Wednesday, August 16, 2017

NE Iowa Trout Streams, 8-15-2017

After targeting Smallmouth Bass yesterday, we decided to flyfish two trout streams today.  One we had been to before, and one we had not.  We visited the new-to-us stream first.  It was a small stream with wild, naturally-reproducing Brown Trout.

I caught a dozen Brown Trout on beadhead patterns.  I also saw a BIG brown that was excitedly checking out the fly, but it was so big it was having a tough time manuevering in the narrow channel it was in, and once I lifted my fly to drift it down that section again, the trout disappeared and I never saw it again.

Wear long pants or waders to these streams, even if you aren't wading.  There were lots of tall weeds and lots of poison ivy, wild parsnip, and nettles.

This was probably the biggest one I landed.  Not too big, but they sure are pretty!

Next, we visited a creek we'd fished before.  I was totally different.  I appeared a deluge had wiped away much of the creek banks, leaving steep cut banks and wide, shallow, rocky runs.  We hit some pools, but I caught most of my fish in areas with more flowing water.  We caught Smallmouth Bass, Rainbow Trout, Creek Chubs, Rock Bass, Striped Shiners, Hornyhead Chub, and a surprise Bluegill.
Jay shooting the fly.

Rainbow Trout:

Smallmouth Bass:

Rock Bass:

Hornyhead Chub (a new flyrod species for me):

Striped Shiners:

Volga River, 8-14-2017

After fairly unsuccessful, but interesting, stops at two spots along the Shell Rock River, Jay and I made our way to the Volga River.
Gin-clear water, mostly rocky bottom with some sandy patches...heavily wooded high limestone bluffs...its a beautiful place.

We wet-waded and flyfished our way downstream.  We tried lots of flies, because the fish would like one thing, then 10 minutes later they would ignore it.  Change fly and catch more, repeat.
My most successful flies were beadhead Woolly Buggers, in chartreuse or yellow.
Jay was catching as many...if not MORE...bass on a dark brown (almost black) #6 DDH Leech.
Jay doing battle with a fish:
We caught a lot of Smallmouth Bass, quite a few Rock Bass, a Bluegill, a Rainbow Trout, Creek Chubs, a Striped Shiner...excellent variety!
Jay with probably the biggest bass of the day, which surprisingly attacked a pink foam grasshopper:

Here's a chunky one I caught:
And some others:

Rock Bass:

Gotta love those red eyes!
This was the biggest one I measured, 8.25", and it hit a blockhead popper:

Creek Chubs:

Striped Shiner:
Fantastic trip!


In addition to some bass and bluegills, I caught a couple beautiful Pumpkinseed Sunfish while flyfishing this evening.
Pumpkinseed Sunfish

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


Flyfished during my lunch hour.  Caught one Common Carp.

Flyfished in the evening....didn't catch anything for the first 90 minutes.  Eventually caught 3 Hybrid Sunfish, and 2 Largemouth Bass (both 18").  All on topwater.  Today was a low-numbers, good size day.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Took a Couple Days off Work

...and went fishing.

Day One:
Jay and I fished Saylorville Lake from shore/wading.  We flyfished for carp.  I got 4 (lost a 5th after a long fight),

Jay got one too!

Jay busted out the spinning gear for Largemouth Bass.  He got 6 good ones and lost another 3.  I brought my fly rod over with a popper...cast it right where Jay told me to (GREAT GUIDE!), and caught 4 good largemouth bass (only took a picture of the first one).

White bass started busting WAY OUT towards deeper water.  No chance of casting a fly THAT far!  Jay put on a slab spoon and started catching white bass and catfish.  I had no choice...I made the long walk back to my car to retrieve a spinning rod and some lures (first time using a spinning rod this year!).  I put on a slab spoon as well, and threw out just as far as I could.  If I didn't cast far enough, no strike.  If I cast far enough, a fish would often hit withing the first 20' of the retrieve.  The rest of the cast was wasted.  To give you an idea how far you can throw a slab spoon with spinning gear and 8lb Fireline...ITS A LONG FREAKING far, many times we could only hear the faint splash, and not actually SEE it anymore!  I caught some nice white bass...measured one at 15", one may have been bigger.  And I caught a 22" channel cat on it as well.

Later that evening, I flyfished a local public pond and caught another bass or two, some bluegills, a pumpkinseed sunfish, and a hybrid sunfish.  7 species for the day!

Day 2:
Despite the river being low, with only a 2 CFS flow rate, I decided to wade it for Smallmouth Bass.  It did rain this morning, after all.  That is probably why the water was cloudier than I would have expected.  And there was...not a LOT of water in the river, but enough to allow the fish to move wherever they wanted, IF they wanted to cross some shallow water.
I usually prefer to fish a popper for Smallmouth, but today I went subsurface most of the time...with a small shad-imitating craft fur pattern, and a chartreuse weighted fly.  I did catch one on a Popper near the end of the section I waded.  The bass were mostly little ones this time, and I did catch a chunky largemouth too.

Next, I drove downstream to an old gravel pit adjacent to the river.  It is sometimes actually connected to the river.  Here, I caught a couple small Largemouth Bass, some bluegills (some where still guarding spawning beds!), and was surprised when a 15" beautifully colored Smallmouth hit...What a strong fighter!!