The Blue Quill Float Tube Classes have been a blast! We started out with three classes over the last three weeks and about 12 clients. It has been a great experience as a guide to learn how to guide float tube trips. I have learned from clients on how to best get 20 years of experience fly fishing from float tubes out to them more effectively. I don’t know how many clients we had tell us fly fishing from float tubes is the way to go. Everyone seemed to really enjoy the experience. It’s kinda one of those things until you try it, you won’t know how awesome it really is. I will share with you a little about the classes and give you a little window into the completely different world of fly fishing from a float tube.
First off, I would like to tell you guiding from a float tube is no joke! Jerry Vigil my fellow guide and best friend summed it up best after our first class, “Holy shit I’m tired!” my response was ” Hardest damn day of guiding I have ever had!” There are many reasons for this and I won’t boar you with all the details, but in a float tube you will be kicking around a lot and guiding on float tubes you can times that by about fifty! So, in other words, you work your ass off. I must admit though it is probably the most fun guiding I have done. There is something special to fly fishing from float tubes and I feel that our students in the classes got to experience this.
We had some issues with the lake we where going to originally use so we changed locations and Hidden Valley Lake in the Troublesome Valley was a fantastic host. A big thank you to Dean Billington at troublesomeflyfishing.com for letting us host our classes at the lake. It is a fantastic venue that allowed us to teach many different techniques and apply all the different methods of fly fishing from a float tube. You really can’t ask for a better place to fly fish from a float tube it’s a real gem!
We moved the classes to a one day class witch really packs a lot of information in one day. Something we will have to think about. The class starts off with a classroom setting by the water going through a hand out. Jerry and I and the guys at the shop will really have to work on putting detail into those hand outs. It’s part of the process with a new class working through what is great and what needs work and the hand outs are at the top of the list. The equipment the shop provided for the class is nothing short of fantastic. Everyone in the class got their own boat bag to use, the equipment included; Outcast Float tube, K-Pump, Outcast Force Fins, and Outcast PFD. The equipment performed beautifully and all the students really enjoyed working with it.
The on the water part of the class started with learning about safety and what you can and can’t do in a float tube. Working the tube and using fins was the next part in the class. I will tell you if you haven’t worked a float tube with fins on your feet it’s a real experience. Everyone ended up doing great and we even had some days with a little wind so everyone got some great practice at using those fins. As far as the rest of the class goes it was fishing time. Jerry and I gave them the kitchen sink, as far as, techniques different methods of fly fishing from a float tube and how to apply them to different situations the lake will throw at you. Hidden Valley Lake really produced and the students got to experience playing and landing fish from a float tube. If you haven’t done this it’s a whole other deal in a float tube compared to landing fish on land.
As I look back on these first classes all and all I think they went pretty well. Jerry and I both have things we will change and talk over but the first three went really well. We had great students that gave us a bunch of feed back and most of all they showed us they where having fun with their enthusiasm and excitement. That is the key to this class for Jerry and I, to show the students something totally different in the fly fishing world. To me being out on a float tube is very freeing if you know what I mean. You have an endless amount of options and techniques. You can get out and away from others and the opportunities to catch fish that most people will never see. Fly fishing from a float tubes on still waters is where it’s at folks! Give it a shot I’m pretty sure you will not be disappointed.
In closing, Jerry and I are thinking about adding some more classes to this years lineup. Maybe a class or two more for trout and one class on a warm water lake going after bass and pan fish on a fly rod from a float tube. If you are interested give the shop a call 3036744700. Hope you enjoyed this quick look into our Float Tubing Classes and if you have any questions or comments please let me know.