Fishing Tips

from Women’s Fly Fishing Net

Guest Articles from Pudge Kleinkauf at 
Women’s Fly Fishing Net Tips
added 3/21/05

On the Water Etiquette

by Pudge Kleinkauf

We’re all quick to recognize impolite, rude, or discourteous behavior on the water. The folks who bring their boom-box and set it on the bank blaring away, or the angler whose dog barks loudly and then bounds into the water every time someone gets a fish on are as disturbing as the angler who wades right into the pool you’re fishing or gives you so little space that his or her cast crosses yours. So, here’s some suggestions about proper on-the-water behavior to help you set a good example.


  • Always give an angler already in the water the right of way. That rule goes whether you’re floating or walking the bank. Try to move on up-river, if possible. Never intrude in front of another angler. Ask if you can enter the pool or run he or she is fishing, and if given permission, always enter up-river of the other angler, giving that angler plenty of space.
  • Take your line out of the water for an angler that has a fish on to give that person plenty of space to land the fish. This rule holds especially true if you’re fishing down river of the other angler. Never move into another anglers space while they are on the bank landing or releasing a fish.
  • Be quiet on the water. (Leave your radio and your dog at home). Not only do you want to preserve the peace and quiet of the river or the lake to avoid spooking the fish, but you also want to avoid disturbing other anglers. People are incredibly unaware of how sound carries over water.
  • Be willing to help out another angler. Whether it’s retrieving something of theirs that is floating down the river or lending them some tippet material, a friendly attitude makes the day more pleasant for all.

Now, having said all of the above, I must also advise women to be assertive when on the water. It’s o.k. to say to someone whose intruding right in front of you, “excuse me, but I’m fishing here. Will you move on, please?” Or to ask, “will you please take your line out of the water for a few minutes so we don’t get tangled while I land my fish?”

All too often women who are reluctant to speak up are taken advantage of by other, more aggressive anglers. If you’re the first angler in the pool or the run, you do have the right to expect that others will behave courteously to you on the water, and it’s o.k. to ask them to do so. Everyone has a better experience when we all follow some simple rules of common courtesy. Some people just need a small reminder.

Articles Reprinted with permission from Pudge Kleinkauf.
For the finest in women’s’ fly fishing resources visit the Women’s Fly Fishing Net.

 Why I Still Prefer My Float Tube

by Pudge Kleinkauf

Lots of women ask me why I still use a float tube when there are so many other more sophisticated personal water craft on the market now. Although I’ve tried the u-shaped, v-shaped, and pontoon designs, for the still waters where I fish, I keep going back to the basic tube. As I’ve done so, I’ve constantly tried to analyze why. Here are some of the reasons.

The original attraction of the u-boat design was that a flyfisher could just back up and sit down instead of having to try to step in and out of a tube with fins on. But, actually, it’s not that big a deal to get in and out of a float tube. You just put it on over your head. Sure, it’s going to be wet when you get out of the water, but I don’t think that’s reason enough to avoid using it.

What’s more important than the in and out, however, is the way one device or another performs for the flyfisher. It’s probably a strictly personal reaction, but I believe I get a better, more powerful kick in the float tube than in any other design. Being fairly short, I find I sit back too far and too deep in most of the seats on the u-boats and too high off the water in the seats on the pontoon boats. As a result, I can only kick from the knee down rather than from the hip down, as I can in my float tube.

Kicking from the hip in my float tube, I have the strength and power of my full leg extension when I want it or need it and can achieve much more “push” in the water than when kicking only from the knee. In my tube, I have both options, but in the larger units, I’m restricted to just a knee kick.

Generally, I also find the larger water craft more work to propel. Perhaps it’s because I’m not a 200lb (or even a 150lb) guy, but I seem to have to work a lot harder when I’m trolling in something other than my float tube.

And maybe it’s just psychological, but I also like the security of having the tube completely surround me. I realize that, because of their width, the u-boats and pontoons are probably even more stable in the wind than a tube, but I just feel safer in a tube when the gusts come up. That width is probably also a plus for someone who is heavier or taller than I am and who may feel they need more room than the “donut hole” in a tube provides. But that’s not an issue for me.

The fact that I’m surrounded by the tube also enables me to lean on the front while I’m patiently waiting for a fish to find my chironomid, or while I’m trolling. I don’t find that as easy to do in a u-boat.

Since I often take my clients tubing on lakes that require some hiking to get to, ease of transport is also of concern to me. A float tube is much more manageable for most women to pack in, as opposed to the larger craft. And, when hiking, people who are short often find that the tips of an inflated u-boat or the pontoons are nearly touching the ground or dragging in the brush along the trail as they hike. That’s not a problem with a tube.

Because they’re smaller and lighter, tubes even fit into a backpack if that makes transport easier. Now that most manufacturers make urethane bladders for the float tubes, as well as for the fancier models, the weight of the float tube has been greatly reduced. This, too, makes transporting the tubes extremely easy. When we go fly-in float tubing, it’s a piece of cake to deflate the tubes and then re-inflate them on site with only a foot pump. And deflated, lots more float tubes will fit in a small plane than any of the larger options.

When all is said and done, one’s choice of water craft is a very personal decision. Even though some of my friends acknowledge the advantages of float tubing, they have yet to give up their canoes. Lake fishing with a fly is most enjoyable when done from a water craft that’s right for you, and for me, that’s a float tube.

Articles Reprinted with permission from Pudge Kleinkauf.
For the finest in women’s’ fly fishing resources visit the Women’s Fly Fishing Net.