Float tubing the High Country.

Float tubing the High Country.
One thing I often think about when I am fishing the small lake in the high country is, ?Boy it would be nice to have a float tube on this lake.?   As chance would have it I tossed my Water Master from Big Sky Inflatables in the Jeep before heading out on a last minute trip this weekend.  The destination was a lake at just 10,150ft in elevation and fairly close to the road I would be traveling.
I made it to the campsite close to the lake late on Friday having left after work.  Set up camp and walked up to the lake to check it out.  I was seeing a lot of fish jumping the problem was they were just out of reach of my casts.  Walking the lake trying different areas I talked to a few other fishermen who were drowning some worms and tossing spinners.  They also were fishless and said they were shocked that I hadn?t caught anything on the fly rod.  One fisherman commented that the water had raised several feet in the last week as snow melt had picked up in the high country.  As the light was fading I walked back to camp to give it another go in the morning.

The next morning I was the first one at the lake this time I carried in the Water Master, which is a raft float tube hybrid.  Great for float fishing rivers as you can stand up in the hole to fish whenever you want and works well as a float tube on lakes.  I put on the waders and waded out to get an idea of what they wanted today.  After a few follows and a few bumps I was ready and pumped up the Water Master.

I fine tuned my fly selection and located the fish and began an unbelievable day of fishing.  I fished from 9 am to 5 pm and landed 87 trout and missed probably 50 or so.  Even without that number of fish it would still have been a very memorable day on the water.  Sitting in the middle of a calm lake at 10,000ft with a fly rod in my hand, a fish on the end of my line, and Mt Elbert in the background is a hard thing to beat.

If you get the chance I highly recommend bringing a float tube, raft, or canoe to a high country lake.  The added adventure and enjoyment will make it well worth it.  Lastly be safe, while this is highly enjoyable you need to be safe.  Water temps in the high country especially in the early season hover just over freezing and hypothermia can set in cast so wear a life jacket and an extra layer under your waders to stay warm and safe.
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