Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Rebirth Of The Float Tube Cumberland

Picked up Yuki at the Wells Fargo parking lot in San Andreas, loaded his kayak into the truck, and headed to Starbucks in Angels Camp for coffee and a couple of crumb cakes.

Our plan for the day was to either launch the Float Tube Cumberland into White Pines Lake in Arnold or Lake Alpine further up the hill. Neither happened.

We took a sharp right at the road that went to Spicer Meadows Reservoir and a left to a lake called Union Reservoir (no, not the Union Valley Reservoir up by Icehouse).

When I left the house, the Float Tube Cumberland was almost completely deflated. We had to stop before Union because I thought the bladders were going to pop. Altitude increased the air in the bladders so much it made them like a very full balloon. On the way home, I let out a little air and by the time I got there, the bladders were like a wet noodle. Very dramatic difference between 1000 ft (Home) and 6600 ft. (Union Reservoir).  

Started out from where I took the next three pictures and flippered over in the direction of the dam.
Across the cove

The dam on the far side

The rest of the lake
I used my 9' 6wt. with a Thin Mint to start. Later I tried a big black Wooly Bugger and the pink/black one. I got what I think was one tap on the way over, but the rest of the trip was for nada. Yuki in his kayak trawled night crawlers and Kastmasters. He didn't get anything either all though when he reeled in the crawler line, it was empty, but he never noticed any hit. 

Nice and calm

Way out there
Around 11:00 and just like Silver Lake, the wind (that the weather guessers said wasn't supposed to be any) started to pick up. Since I was way over there (see photo) I decided to make a dash to the launch side. Now, at my last yearly checkup with my doctor, he said I should walk 2 miles a day. I figure I flippered enough getting across the lake that I should be good for at least two weeks (that would be 28 miles). Across the lake is a hell of a long way when you're fighting the wind the whole way.

Getting a little bouncy
But you'll be pleased to know that I made it and started towing the float tube back to launch. Sorry, but I was flippered out. For the last hundred yards or so, I tied the FTC to Yuki's kayak and let him tow it back. I was done in. Did we get any fish for all that effort? Nope.

Loaded up and headed to Lake Alpine (see photo's on the July 20th post) and set up a little West of where we were that day. Too many people swimming in the previous place. I put out two lines with rainbow Power Bait and Yuki put out one with rainbow Power Bait and one with a crawler.

Then the biting started. I took first blood, the caught the second one. Then Yuki caught one on the rainbow Power Bait. Then I caught three more. We wrapped it up at 3:00 with five on the stringer that Yuki took home. It ended up pretty good for a day that started out fishless. 

AND, the Float Tube Cumberland is baaaaack.


  1. First off your a strong man drinking Starbucks, but the crumb cakes sort of take the edge off.
    Funny how the bite can turn on after so long without action.

    1. Keep in mind that we fished two different lakes. First Union (nothing) then Alpine (much better)

  2. Alan
    Just to be out in the tube would be enough for me, especially on those mountain lakes. Have you thought about using the Power Bait while tube fishing, might be interesting. Yes I think I would forget the walks on days when I am tubing.

    1. Hi Bill. When I'm tubing, all I take (usually) is flies. Although, since we can use two poles, dragging PB might not be a bad idea.

  3. Mark
    Senior moment---got your name wrong, not Alan, but Mark

    1. Not a problem, I've been called worse. On the other hand, didn't notice. Must have been a Senior Moment too.

  4. I'm glad to hear the Float tube Cumberland is back in service. I would imagine that there was a Starbucks christening?

  5. Very happy to hear your float tube is back!!! Looking forward to hearing about more outings with it.

  6. Happy Birthday Mark! You're the Leader of the Pack. (of geezers)

    1. Thanks Buddy. I do hold the Senior Geezer spot.