Monthly Archives: December 2012

Float-Tube Fun

I have recently been fly fishing lakes from a float tube. This inflatable water craft is best described as a tractor tube with a seat fitted. However, they are much more sophisticated than that, being purpose-built as a fishing platform. The float tube comprises two separate bladders that surrounds a built-in seat.  Propulsion is provided by the angler kicking away with swim fins fitted.

These are very stable and comfortable. I think the rated load is in excess of 130kg! I certainly do not feel concerned about taking my DSLR out on my tube.

Casting is surprisingly still fairly straight forward despite that you are sitting just above water level. Two main fly fishing methods deployed are:

1. Fishing a team of “buzzer” flies under an indicator using a floating line.

2. Fishing a “Woolley Bugger” or similar lure style fly using a sinking line.

The first relies on trying to represent an aquatic invertebrate known as a Chironomid. These are more commonly known as midges or gnats. Unlike mosquitoes they do not bite. They have a very short lifespan and a considerable amount end up as a snack for hungry trout. After adults lay eggs on the surface, bloodworms emerge & sink to the bottom of the lake to live in the mud. Then they float up to the surface film as pupae (or buzzers). As they try to break through the surface tension they are an easy meal.

Bloodworms spend most of their time in the bottom of the lake but often wind and wave action can move them up the water column. Trout often can be located at a depth of 3-5m. This is a zone where any deeper and the water is too cold and de-oxygenated, or any shallower can be too warm or bright. A long leader with a team of two or three flies spaced at 1.5m are used to locate a suitable depth were fish may be holding.

I am still learning to fish the “buzzer array”, but if the fish are switched onto feeding Chironomids it can be a very effective method!

The second method involves using a sinking fly line which is cast out. After counting-down the fly is twitched and retrieved. A variation is to let the line sink all the way to the bottom, then retrieve up through the “strike zone”. This method can be deadly when a small nymph is used.

All the photos have been “tweaked” to some degree or another using a combination of LightRoom and Nik Colour Efex software. In general I will make any exposure adjustments and crop/rotate in LightRoom, then use the Colour Efex plugin. I currently like the grungy “bleach bypass” filter, although it is easy to over-do the effect. Also, as it brings out a lot of detail peoples faces are not generally flattering. I find I am now nearly always using a “subtractive” control point, so that the filter effect is not applied to faces.

When Colour Efex is done it creates a duplicate image and then proceeds to automatically load that image back into LightRoom. I find that I will often use the graduated filter to balance out the effects especially in the sky. I may add a vignette or even use a brush to selectively lighten or darken areas.

Paul Miller has recently published a book about fishing. Not necessarily a “how to”, but more a collection of interesting fishing related stories. It is available from his website as both a standard edition, or a leather bound  limited edition. It is also available from Amazon as a e-book from this link: Paul Miller Ebook.


Float Tube Fun – A Change in the Weather

Kevin Booth Float Tube in the Mist

Kevin Booth Float Tube in the Mist


Nick Reay Thinks Strategy to Trick Trout


Nick Reay Ties on New Fly


Nick Reay Waits For a Trout


Paul Miller Float Tube Hookup #1


Paul Miller Float Tube Hookup #2


Paul Miller Float Tube Large Rainbow Trout #1


Paul Miller Float Tube Large Rainbow Trout #2


Bronze Awards In 2012 International Loupe Awards

I have entered the International Loupe Awards before. However, this year I decided to enter the “Medium Format” Category. I only entered three images. Two images (both of Milford Sound) were from my recent trip to New Zealand on a workshop with Jackie Ranken and Mike Langford. The third was an image posted in “A Sense Of The Forest“.

Both images of Milford Sound received a Bronze Award.


Magic Milford

Milford Mist Bronze Award International Loupe Awards

Milford Mist

What was particularly interesting was the range of scores for the Sepia toned image ranged from 93 to 70! (which ended up with average score of 80). One of the judges feedback comments was that the image showed an area “of visible retouching”. This must have been an artifact of the Nik processing (or just distant rain which was backlit from sun). I was very happy that at least the image obviously resonated with a couple of judges at least! It certainly is one of my favourite images.

It has been shot on my PhaseOne medium format and has a staggering amount of detail, which on the web you just cannot see. To give you a bit of an idea I have zoomed in and made a screen-snap as below.

The tiny specs by the waters edge are a couple. You can even see a bird perched on the log between them!

Magic Milford Zoom International Loupe Awards

Zoom Detail of Magic Milford Image



Its Official – I Am Now Certified!

I recently qualified to become a Phase One Certified Professional. This is a fairly intensive process. To pass the course and become a Phase One Certified Professional you must pass 10 on-line courses,with an 80% minimum pass mark, and pass the test at the end of the two-day course, also with an 80% minimum pass mark.

The course is both theory and practical covering various topics such as:
·     Advanced Capture One workflow.
·     On-set workflow.
·     Technology behind Phase One backs and cameras.
·     Trouble-shooting computers, backs and cameras; and advanced operation of backs, etc

The course was held at L&P Studios, Sydney

Phase One Certified Professional Logo