Spending most of my fishing life sitting on top of the water it’s time to get in, get wet and eye level with the fish.
Finding a place to tube isn’t easy, a lot of time trawling the web and fishery websites can lead to dead ends. With tubing becoming more and more popular amongst anglers (just check out the BFTA – http://www.bfta.org.uk/) Anglers can fish over 40 UK reservoirs from a tube.
Hearing that float tubing was allowed on a local reservoir close to me I got on the case and found out how we can get on it. Tubing a few lakes previous it’s probably one of the most fun and exciting ways to fish, just being so close to the trout when it jumps or comes to the tube is a surreal feeling, it’s not like being eye level from the bank… Members of Aberdare And District Angling Association can tube the lake, so it was a half season members ticked for both Jonathan and me.
We’ve been a few times since purchasing the tickets but im not sure whether Jonathan enjoys sitting in what can only be described as a tractor tyre. Fishing has been tough the last few weeks due to the changing weather but we managed to locate some fish, not too far out, and work out a method which has taken quite a few of the quality, grown on trout.
A washing line technique with three small buzzer patterns, held up by a buoyant nymph on the point, suspender style, has been the main fish taker. Rising fish are suckers to the nymph, as it tries to break free through the surface fish take the opportunity of an easy meal. The buzzers work well on the droppers around the silty margins. Another thing i’ve found to be worth it’s weight in gold is changing nylon size, dropping from the usual 7 or 8lb fluorocarbon to a much thinner more supple 6lb grand max. Not only does it aid the movement of the fly but gives a thinner, less pronounced view.
Material available from flybox.co.uk
Our last trip was bank holiday Monday where the weather was dismal and the lake was void for anglers, except two who thought they were ducks, paddling around in floating boats with large flippers.
The above mentioned technique was the method for the day, with the overcast and rain-filled skies bearing down. Each break in the weather you’d see two or three fish break the surface, not enough to indicate dry fly action but enough to show they were up. I rigged the rod with one of Airflo’s new fly lines, 6ft fast intermediate mini tip, hoping the tip would cut through the surface dragging the flies behind and holding them at a constant two or three foot depth, with the suspended being the highest fly of all.
Drifting, well, not really drifting it’s more of a steady paddle to keep straight as the wind slowly pushes you down the bank the flies are cast along the contours of the bank, and worked back as they fall into position. The great thing about being in a float tube is that you can keep in direct contact with the flies be it top, bottom or along side the wind. By just changing position in the tube everything is kept straight an in contact.
A tightline is key when fish are moving, they don’t tend to swim far and almost lay stagnant until searching for food. The theory seemed to work as the slower I retrieved with a tight line the more takes I was achieving, although not all of them were sticking I managed to boat? land? Net a few.
From the pictures you can tell it was a long, wet day, by about 1pm we were already on our way home and didn’t want to keep the camera out for too long. But Jonathan and I were both satisfied after taking over 10 fish to the tubes in a couple of hours. Great fun, you should try it sometime.