Monday, July 29, 2013

Flyrod Carpin' at Saylorville Reservoir, 7/28/2013

I fished Saylorville Lake from shore yesterday.  Its a frustrating place to be with a fly rod most times.  But, I found some actively feeding carp, and managed to catch 3. Each hit a different fly, but all flies were white/flashy like a small shad.  The bigger two were 23" and 25".
I used the "pre-owned" flyrod/reel/line I bought from  my friend Chad again on this trip...I've been giving his old rod a workout on the wipers and carp...its been performing very well!  :)
The fly below was unweighted.  The other two flies were weighted with either a pink beadhead or lead barbell.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Red Rock Spillway, 7-26-2013

After not doing particularly well with kayaking/catching fish on Blue Heron on Wednesday, my buddy Jay and I went below Red Rock on Thursday (7/25/2013).

We started on the west side of the dam, and caught a few white bass, wipers, and drum.

Then I saw busts on the east side, so we drove all the way around to the other side of the river.  The fish were still busting shad on the surface when we got there.  After a successful cast or two with spinning gear, I decided it was time to try out the 7wt combo I just bought from my friend Chad (

I used a Clouser Deep Minnow, and hammered fish for about 1.5 hours.  Nice white bass (up to 16"), Wipers (the action was so fast, I only bothered to measure one, and it might not have been the biggest one..but it was 18.5"), and even a Drum or two.
Here's a few pics ( I wish I'd taken more...but I was having too much fun!):

This was one of the smallest Wipers of the day.  Why didn't I take more pictures of the BIGGER ones?

I finally switched back to spinning gear because I was getting worn out casting/catching so many fish, and some folks with a much different idea of personal space and fishing etiquette decided to stand just a rod length away from me and cast wherever I would cast.  I kept catching fish for another hour or so, then the action finally died.
I saw quite a few gar, but thYe would disappear quickly, so I never really got serious about trying to catch one...even though I really WANTED to catch one.  But I was having too much fun with the Wipers!  :)

Blue Heron Lake, 7-24-2013

I took a couple days off work this week to do some fishing.  It was a good opportunity to finally get my kayak wet this year.
My buddy Jay and I took our kayaks to Blue Heron lake.  It was a nice day!  The kayaking was fun..the fishing was pretty poor.

The lake is loaded with shad right now that are a perfect size for the crappies and white bass in the lake.

I marked a lot of fish on the fishfinder.  I assumed many were crappies, but they may have been shad.
I caught one bass, one crappie, and one bluegill for the day.  The highlight for me was catching a 17.5" Largemouth Bass on a slab spoon.

I some gar, but most of them saw me first.  At one point I beached the kayak and waded a weedy flat for carp.  I saw a dozen or so, got within reach of a couple.  Dropped the fly right in front of one or two, but didn't get any takes.  Or maybe I did. The frustrating thing about flyfishing for carp in Iowa most of the time is the poor water clarity.  Even in just 18" of water, my fly disappears in the murk before it reaches the bottom, and I can't see the fish's nose/mouth to see if it might be over my fly.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Saylorville Lake, 7-15-2013

I used spinning gear last night and fished a local reservoir with my buddy Jay for a couple hours before dark.
Fishing was really slow.  In the first hour-and-a-half, I landed one White Bass and had two Largemouth Bass throw my lures next to shore.

In the final 20 minutes or so, there was a brief flurry of activity with some surface activity of baitfish getting chased near the surface.  Using a topwater plug, I landed 5 Largemouth Bass, and missed/lost about twice that many hits.  The first strike of this "frenzy" resulted in this DOUBLE!  I've caught my share of doubles of Largemouth Bass and White Bass...usually they are caught on separate hooks.  This pair was hooked on the SAME treble.

Some good sunset scenery last night too.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Friday Lunch Flyfishing Report, 7-12-2013

This is sort of a late post.
I finally went flyfishing during my lunch hour again on Friday.  2 girls and their dad were just leaving the pond as I was getting out of my vehicle.  I asked them if they caught anything, and they got all excited....telling me it was really great!  They caught bluegills, crappies, bass, etc, on small orange twister-tail jigs.  And that the fish stopped hitting about an hour ago.  Great.

There was about a 15mph wind.  There was a LOT of floating algae around all the pond edges, and the downwind side of the lake was nearly obliterated by the stuff.  Flyfishing would be tough, but not impossible.

I picked up a few Bluegills from beyond the edges of the floating algae mats using a microjig under an indicator.  I noticed an open pocket on the inside edge of the algae, and saw fish swimming around there, some apparently guarding nests.
I switched to a foam topwater with palmered hackle.  The first cast saw a bass come out from under the adjacent algae mat and take the fly.
Nice fat Largemouth Bass that swam through the algae heading for deeper water, caking the junk all up and down my leader and tippet.  Very fun though!

I also ended up catching a couple Green Sunfish, at least a 1/2 dozen Bluegills, and 4 colorful Hybrid Sunfish.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Saylorville Lake - 7-8-2013

I visited Saylorville Lake last night with my buddy Jay.  The lake is still ~9' above normal water level, but is dropping about 1'/day.  As the water drops, it gets more murky.

We fished from shore. There was some dead flooded weeds and baby willows that grew up along the shorelines during last Summer's low water levels.  Wind was from the SSW.  Nothing really going on as far as surface activity.  No visible schools of shad near the surface.  It was a nice evening, and we stuck it out longer than most rational people would have.

I took a fly rod and a spinning rod, but since carp weren't visible, I just used the spinning rod.  After an hour or so, I got one tiny Largemouth Bass on a Mepps spinner.  I switched to a Pop-R topwater plug, and caught 2 more bigger bass (the bigger one was a healthy 19"!), and then caught a smallish White Bass as it got dark.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Flyfishing Report 7-7-2013

Its been awhile since I've seen so much poison ivy!
I drove north of Ames intending to flyfish Peterson Pit East for Crappies, Bass and Bluegills...and maybe wade the adjacent Skunk River for Smallmouth Bass.

For a number of reasons I won't bother detailing here, I missed the only path that would have led me down to the water of the pit on the east end of the pit.  Instead, I continued walking, ended up in the woods, and eventually came upon the river.

I arrived around 4:15pm.  The river was flowing nicely, compared to the nearly stagnant pools of the previous summer.  There were many places I could cross the river with only getting my knees wet.  I saw some river carpsuckers swim by.
I tried a variety of subsurface flies with no takers.  Got some interest from a bluegill on a bass-sized popper.  He wanted it, but didn't get hooked.  I stuck with that surface pattern, and ended up catching 3 Largemouth Bass, 2 Smallmouth Bass, and a Green Sunfish.

There were people both upstream and downstream of me, plus a group of college kids floated by on tubes.  So, I headed out.  But there was still plenty of sunlight left since it was only 6:45pm.  On my walk back to the car, I decided to look once more for a path down to the pit.  Amply lined with poison ivy, but I found it.

I saw Smallmouth Buffalo feeding along the rocks in the shallows all along the east shoreline.  There were hundreds!  I spent some time trying to catch one.  The first one I hooked up with broke my line.  The second one was vacuuming over the surface of a flat rock.  I put the fly in front and to the side of it, and hoped it would work its way over to the fly.  I watched it eat the Black Ops fly, and also saw the tap-tap-taps on my line before I set the hook.  It broke my line too, but only AFTER I landed it!
Smallmouth Buffalo

Smallmouth Buffalo
I also caught several Largemouth Bass, some Bluegills, one Crappie, and one Green Sunfish before I left the pit at 9pm.  It was a great way to spend an evening!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Nesting Pumpkinseed Sunfish

Spending most of June getting ready for and then GOING on our fishing trip to Canada, I'd forgotten my plan to visit the local pond that has Pumpkinseed Sunfish in it, while the fish were spawning.  I wanted to see them in their full nesting/spawning colors.

So, I fished the pond yesterday evening.  The many clouds didn't make it the best opportunity to take good photos, but I gave it a shot.  The pond was horribly choked with weeds out 25'+ from shore, plus the shoreline was ringed with tall, tough weeds that were sporting seed pods that were grabbing and holding my fly line.

I ended up finding some Pumpkinseeds on nests.  Bluegills, too.  And also caught a decent bass.
Here's some pics of the Pumkinseeds.