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FLOAT TUBE FISHING FORUM » Float Tubes, Pontoons and Related Equipment Discussions » Float Tube, Pontoon, and Equipment Related Discussions » Cumberland Maiden Voyage

Cumberland Maiden Voyage

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1 Cumberland Maiden Voyage on Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:16 pm

dayhut

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Junior
Junior
At long last I got the Cumbee out for a maiden voyage. It has been cool and rainy here in South Carolina and I’ve made no great haste to get everything together. Waders, fins, boots… I sort of pieced them together over the last few months. But things have finally turned the weather corner, with warming days and near tepid water temps. It was finally time to head to the lake, so last Friday I loaded up.

I picked a small cove I visit on occasion. It is out of the way of wind and boat traffic, and right off a main creek channel; it’s always possible a large fish will be there. I like it because it is easily accessed by road, too. This was a criteria of mine when moving to the float tube from larger vessels.

I half wish I could tell you this first trip was fraught with obstacles and worries, where I suffered from a long learning curve. But nothing is further from the truth. Thanks to some good planning (helped by everyone here!) and a very intuitive process with the tube itself, everything was fine.

I partially inflated the tube at home, and used my hand pump to add the finishing touches right in the back of the SUV. Fins in one hand, my bucket of “stuff” and fly rod in the other, I shouldered the tube and moseyed to the bank. No really, I moseyed. Smooth as pie.
I felt sort of clownish, and hoped no one was watching, but that’s it.

At the water, I stowed my gear, then donned the waders and fins. From there, it was just push the tube backwards a few feet with the rear of my knees, sit down and shove off – that’s it. It was anticlimactic, if I’m to be honest.

No heaving about.
No wobbling shimmies.
No instability.

I actually sat there for several minutes, listening… waiting, for something to go awry. Nothing did.
After listening to all the concerns and safety fears for the last 6 months, I thought the Float Tube Rescue Squad might spring from the woods at any minute. Can’t you see them, helicopters overhead, shouting and pointing?

“Red Alert – Red Alert! It’s a FLOAT TUBE! Someone is in a FLOAT TUBE!
PREPARE FOR ACTION!”


Soon I tired of waiting for them, and I just finned away from shore. I felt as safe in this thing as on shore watching TV.  

So, what about the fishing? In a word, it was a breeze; it’s just fishing from a floating lounge chair, after all. Cast, retrieve, change flies, hook up a fish, release, etc, etc. I think float tubes were first adopted by fly anglers, and for good reason. They are easy to maneuver and hands free – perfect for fly fishing.

The biggest trouble for the new fly angler after learning to actually cast is line handling. Your hands are always busy with adjusting line length, looping and coiling, stripping and mending… I know seasoned fly men who STILL manage to get themselves tangled up in their own line. But the float tube leaves your hands free for all that, and puts it right in your lap for easy management! It was glorious!

While the fishing was easy, I didn’t catch a lot of fish, in case you wondered. A couple nice bluegill, and plenty of little ones, per the usual. Usually a bass will crash the party at some point, but not this day. I didn’t see a single largemouth.

I DID see pods of gar swimming around, however, engrossed in what I imagine were mating rituals of some kind. These normally solitary fish gather together in Spring to do whatever procreating they’ve done for the last 160 million years or so. This is only rarely seen by anglers, since gar are normally retiring. But seeing them at rods length, while they were oblivious to me, was awesome.

Some geese were startled to see me and flapped away, honking in anger. A heron was not at all pleased with my presence, either. Usually they fly away at the first sign of a human, but this one seemed genuinely unsure what to do. I even crept up on some sunning  turtles – no easy feat, for those who know. Oh, yeah, the usual snake was seen, too, from three feet.
He slept in the branches of a downed tree - I kept moving along.

Im convinced the stealthy approach allowed by the tube made these things possible. I would not have seen half this stuff had I been clunking around in a kayak or sputtering motor boat.

Yeah, I think I’m gonna like this float tube business. Jeff, Lolly, wiseguy, Leo, and all the others  - thanks for talking me into it.

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2 Re: Cumberland Maiden Voyage on Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:43 pm

Jerdon

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Congratz on the first outing!!
Great report dayhut, thanks for sharing.


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3 Re: Cumberland Maiden Voyage on Mon Apr 27, 2015 10:26 pm

david886720


Junior
Junior
great first outing Very Happy

4 Re: Cumberland Maiden Voyage on Tue Apr 28, 2015 3:05 am

dayhut

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Junior
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:Congratz on the first outing!!
Great report dayhut, thanks for sharing.

It was my pleasure. I only wish my accursed iPhone was more cooperative with pictures. I have several more, but couldn't get them posted.

5 Re: Cumberland Maiden Voyage on Tue Apr 28, 2015 6:08 am

bigfish

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Junior
Junior
Welcome to the club! Isn't it the coolest experience ever? I too love how stealthy a Float Tube is. I still find myself remarking about how I would never have got so close in any other craft. I tried fly fishing from a pontoon and a kayak and hated it. But the moment I tried it from a float tube I knew they were made for each other!

Nice report! Keep 'em coming!

6 Re: Cumberland Maiden Voyage on Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:47 am

dayhut

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Junior
Junior
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:Welcome to the club! Isn't it the coolest experience ever? I too love how stealthy a Float Tube is. I still find myself remarking about how I would never have got so close in any other craft. I tried fly fishing from a pontoon and a kayak and hated it. But the moment I tried it from a float tube I knew they were made for each other!

Nice report! Keep 'em coming!

I used to have a Hobie Mirage Drive kayak - the OTHER hands free option. That was sweet, and I'm sometimes sorry I sold it.
Then I remember how heavy it was and the involved transport required to get it anywhere.

Not having the money to buy another, the float tube is the only hands free alternative I'm aware of.
Its single drawback is the lack of "legs" - you aint going far, and you aint gettin' there fast. But that is a benefit, if you choose to accept it:

You are forced by the nature of the system to slow down and work thoroughly.

There's a very real chance that you can catch MORE fish from a float tube than from faster, more mobile platforms.

7 Re: Cumberland Maiden Voyage on Tue Apr 28, 2015 4:42 pm

fishn bum


Newby
Newby
Thumbs Up Congrats on getting out on the water I'm sure you will have lots of great days ahead
Thumbs Up Dennis

8 Re: Cumberland Maiden Voyage on Tue Apr 28, 2015 6:00 pm

dayhut

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Junior
Junior
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:Thumbs Up   Congrats on getting out on the water I'm sure you will have lots of great days ahead
                            Thumbs Up Dennis

Thanks Dennis.

9 Re: Cumberland Maiden Voyage on Tue Apr 28, 2015 6:20 pm

LoadedDiablo

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Newby
Outstanding write up DayHut. I'm anxiously waiting for my first tube(Cumberland as well) to show up on my door step. Your report definately helped put my first time jitters aside....sadly now this short wait I have is now gonna feel like an eternity. I Can't wait to get out on the water now!!!


10 Re: Cumberland Maiden Voyage on Tue Apr 28, 2015 6:51 pm

dayhut

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Junior
Junior
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:Outstanding write up DayHut. I'm anxiously waiting for my first tube(Cumberland as well) to show up on my door step. Your report definately helped put my first time jitters aside....sadly now this short wait I have is now gonna feel like an eternity. I Can't wait to get out on the water now!!!


Wow I'm honored to be the subject of your first post.

Just relax and double check your gear. If you need a checklist, I have one.
Lemme know if you want a copy.

11 Re: Cumberland Maiden Voyage on Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:45 am

Tony G Fishing

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Moderator
Great write up dayhut and congrats on your maiden voyage....thanks for sharing! Very cool report....gets u all fired up just reading this.....

Thanks tony g


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