So yes I picked up a new Towee Calusa!
It will serve as the R&D skiff for SmithFly and if this interestes you, please follow along I will posting reviews of it’s performance here as I test it out on the varied waters that I fish. Carp flats in michigan, salt flats across the south, smallmouth rivers, steelhead rivers, Musky water both flat and riverine… so year it’s going to get a work out. Stay tuned.
One of the more frustrating parts of a new piece of gear that you’ve been waiting on is the time that elapses between the delivery and the first time on the water. Those few days where you can’t fish but YOU REALLY WANT TO.
I had a few days of that but FINALLY last Sunday after two bluegrass gigs, a baseball game, a grage sale, a karate tournament and the revolting obligation to cut the grass I was able to get the new boat on the water.
It was a small pond near the house. Not trophy water but water nonetheless.
It was just me and my son.
I backed it down the gravel boat ramp and it floated like a dream in merest hint of water. Extra skinny. We beached it and rigged up.
I do not yet have the rowing frame so I planned on paddling with SUP type paddle. The water was flat calm with not much wind a little drizzle of rain here and there and not a person in sight.
We paddled out, my son paddling in the front seat and me standing in the back on the floor.
It tracks well and is a bit slower than a canoe. It’s very steady, standing is not a problem at all, even when my son switched from one side to the other to paddle. Both of us could stand up no problem.
The pond is deep and gets weedy in the summer.
We paddled into the water that is NOT accesible to the shore fishing we’ve done at this pond. It’s largely a large mouth pond. I had a popper rigged on an 8WT, probably overkill but I love that 8WT.
My son used his four weight with an un-named experimental deer hair fly I tied; he likes those kinds of things.
He reclined and enjoyed the silence. I fished and paddled.
He grew bored of the fishing and volunteered to be my trolling motor; a cooperative deal we worked out on a tippy tandem kayak last year on Beaver Island last year. He likes to paddle. He’s a good kid and makes much better company than an actual trolling motor.
The evening was drawing to a close I was watching the time to make sure we still had some daylight for first take out — with as many variables as there are in figuring out the logistics of a new boat, adding “darkness” to the equation seemed like a bad idea. That and the gates to the pond close at sunset, so we might be locked in.
We headed for the ramp booth paddling in the silent water. The only sound the dripping of the water from our paddles and the mysterious sound of a gaggle of ducklings slurping water near shore.
The goal of the evening was to “Get the Boat on the water” not necessarily “Catch Fish” but if we did encounter a fish that’s a bonus. It’s early spring. Our water isn’t quite ready for a serious largemouth bite, so I wasn’t expecting much. A big blank skunk would be fine. We got the boat wet.
That being said I picked up my rod to cast to a likely looking set of tree trunks that overhung the water. While it may be cliche, it felt like the perfect cast. It was 6″ from shore, likely looking structure, glass flat calm, and perfect fly turnover. It was longer than I’m used to casting. A tight loop, no messy fasle casting, just a good solid shot to drop the fly right where I was looking. Those kinds of casts don’t come often for me, so I was reveling in the moment when SUCK, the fly disappeared and my rod came alive.
Bonus, fish on!
I landed it in no time because I had on some mean tippet. SKUNK OFF of the TOWEE!!!
That felt good. My son had a blast and wanted som pics. Unfortunately I only had my phone and it’s focus feature decided to act goofy so my pics suck, but who cares.
We released the fish and headed for the ramp. Mission accomplished with a bonus de-skunk-a-fication.