Monday, August 3, 2015

McLoud Run, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

My wife and I went to Cedar Rapids, Iowa,  Saturday evening to watch Jim Gaffigan (comedian) live. We spent the night, and I woke up early to flyfish McLoud Run, Iowa's only urban trout stream. I'd never fished it before.

The banks were overgrown with tall vegetation, and trees overhanging the water. Really NOT the most enjoyable place to flyfish. The stretch I fished paralleled I-380 and a paved bike trail on one side, and train tracks on the other side. At one point, my ankles and calves were swarmed by biting ants... Its not a big stream, but to avoid the ants and brush, I was soon wading the stream. Wet wading. Being spring-fed, the stream maintains a temperature of @ 55 degrees F year-round.... or so I've read. I believe it...it was cold! I managed, but at one point standing in deeper water, it became almost uncomfortably cold.

The stream is stocked in June mainly with fingerling Brook & Brown Trout, along with some catchable size Rainbows. Again, this is what I've read, but I can't easily verify it. I saw some nice fish of all 3 trout species, and some large suckers. What I caught, however, were smaller fish, including the Rainbows. Could there be some natural reproduction here?

The stream is Catch & Release Only, and Artificial Lures Only, so all trout could be holdovers.

Anyway, with my first 3 fish landed, I'd managed my first trout "Grand Slam", catching all 3 species. I ended with 1 Brown Trout, 5 Brook Trout, 7 Rainbow Trout, and 1 Creek Chub.






All were caught on a gold Springbrook Wunder (microjig)...no indicator.


And most of the fish came from faster water. I spent too much time fishing a single large pool with some decent fish visible. Some were occasionally hitting the surface. I drifted a beetle imiation through the pool a number of times with no interest from the fish. I tried a bunch of other stuff, and the only thing that seemed to get the fish interested was a beadhead Pearl Bugger. No strikes, but boy they sure liked to follow and look at that. Compared with ignoring my other offerings, I though I was onto something. Again....I spent way to long at that pool. It was the closest deeper pool to the parking area. Highest fishing pressured hole on the whole stream, most likely. I knew better, but was too lazy to move on. I had to get back to the hotel to pick up my wife before check-out time anyway.

Of course I almost never take a photo of the "boring" or "typical" stretches of the stream, but at least you can see something from these pics:

There's a line of big eletrical poles going right down through the stream in the section I fished. Fortunately, the poles anchor fish habitat in some spots.










And below is the pool where I overspent my time. If you can zoom in, you can see a bunch of fish in the middle of the pool. Many are suckers, and some are trout.

9 comments:

  1. Good stuff Dave...I traveled through your wonderful state just last week on my way up to Wisconsin with the wife. I had to make a slight detour to show her my favorite part (the area where I spend a few days fishing at least once a year) and she was pretty amazed at the scenery. I've shown pictures of the Iowa Driftless to many people and they all are surprised at the beauty. Unfortunately, a couple of hours was all I could do fishing wise before we took off again. can't wait to plan my Fall trip back up!!

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  2. I've come to realize there is an addictive quality to the Driftless streams. I can't wait to go back again! Technically, this stream was probably outside the Driftless area, but it has many of the same qualities. Since fingerlings are stocked here, this stream just might have the largest population of SMALL trout in the state! :) It was still fun.
    Have you decided what stream(s) you want to hit this Fall? I'd like to make at least one more trip up there before Winter.

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    1. I really like the Waterloo in Dorchester so it's usually the stream I spend the most time on. I stay in Highlandville so there is more water within a 30 minute drive than I can fish in a 4 day trip. I'm definitely hooked on the area...this year will be my 6th of at least one trip a year.

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    2. I'm checking into accomodations in the area as we speak. Where do you stay in Highlandville?

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    3. Dave...I stay at the Bear Creek Cabins and Campground. Just a small place (the only place in Highlandville) with a general store and CG right on South Bear Creek. Great people and very centrally located to some great fishing.

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  3. Congratulations, Dave, on your Slam. Particularly, since you had not fished the stream before. Something feels good about that. I would have probably spent too much time at the Pool, too. Fish you can see drive you crazy!

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    1. They sure do, Mel! They sure do! :)

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  4. We have some McClouds in MO. I hear they can be pretty tough. I like your choice of flies.

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    1. Yeah, its kind of an unorthodox pattern to use for trout. So far its been working really well. Which is good, because I'm really not very interested in trying to "match the hatch" and use tiny flies. Maybe someday I'll be good enough to do that.

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