Friday, July 9, 2010

"Warmwater" Trout Fishing?

Our fishing club, Central Iowa Anglers, had our monthly meeting last night. We held it at a small public lake, and had a fish fry....the food was excellent! Afterwards, many of us fished.

This lake is an old borrow pit. It has a shallow shelf around it, then a drop-off to deeper water beyond. No significant structure to speak of. The water is relatively clear, compared to other lakes in central Iowa.

I spotted some bluegill beds in the shallows, and there were some good-sized bluegills on them. I had a number of hits, but the fish were quickly spitting the fly back out. I only caught one bluegill, but it was a good 8"-8.5".

This lake was stocked with trout for the first time this past fall & winter. It was a "put-and-take" fishery. They weren't expected to survive the summer water temps. One of our club members spotted a small group of trout near shore, where a field tile was draining cool water into the lake. I started off with a small nymph, similar to a Prince Nymph, but with some modifications. I caught one or two trout on that, but it was slow. I tried some other things with no success. I tied on a small wet fly tied using grizzly marabou for a tail, and small gold mylar braided tubing for a body. The trout LIKED this! I ended up landing 8 trout total. I'd caught trout on flies before, but used spinning gear at the time. Most of my trout are caught while ice-fishing. So, these were the first trout I'd caught on fly gear! Hooray!

Normally when I go trout fishing locally, it is on "stocking day", when the catching is sometimes fairly easy. But these fish have been in the lake now for probably at least 6 months, so are more saavy than freshly stocked fish.
Here's some trout pics from last night:


  1. those are weird looking! but cool!

  2. Are those rainbows or browns, really fun on a fly rod, even stockers.

  3. These were all Rainbow Trout. I don't believe the DNR stocked any brown trout in this lake, although they did put one or two 5 lb Brook Trout in here this winter. As far as I know, nobody ever caught one of those.

  4. any tips on lures to use for trout in the warmer months

  5. In a situation like the one in this blog entry, summertime trout fishing for stocker trout in a central Iowa lake, you've got to find the colder water. In the situation described, we found cooler water entering the lake through a field tile that dumped into the lake. These fish can be caught with fly gear and artificial flies.
    If you can't find cool water entering the lake, then you have to fish for trout in the deeper waters. Most Iowa lakes form a thermocline in the summer. The deep water below the thermocline is cool, but has very low oxygen content. Fish typically cannot survive there. The water above the thermocline is oxygen rich, but too warm for trout. Most fish will be in the thermocline layer itself...where the water transitions between the warm upper layer and the cold bottom layer. Fish will prefer to find a happy balance between water temperature and dissolved oxygen content.
    Those fish can be reached with flyfishing gear using sinking lines, or using spinning gear and small crankbaits, weighted in-line spinners, small blade baits or spoons.

    In a stream situation, you can use the same lures or flies you would use in any other season....match the hatch or use attractor fly patterns, or small spinners, crankbaits, jigs, and spoons. I would guess that Berkley PowerBait or Gulp! products would also work well during the warmer months.