Thursday, March 13, 2014

I'm Not Putting The Float Tube Cumberland In There

Like I said last time I wanted to launch at Lake Amador and cruise for some of their Donaldson (Cutbow) Trout.

Since it is fairly close I left when my wife headed for work (0745 or there abouts) which put me at the lake around 0830. As I drove across the dam, well you can see in the picture below how low the lake was.   
Lake Amador
Over on the opposite side, behind the dock and behind that little hill is the launch ramp. Before I committed myself to paying more bucks than Camanche I drove down to the bottom of the launch ramp. There was debris everywhere and the water was almost the color of root-beer. If you were putting in a boat, I didn't see a problem, but I wasn't putting any part of my anatomy in that water. And as you know, in a float tube a good portion of that anatomy ends up in the water especially your posterior. Sorry it kind of grossed me out even if I do wear chest waders. .

Plan B was to head out to New Melones and launch there, BUT since it was already 0845, by the time I drove the hour and a half out there (I usually leave at 0700 not 0745) it would be almost time to turn around and come back. I opted for Lake Camanche. Besides it's a lot cleaner.

Since I didn't have anything to lose, I headed for the South Shore Trout Pond. Took me 15 minutes to get there. I know I've moaned and complained about the Trout Pond, but it does have a couple of pluses.

First is where I launch. As you can see in the picture below, it's only about 20 feet from where I parked. The edge is a foot deep and you can sit down and put on your flippers  in comfort.

Trout Pond
Second, the water is really clear. You can see the bottom at around 10 feet.

Third, if the wind came up, it could only blow me across the pond which isn't all that big instead of blowing me up Jackson Creek (Lake Amador) which is about 35 miles from launch.

More Trout Pond
 I launched, tied on a Thin Mint, and flippered around the pond. After one circle I changed to a J. Fair Wiggle Tail. I started getting hits right away, but nothing would stay hooked. I think, and this is only a guess, that the fish were hitting the tail of the fly and not getting enough of it to get hooked. If you're familiar with the Wiggle Tail, the tail is about three times as long as the hook shank.

After a half hour of missing hits, I went back to the Thin Mint. Now the others that were catching, were using an olive Wooly Bugger. Did I bring any? OK, you know the answer to that.  I'm not going there.
And more Trout Pond
Finally........ I did hook one and it was quite a fighter. It took about three minutes to get it into the net and once I snapped a couple pictures, got it back into the water, but had to move it around to get it going again. I didn't want to take the time to measure it, but an educated guess would be 15 or 16 inches. Kind of a tubby little thing.  


Same fish, other side
It may not have been a stellar day, but it was warm, the sun was shining, there was little if any wind, and there was actually some fish biting. I under stand that yesterday was stellar. A friend of Yuki's said he caught 27. A guy on the bank said he caught 15 yesterday. I, on the other hand, cleaned up after the storm. Probably should have gone fishing, but it probably wouldn't have been the Trout Pond.


  1. Those famous words, You should have been here yesterday! I'll take a slow day on the chance that everyone is pulling my leg.

  2. I would love to put my tube in that pond. Just the right size for me and that is a fat, beautiful Rainbow. In yesteryear, I didn't mind fishing the bigger lakes and paddling forever. Nowadays, I like the small lake/pond plan. For what is is worth, Saturday should be "Wildwood Special" day!

  3. Mark
    This tube fishing in clear water out that way would be a blast, especially in the summer months, when you would want to cool off. The fight that trout put up would have made my trip. What weight and length rod were you using? This place would be one of my go to lakes with the tube. The crystal clear water is a big plus. thanks for sharing

    1. Hi Bill. I use a 8'6" 6wt with intermediate sinking line in the lakes.

  4. That is a gorgeous fish, congratulations man!

  5. No waders? I would have gone in there no problem. There is a difference between pollution and muddy water.