Friday, October 23, 2015

Iowa Urban Trout, Fall 2015

The Iowa DNR seasonally stocks trout in (currently) 17 lakes scattered across Iowa each early Spring and Fall.  The idea is to provide a put-and-take trout fishery in parts of the state where anglers might not otherwise have an opportunity to catch trout close to home.  Increased trout license sales pretty much pays for this program, which is really awesome!

There is no comparison or replacement to fishing NE Iowa's Driftless Region coldwater streams for trout.  But I do enjoy flyfishing these lakes for trout as well, and this situation poses its own unique set of challenges.

Finding the fish is always the most important key to a successful outing.  The saying "90% of the fish are in 10% of the water" seems to hold true.  Once found, you gotta present them a fly they will try to eat.

The best fly seems to change over time.  Trout have teeth and will shred a fly over time, so easy-to-tie patterns get my vote.  Year after year Woolly Buggers in various colors have caught more of these freshly-stocked trout than anything else.  #10-#8 Woolly Buggers seem the perfect size.  Depending on the depth the fish are feeding in, I tie some unweighted, some with glass beadheads, and some with brass and tungsten beadheads.  Best colors often include Gold, "Chili Pepper"(copper-colored), black, white, brown and olive.  The gold and copper ones are flashier, and seem to get the most attention from the fish.

I flyfished one of the Urban Trout lakes 3 days so far this season, and caught 34, 39, and 64 trout, respectively.  Weather conditions covered the spectrum from "good", to "super-windy", to "rain".  You never know what you'll get, you just gotta keep fishing!

Monday, October 5, 2015

October Bass in Iowa

I have no explanation for it, but many of my local fish in Central Iowa seemed to have a serious case of lockjaw during the month of September.  Fishing was great, but catching was TOUGH!

With the start of October, the fish seem to have gotten over whatever issue they had with holding up their end of the flyfishing game.  Perhaps they are satisfied with their contract negotiations?  I've been reading too many sports articles lately, I think.

Anyway, I went flyfishing Sunday morning, October 4, 2015.  It was cloudy, with a slight breeze that would occasionally die down to practically nothing.  Air temperature was chilly....started off around 40 degrees F, and rose to maybe into the upper 50's before I left.  I wore a hoodie over a longsleeve tee, and long underwear under my jeans.  Only my hands got a bit chilled, especially after getting wet.

Fishing was good!  As usual, I was hoping to spot a Grass Carp, but never saw one.  I caught a full size range of bass... from a trio of 3.5-inchers to a pair of 18-inchers.  Lost one good one after numerous jumps near shore.  Also had one break my line near the knot as lifted it from the water, and it fell back in and swam off, blockhead popper still sticking out of its mouth ahead of its nose.  I hate to see fish swim off with my fly still in them....I expected this fish to wear this foam jewelry for awhile, but just a few minutes later the popper floated back to the surface and I was actually able to make a series of, need I say, amazing casts....and retrieved the popper for future use. :)

Here's pictures of the two 18" bass:

Typically at this pond, a fishing trip might yield 0-2 Pumpkinseed Sunfish.  They seem to have an affinity for the color Chartreuse! I love catching them because they fight well and are absolutely beautiful I was pleased to catch 5 of them on this trip.  The biggest measured a hair over 8.5".  These two were practically twins:
Finally..a great day for CATCHING!  :)