That was absolutely awesome!

So the day finally dawned on not only the first trip out of the year but also the first time using a float tube. The temp was hovering around 5 degrees and did actually hit 3 as I went up and over the Dukes pass towards the destination. Alex wanted to meet at 5am however I voted for a more sedately 9am start due to a severe lack of sleep the night before. When we got to our chosen loch we quickly got the tubes set up – Alex had to have a bit of help due to obviously not trying to put his up whilst drunk however all was good.

Quite frankly we all looked like an advert for Snowbee as we all had the same tubes, it was only when we compared stuff we received did I realize that the straps needed  to carry the tube a greater distance was not included with mine. It was not an issue today however would be in the future, I will fire them off an email in the morning.

Seeing as how I was the main driving force behind us buying these tubes I took it upon myself to be the first person in the water. It may have been better to have someone with us who knew what the hell they were doing however we decided that YouTube videos was just as good.

I put all the stuff together and started to back into the water – the one thing I remembered was that you always walk backwards, I found out why later.

Thankfully nobody made wide load noises as I crept back.

Thankfully nobody made wide load noises as I crept back.

I kinda felt that the moment called for something more serious and somber than us all laughing as we got in the water, Jim Burns seemed to be the most organised.

The 2nd time?

The 2nd time?

Alex actually had two times getting into the water, the first time he fannied up putting on his flippers, turns out that was the least of his problems.

Jim Burns - like a giant duck with a mustache!

Jim Burns – like a giant duck with a mustache!

Jim took to the tube like a, well like a duck to water basically. As I was still trying to work out how to actually get things moving he was having a few exploratory casts into the margins for the Pike. I mean, when they tell you the movement is like cycling backwards it is actually quite hard to do it imagine it.

Did I tell you we were fishing for Pike?

Other folk were out having a bash at trout however I just do not see the point at the moment. Saying that the Kelvin may have fished well today with the good temps. Anyway, we were after a massive female Pike however sadly none were forthcoming.

Bobbing along.

Bobbing along.

One of the things I like was the fact that I managed to move so slow along that my fly was moving at a nice speed for any fly that did not want to expand too much energy to engulf it. Casting was easy and i did not feel that anything was going to get lost overboard because of the massive side pockets. I was comfy in the lifevest and my feet were not too cold. I was wearing a pair of thermal long johns and lined walking trousers and was warm enough.

Disaster struck at half time when both of Alex’s flippers snapped off as he was getting out of the water.

Both flippers snapped!

Both flippers snapped!

Alex has no idea how this happened however thought he might have taken a step forward. He then tried to set fire to his car with a stove however saved the day with some sausage, bacon and black pudding doublers.

Jim and I went back the water for a quick hour while Alex headed up the road to scour Ebay for new flippers. As our legs were getting sore and the Pike were not playing ball we headed off the water at around 3pm. I did have some video of the event and I may post that at another time. It is interesting as I am now thinking of past venues that may be suitable and am coming up with lots of places that may be interesting.

Watch this space.



I really enjoy reading your comments - say something!

  1. colin wilson · March 23, 2014

    lovely pics, Taimen look worth a look for new flippers.

  2. Dennis Nazarenko · March 23, 2014

    Thanks for the post – reminded me of my first experiences in a float tube. The water here is still extremely hard but I’m looking forward to the upcoming float tube season and your post was a good primer.

  3. Daragh Browne · March 23, 2014

    I’m no pro but here’s a good tip I received… tie your fins on or use fin retainers. They can work loose during a day afloat or can get stuck in thick mud.

  4. Alistair · March 23, 2014

    Just bought myself some Fin retainers – that was a good shout about that!

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