Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Warmwater fly-fishing around Central Iowa

I love to catch fish. Iowa isn't exactly the Fishing Capital of the World for any species, and certainly not any of the "glamour" species like Salmon, Steelhead, and the like. But there IS species diversity hereabouts. The NE corner of the state has some very good trout streams. Its too hard for me to drive past hundreds of miles of other good fishing water to get to that, though, so its still on my wish-list.

Here in the middle of the state, we have warmwater rivers, streams, ponds, lakes, and reservoirs. I think its probably true that most of us satisfy our fishing urges by utilizing whatever fish species are close to home.'s a sampling of what is available local to me. These are all fish I caught with fly-fishing gear in 2010:

Largemouth Bass:

Common Carp on a boa yarn "mulberry" fly!

There are 2-3 ponds within 30-minute drive that are stocked seasonally with Rainbow Trout:

Hybrid Sunfish:

Channel Catfish will hit a variety of fly patterns, especially after dark:

Shortnose Gar...more like hunting, really, but very fun!


White Bass:


Grass Carp:
Green Sunfish:

There are others, of course. There's Redear Sunfish in the lower 1/3 of the state, Smallmouth Bass in a few streams nearby, hybrid "Wipers"... I just didn't get any of those this year. Once I figure out how to catch some other species on fly gear, I'll add them too!


  1. Hey Dave I spent some of my younger years in Central Ia.. A good place to try if you have not already is in Adel Ia. (a spillover dam on the Raccoon river) there used to be a little park. It used to have good flow with some riffles and gravel and chunk rock.


  2. I went to school at Adel-DeSoto High School from 3rd Grade thru 10th Grade. I fished that dam a few times back then...we'd fish below it mainly for channel catfish, and above it for carp. There were flatheads on both sides as well. I've never fly-fished there, but I've heard there are a few smallies and walleyes around. What did you catch there, Ross?

  3. Wow, I love seeing the WB picked up on the crease fly!