Every now and again, the urge to fly fish from my float tube takes hold. Fishing from a float tube is not only a pleasant summer diversion but also the only way to fish a backwoods lake where boat access is difficult or limited.
I've learned a few things over the years and was reminded of them again this summer. Maybe they'll help you too.
|Float tubes, like this White River Fly Shop Lost Lake Open Front Float Tube, help fly fishing water not accessible by a boat or foot.|
1. Take the right tackle. I take two fly boxes that fit easily into the storage pockets and load them with flies appropriate to the species and water so that I can fish a wide variety of situations. In lakes I tend to use a sink tip line so I don't bother with dry flies. If you are going to go with a floating line, however, have a few weighted flies like the Clouser minnow available so you can work deeper water too.
2. Longer fly rods are better for casting in float tubes. I use 9-footers.
3. Plan your fishing spot. Remember, you're not going to cover a lot of water in an outing (unless floating a river) so enter close to the water you want to cover and fish every spot thoroughly before moving on.
4. Then don't go far. Never venture too far from shore. I like to be able to get to shore quickly in case of a puncture.
5. Remember your kicker keepers. Make sure your flippers are attached to your ankles with kicker keepers. That way if they slip off for some reason, they aren't lost.
6. Pack the ping-pong paddles. Consider taking along a couple of ping-pong paddles which work well in emergency situations, should you need more propulsion.
7. Take advantage of the wind. Fish into the wind or light current in a lake so that you can use take advantage of these things on your return when energy levels are not as high.
8. Don't just cast. Casting is fun, but trolling in a float tube is very effective too.
9. Don't forget extra clothes. Have a change of clothing in your vehicle. You are going to get wet.
10. Protect your valuables. Place important things like wallets and cell phones in baggies or waterproof cases.
11. Make sure you're seen. Wear a blaze orange cap if your float tube isn't highly visible.
12. Watch the time. If you are planning to be out for four hours, start heading back to your spot at the two hour mark.
13. Protect your skin. Remember, you are low to the water and the sun will reflect off it severely. Take precautions against the sun.
14. Fuel your body. Take water and a snack too.
Float tube fishing is fun, but it takes planning. Do that, and you'll have summer memories that last a lifetime.