Friday, April 25, 2014

Lake Petocka, evening 4-24-2014

Lake Petocka
Cloudy, 10 mph wind from NNW
Time fished: 6pm-9pm
Fish sought:  Brooder trout!
Fish caught: 8 Rainbow Trout, 2 Smallmouth Bass

I definitely SAW a lot more fish than I caught.  The action was not fast by any was some work, but fun.  I used my switch rod, which allowed me to reach fish much further away than I would have been able to reach with my regular fly rod.

Plenty of surface activity.  I couldn't buy a fish on topwater, though.

I tried a lot of flies, and only caught fish on two of unweighted black woolly bugger, and a Chili Pepper with a small beadhead.   Maybe I should have tried the Chili Pepper earlier in the evening.  I put in on just before dark, and caught 2 Smallmouth Bass on it about 20' from shore, and 2 trout on some long casts towards the middle of the lake.

Its fairly rare to catch a smallmouth bass in this lake, its rather bizarre that I caught 2 in the same evening.

At one point, I brought one fly right in front of me, watched a trout swim up from underneath, inspect it, refuse it, and swim away.  They CAN be finicky.

One of the last trout I caught was a pretty nice one and really chunky.  It was so dark, I didn't bother measuring or trying to photograph it.

LOVED that sunset last night!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Flyfishing with Jay, 4/18-4/19/2014

We met up during my lunch hour on Friday to flyfish a public pond.  Jay caught a bunch of fish, mostly small crappies.  I caught just 2 small crappies and then spent much of the remaining time trying to entice one of the fairly numerous nice bass into striking.  I was unsuccessful.

Jay spend the afternoon fishing Saylorville and Big Creek.  He can comment on that if he wishes.

Friday evening I talked Jay into flyfishing some local ponds again.  The first one we fished, I was the second angler there.  But soon there was something like 14 people around a fairly small area of the pond!  Busy place!  We didn't stay long.  I caught 3 Crappies, 3 Hybrid Sunfish, and 4 Bluegills.

Then we drove to a different pond and resumed flyfishing.  There, I caught 6 Crappies, 1 Largemouth Bass, and 7 Bluegills.  My biggest 2 crappies were 12" and 13", both REALLY fat.  I assume they were females with eggs.
This is the 12-incher:

This is the 13-incher:

And here's the bass (with Jay in the background):

Saturday evening, I coerced Jay into flyfishing with my again, and we hit that last pond again.  No biggies this time.
I caught 9 Crappies, 3 Largemouth Bass, and 9 Bluegills.

All these fish were taken on a chartreuse 1/80th oz microjig about 18" below an indicator.

Monday, April 14, 2014

April 12-14, 2014 Weather in Central Iowa

After fishing on Saturday, I learned the temperature had risen to at least 84 degrees F!  That was probably 13 degrees warmer than what had been forecast.   It was windy enough to keep things cool, but I did get too much sun.

That evening, we had a beautiful lightning storm!  I went out on the front porch with my cell phone and took some video, then saved individual frames as images.  Here's a short segment of video that had a lot of good lightning:
Here's some of the better still shots I saved from that video:

Saturday evening, it proceeded to rain, and didn't really stop until early Monday morning, when it turned to sleet/snow.  Not a lot of snow accumulation, but the grass was nearly buried.  

Also, early Sunday morning we got some hail, and given the warmth of the air on Saturday, and the strength of the storm on the radar...I definitely gave thought to the possibility of a tornado forming!  I don't think our hail was particularly large, but I heard of hail just south of Des Moines was 2" golf-ball size.  And I also heard that Cedar Rapids or Cedar Falls even had some BASEBALL size hail!  Yowza!

It had been pretty dry here, so the rain was much needed.  I heard we got maybe a bit over 2" for the weekend, and everything is nicely soaked now.  Should help get the Spring growth jumpstarted...well, as soon as the snow & ice melts, that is!

Banner Pits Trout, 4-12-2014

Saturday was a beautiful day..  Temperatures rose to  84 degrees F, it was sunny most of the day, and the wind didn't get  too strong until early afternoon.
After a friend reported catching a Brook Trout at Banner Pits a couple days earlier, I decided to make the trip down there to see if I could catch one.  Spoiler alert: I didn't catch a Brookie.

I arrived at the lake @ 10:30am.  The park folks had been doing controlled burns to clear out some underbrush from the forest on the steep slopes surrounding the lakes.  There was still lots of ash, some smoke, I could occasionally hear trees and branches falling in the woods, and I saw some fires still burning.

I decided to hike into a bay I've always seen but never fished before.  There was a couple guys in a boat there when I arrived.  They moved on after 45 minutes or so.  After they left, I caught a small bluegill.  There weren't as many trout here as I had hoped, but I stayed there until 4:30 pm anyway.

There was a goose sitting on eggs in the area I was standing to fish.  I walked right up onto her without seeing her, before she stood and hisses at me.
She let me fish right next to her throughout the day without any more trouble.

Anyway, I tried a lot of flies.  The ones that  seemed to work best had either a small beadhead, or a glass beadhead, or were unweighted.  I think the water was clear enough that the fish could spot and attack the fly from several feet below it.  I had 4 fish break my 8lb tippet, which was very unusual, and the trout also seemed to spit the fly quickly here, which resulted in me missing/losing a LOT of strikes.  I ended up landing just 12 Rainbow Trout.  Could have been worse, but also could have been much better.  They were beautiful fish, though.

A couple additional interesting things happened on this fishing trip.  First, a gentleman and lady were walking through the charred woods on top of the steep bank on the opposite side of the bay I was fishing.  At first I thought maybe they were going to come down to where I was and fish. They walked until I believe they saw me.  Then, the gentleman backed further into the trees, facing the bay.  The young lady turned to face him, which put her back towards me.  She dropped her pants.  I thought maybe she needed to go to the happens.  But she didn't crouch.  I assume the gentleman photographed the splendor from his side, while I just enjoyed the view I was afforded.  She pulled up her pants and they meandered out of sight.

About 10 minutes later I heard walking up on that bank again, and thought maybe they were back.  But it turned out to be 2 fellows who were coming down to fish near me.  As soon as they set down their gear, one said, "I'm going to have a cigar."  Well, I was already halfway into one myself, so I turned struck up a brief conversation about how nobody would mind if we started a forest fire today, seeings how it was all in ashes already.  Turns out, this was Joe.  Joe asked if my name was David.  Yes.  He said he enjoyed my website/blog! cool is that?  And then he got out his flyfishing gear and started casting.  Hey, I like this guy!  Enjoys cigars AND flyfishing!  :)
Well, Joe, it was certainly nice to make your acquaintance!  Hopefully we'll run into each other fishing many more times in the future. I told you I snapped a candid photo of you and was going to put it in my blog.  Turns out the picture was horribly overexposed for some odd reason.  I did my best to fix it, and then thought it looked decent once I added some effects to it.  I apologize it didn't turn out better, but its still a pretty cool shot I think.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Lunchtime Flyfishing, 4-11-2014

After getting skunked during lunch yesterday, I returned to a more reliable pond, and the microjig/indicator pattern is still working well.
It was bright sun, warm, with just enough wind to put a decent chop on the water.

In 40 minutes of fishing, I caught 7 Crappies, 3 Bluegills, and 2 Hybrid Sunfish.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Lunchtime Flyfishing, 4-9-2014

Public Pond
60 degrees F
18 mph wind from SSW
Fish Caught: 7 Crappies, 1 Green Sunfish

Jay and I met up during lunch to flyfish. Casting into the wind was a challenge.
Jay did about the same as I did...I think he also caught a Bluegill or two.
Used a 1/80th oz microjig under an indicator.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

First Week of April 2104

I've been playing around with my switch rod some more.  Caught more bass, crappies, bluegills and trout on it.  So, that's been fun.  Have used a regular fly rod as well.
Pretty typical catches for this time of year.
These microjigs work GREAT when suspended beneath an indicator:

Trout were somewhat interested in striking things on/near the surface, so I tried a "foamhead woolly bugger" like the one below, and caught a couple trout after they had splashed on the surface.  It didn't completely float, but it sank very slowly.