Patricia C. Pothier

Float Tube Magic - A Fly Fishing Escape

Reviewed by Martin Joergensen

Hi fellow lovers of books and float tubes,

Once again it's a short one on a narrow subject:

  • Float Tube Magic - A Fly Fishing Escape
  • Patricia C. Pothier
  • Published by Frank Amato Publications, Portland Oregon 1995
  • ISBN 1-878175-91-2
  • Price: US$ 15.95
At first this book seems longer than Ken Hanley's book on surf fishing that I reviewed here a while back, but page number reveal the fact: This is another 50 pages book.

Like Hanley's book it deals with a narrow subject. This time it's float tubing. It's a basic book, that treats the subject from the bottom: considerations before buying, selecting a tube and other equipment, getting 'on board', strategies and much more. On top of that comes a more general section on trout food and flies.

Almost everything refers to tubing in stillwater. Both in text, pictures, strategy and fly selection this is a book on fishing for trout in lakes. I know this is the predominant way of using the tube in the US, but broadening peoples horizon on the subject, might not be such a bad idea.

Even so the book has its patrs with hints and tips on how to use the tube properly. The strategy chapter is well worth reading, and emphasizes the places where tube fishing differs from wading or boat fishing. It shows some techniques to find that special spot holding fish that great mass of water, and also tells how to cast and retrieve.

The following chapter has nothing to do with tubing. It deals with the fish and their environment. Somehow I think this subject has been covered elsewhere, and it shouldn't need to be repeated here. The same thing goes for the chapter on trout food. The fly chapter contains some interesting patterns, but nothing really new. No "Float Tube Magic Fly".

I miss a chapter on maintaining and repairing tubes. Also some more considerations on O- vs. U-shape and price/quality levels. There are a lot of tubes out there, and especially when mail ordering it can be difficult to see through the specifications and understand what there is to buy. The same thing apply to fins. The Force fins are mentioned, but considerations on straps/strings, booted/open fins, using fins and wading boots are not mentioned in detail. These are aspects that typically will show up after having used a tube for a while and having seen how others do. The experienced author ought to give this sort of information.

Also I miss some thoughts and advice about fitting stuff on the tube: rod holders, nets, tying things to the tube and more. There's a small part on using the pockets in stead of a vest, but I miss the arguments for this. I still use my vest and hate when things bulge the side pockets.

I won't recommend this book to the first time tuber. I actually won't recommend it to the more seasoned tuber either. It covers too little of importance in both camps. It's too unfocused and too non-homogenous.

It does contain some beautiful pictures, but unfortunately they are set up in a lay out that's a wee bit too colorfull and messy to suit my taste.

Others may like and learn from it.


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