Floating Through Summer
I had forgotten just how enjoyable it is to fish a lake from a float tube. I’ve had mine for thirty years, but a decade or so ago, I switched to a pram, mostly for the convenience of staying dry and also being able to stand and thus see and cast a longer distance. A recent invitation from a group of friends to fish a tiny impoundment, however, gave me the impetus to dig my float tube out of storage.
At the lake’s edge, I wadered up, slipped on swim fins, then hoisted the tube around me and carefully entered the water. Quickly, I was deep enough to begin finning, and quickly, too, I rediscovered what I had been missing. A float tube gives the angler an intimacy, equaled only by wading, with the place being fished. You’re submerged belly-deep, suspended from a seat that allows an easy casting stroke, with insects and rise forms extraordinarily visible on the water’s surface. And on a hot summer day, there’s no better way for a fly fisher to beat the heat than by getting into
This season of drought, I’ll be spending much of my time on lakes. Depending upon the character of the water and who I’m with, I’m angling from a pram, a canoe, and yes, a float tube. All of these watercraft have their particular benefits (and flaws), but it’s my humble, sun-bleached-from-many-seasons float tube that I’m particularly looking forward to using.
Emergency Closures Possible This Summer
In late June, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife was given authority to temporarily close fisheries experiencing degraded environmental conditions that may affect fish populations. According to the CDFW, decisions to close specific fisheries will be based upon criteria that include “water temperature, dissolved oxygen levels, fish passage, water levels, and fish population size.” The CDFW warns that “afternoon and evening water temperatures may be too warm to ensure fish being released will survive the stress cause by warmer water” (for trout, water temperatures above 70 degrees). The department will update its list of closed waters by 1 P.M. each Wednesday. Visit https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Regulations for closures or phone (916) 445-7600.
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