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Old 03-03-2019, 02:23 PM   #1
bosco
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First time ice out fishing advice

Going to pursue some iceout brookies this year for the first time. I have been strictly a stream guy for years. Should I worry to much about a float tube or canoe at first or stick to shore fishing for awhile? I will pack both gear and fly stuff. I have a few spots picked out to try and Iím looking forward to hopefully some solitude.
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Old 03-03-2019, 03:08 PM   #2
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Bosco, one feature of Adirondack ponds is that there are few places where you can effectively fish from shore. That's especially true if you are fly fishing. An effective Spring technique is casting into shoreline structure from a float tube or canoe.

Good luck getting started. Remember that nobody is an expert to start and everybody pays their dues in learning. And in the end, it's all about the journey!
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Old 03-03-2019, 04:04 PM   #3
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VT is correct Bosco. I started stillwater fly fishing a little over 2 years ago and own both a canoe and float tube. Which one is better? Neither. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. For small ponds a float tube is better but for larger bodies of water a canoe is better. It's harder to cast from a canoe and a real pain in the wind though (although Loch style fishing with a drag chute is looking promising). Then there's the spooking fish/stealth aspect. You get the point..

Enjoy the learning experience and subsequent journey. Pick a pond, hike in, and keep notes. Other than naming specific ponds the members on this forum will help you out. They did for me and I can't imagine doing any other type of fishing.

Best of luck!
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Old 03-03-2019, 07:32 PM   #4
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Thanks for reply guys. I figured the shore fishing would limit my success. Any advice on float tubes?
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Old 03-03-2019, 08:43 PM   #5
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If you search back through my posts you'll find an exhaustive comparison of float tubing vs canoeing.

If you get into backpacking, weight is king. But so is fish-ability. After looking at all the alternatives I have converged on the Outcast Trinity. It's pricey but this is a case where you buy the best and cry only once. It weighs around 6 lbs and compresses down really well.

I also have a Woods River that weighs less than half that. When I use it I suffer in two ways. Since it has a sling style seat, I'm down much lower. This inhibits casting and visibility. It's really rough in the Spring and late Fall because you're half in the water. Really cold water. Not doing that anymore...

The Trinity sits you up out of the water on an inflatable seat so you'er only immersed below the knee. The only pita about this tube is the small air valves. It takes longer than I want to get the air out.

I've had mine for about 15 years now and wouldn't do a backcountry pond any other way. People argue with me that a canoe is a faster vehicle and you're ready when you get there. True dat. But try sneaking up on a large brookie feeding in the shallows in a canoe. You can't cast and paddle at the same time. Most end up trolling as a result, which to me is a very unsatisfying way to fish.

So that's my curmudgeonly advice. All I can tell you with certainty is that it works for me. You may come to a different conclusion and that's just fine!
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Old 03-03-2019, 08:56 PM   #6
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And for the record, I disagree with Pauly. These pics is from a really big lake out west. You don't see canoes out there, only inflatables. Canoes would swamp in the wind and waves. Float tubes ride through all of it! The two red tubes are holding up my then teenage boys. They were able to navigate to shore easily an hour after that picture was taken and the weather blew in.
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Old 03-04-2019, 05:11 PM   #7
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Thanks for reply guys. I figured the shore fishing would limit my success. Any advice on float tubes?
You'll be well served with the outcast trinity as mentioned, I own one and can vouch for its utility. As a beginner to pond fishing though, I would strongly recommend at least considering an ultralight canoe. I don't wish to re-litigate the tube vs canoe arguments of years past but here are a couple things to consider. As a beginner, you may find it difficult at first to locate fish relying on casting alone. Despite some unwarranted criticism in certain circles of trolling flies it's an effective means of locating fish. Trust me, you will not want to be trolling for any length of time in a tube especially if its windy. I'm in pretty good shape and tube trolling pretty much locks up my legs after an hour or so, making for a less than enjoyable trip out of the pond later. Also, if you are staying on ponds with trailed access then a canoe is just as easy to transport as the tube with the proper carrying pack. Anything you want to fish that requires multiple portages is off limits with the tube unless you want to pack one in your canoe which is silly. Bushwhacking is another story and a deflated tube in a pack is best. Cost would be a strong factor in your decision as an ultralight canoe will cost 3-4x the tube but it will have much greater utility as a recreational craft in addition to fishing.
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Old 03-04-2019, 07:16 PM   #8
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Creekwader brings up a number of valid points and I can't say that I routinely out-fish him. So there you go, Bosco! More data, all your choice!
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Old 03-04-2019, 08:49 PM   #9
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I own a Trinity as well and it is an excellent float tube. I think VT suggested it and I took his advice. I enjoyed using it last year and it packs up nicely. The only drawback are the valves. They take forever to dump the air out of them by pressing in the stems and squeezing the tube. I have since figured out a way to suck all the air completely out within minutes using my pump. I will gladly share what I've learned with you if you decide to purchase one.

Reading the comments I agree that a canoe is suited for trolling which is how I started out. A float tube is much better for casting and holding position. It's a journey for sure. Enjoy!
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Old 03-05-2019, 11:24 AM   #10
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Aside from the leg fatigue already mentioned for tubes, and the nasty habit the wind has of shifting so you are always being pushed in the opposite direction of where you want to go, the deciding factor in the tube versus canoes debate has been getting in and out of the pond. I have seen very few Adirondack waters with those beautiful easy sloped ramp-like areas where you walk in, turn around and sit back and go to get in, and where that process is easily reversed for exit, like you see in the ads and videos. Usually you are dealing with a lot of mud and stick ups and other wader piercing hazards at the shore, and I had a very hard time with that with my tube. A Radisson, not so much.
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Old 03-05-2019, 06:00 PM   #11
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The only drawback are the valves. They take forever to dump the air out of them by pressing in the stems and squeezing the tube. I have since figured out a way to suck all the air completely out within minutes using my pump. I will gladly share what I've learned
Pauly, did you share this already? Would you do so again? I need a solution and didn't follow through last time.
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Old 03-05-2019, 06:09 PM   #12
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Aside from the leg fatigue already mentioned for tubes, and the nasty habit the wind has of shifting so you are always being pushed in the opposite direction of where you want to go, the deciding factor in the tube versus canoes debate has been getting in and out of the pond. I have seen very few Adirondack waters with those beautiful easy sloped ramp-like areas where you walk in, turn around and sit back and go to get in, and where that process is easily reversed for exit, like you see in the ads and videos. Usually you are dealing with a lot of mud and stick ups and other wader piercing hazards at the shore, and I had a very hard time with that with my tube. A Radisson, not so much.
Lucky-san: Wind will not endeavor to be your friend, whether you are in a canoe or tube. Except that it will disrupt the surface and makes the fish feel secure. The only way to deal with wind is to adopt a zen attitude. After many years of wind meditation you will find yourself using it to your advantage in some situations. In all others, you will have long ago accepted wind as an implacable force in the universe. It will cease to irritate you.
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Old 03-05-2019, 08:49 PM   #13
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Pauly, did you share this already? Would you do so again? I need a solution and didn't follow through last time.
VT this is what I did.

Go to Advance Auto and get a box of these vinyl vacuum caps. The black one is what you'll need. I measure a 3/8" ID and the OD is just under 1/2". I had these laying around the house and it just so happens the black one fits the inside of the float tube valve perfectly. These are meant to keep the valve open without needing to press with your finger.

https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/...Term=vinyl+cap

Cut the end off the cap



Stick the cap into the float tube valve far enough to depress the valve spring. It fits snugly enough from friction to keep the valve open to let the air out.



I have an Outcast double action pump like this one. It has both an "inflate" and "deflate" port for the hose. Plug the hose into the deflation port.

https://www.outcastboats.com/accesso...hand-pump.html



Then just connect the hose to the tube and pump away. It sucks all the air out of the tube completely. It only takes a few minutes and the tube packs really nice with all the air sucked out of it.

I have a couple of spare black vinyl caps that I can send you. PM me a mailing address and I'll be glad to get them to you if you want.
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Old 03-05-2019, 09:49 PM   #14
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Brilliant!!! PM sent!
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Old 03-06-2019, 10:21 AM   #15
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Lucky-san: Wind will not endeavor to be your friend, whether you are in a canoe or tube. Except that it will disrupt the surface and makes the fish feel secure. The only way to deal with wind is to adopt a zen attitude. After many years of wind meditation you will find yourself using it to your advantage in some situations. In all others, you will have long ago accepted wind as an implacable force in the universe. It will cease to irritate you.
Tru dat, but it will definitely still irritate your leg muscles!!
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Old 03-07-2019, 08:33 AM   #16
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I'm certainly not as up on things as these guys, but I have to ask if your waders can keep you warm enough at ice-out to wade out away from shore? I've seen guys do it and have done a little bit of it myself with spinning gear when the waters warm a little, especially around tribs. Get a lake contour map so you know your bearings.
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Old 03-07-2019, 10:56 AM   #17
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Many of the ponds I have fished do not have hard bottoms along shore, but rather a settled slurry of mud, organic material and detritus that has collected from the trees lining the shore, so what appears to be only a foot or so deep is actually a lot deeper before you get a solid purchase with your boot. If the bottom were solid, like many areas of Moss Lake, or from the pictures I've seen, Sand Lake in the five ponds, then a pair of neoprenes would keep you nice and toasty wading, but I've seen few ponds with those solid, debris free bottoms. A lot of the ponds I frequent only really have one or two spots where you can even get to the shore because the surrounding forest is so thick, and a lot are bog ponds where it can be hard to tell where the land ends and the pond begins. You see a lot of pictures of Don Wharton, one of my favorite Adirondack writers, fishing from rocks and logs in his books, you basically improvise a way to get out from under the canopy to cast. And fly tackle is next to useless unless you have a boat.
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Old 03-08-2019, 08:40 PM   #18
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Thanks for all the great info guys. I have a few pond/lakes picked out that I’m looking forward too exploring. I’ll probably go the float tube route to start. I guess I better get busy and order one. I think spring finally might be thinking about making an appearance. I’ll let you know how I make out.

Thanks
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Old 03-08-2019, 09:51 PM   #19
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Thanks for all the great info guys. I have a few pond/lakes picked out that Iím looking forward too exploring. Iíll probably go the float tube route to start. I guess I better get busy and order one. I think spring finally might be thinking about making an appearance. Iíll let you know how I make out.

Thanks
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Old 03-08-2019, 11:56 PM   #20
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Ice-out fishing seems to be something guys either do really well with and I know others who think its not all that it's cracked up to be.

Anyone have any suggestions as to characteristics that may make one pond a better ice-out pond than another?

How about ice-out techniques?
Just got my canoe last season so I'm fairly new to the backcountry pond scene.
I figure I'll just be stripping and trolling woolly buggers to find the fish like I normally do.
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