and floating further away.
So being mindful of my flippers, the knee deep water and not wanting to go face plant horizontal I'm able to get to the tube before it got into water to deep to retrieve it.
It was a beautiful sunny day and the fish are biting. I decide to fish a while longer even though wet it wasn't that cold.
 

jamma

Active Member
In the spirit of broadening one's horizons during the quarantine, I studied up on stillwater fly angling and resolved to give it a shot. My first few trips out once things opened up were to rivers and the salt, but in due course a FishCat 4 and the necessary accessories arrived and it was time to go.

In keeping with the punfest on the SRC thread today, let's say I decided to go down a rabbit hole and celebrate my unbirthday on a well-known east King County lake. Being new to the lake game I rigged up a 5wt with the RIO CQS intermediate I normally use for beach fishing and my 3wt with its standard floating line. The game plan was to strip buggers and leeches on the 5wt and throw soft hackles on the 3wt if conditions seemed decent for it.

I got to the launch in the late afternoon and there were several folks out on the lake and another crew soaking marshmallows and powerbait at the launch. This being my maiden voyage in the FishCat, I was just excited not to trip over my fins or break a rod mounting up in front of the powerbait crew. They were friendly and wished me good luck . One of their girlfriends did almost land a glob of mallows and worms in my lap as I finned out, but it was definitely an accident.

I started out casting the bugger to some rises near the launch and was happy to bring in a 12" stocker pretty quickly. This got the attention of some young kids fishing from the dock in front of a log cabin style home so we chatted for a bit about the fishing in front of their place and various wooden boat projects their folks were working on. I dropped off a light olive bugger for them to try out. I missed a couple other trout in that vicinity and then things slowed down for a bit.

A few bugs started coming off and the swallows were swooping around, so I decided to throw some soft hackles. Not long after that a guy came by in another FishCat and mentioned that people were doing really well on soft hackles just down the lake so I headed over there. A guy in a kayak was indeed landing several fish and a little while later another stocker smashed one of my quarantine gray hackles. A picture of it would be imbedded here, but it broke off as I was digging out my camera. I tied on a another soft hackle and was about to head back to the launch when a bass grabbed it and bent the 3wt to the cork. It threw the size 12 hook on a big jump. Disappointing not to bring it in but it was definitely a lot of fun.

All in all a great first time out in the tube. As usual the wealth of information available via the search function was invaluable, as was Cordes and Kauffman's "Lake Fishing with a Fly" lent to me by @Rock Creek Fan. Here's the flies that had success; the gray SH is obviously a little worse for wear from it its encounter with the bass:

View attachment 240154
Sounds like a future addict but don't worry, we all got started that way. ;)
 

Bruce Baker

Active Member
Nicely written report. Thanks for sharing your first float tubing adventure. Glad you had a great time and caught some fish.
 

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