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8-30-03 - Bart casts on Glover's to fish that later turn out to be big-ass creek chubs!
Glover's was definitely scenic...if not productive trout-wise.
See what I mean? MUDDY! No one believed us when we told them that!
My first look at Grannis Creek.
A really nice, albeit small, rainbow from Grannis.
Rainbow #2 - nice color on this one too!!!
Rainbow #3! Man, fun little creek!
Another nice shot of the rustic, forested Grannis Creek.
Chromeseeker with the only Joy Springs Rainbow we landed.
CS almost got this one...
Up until now Little Paint held the "Most Scenic" title in my book. Consider Richmond Springs.
This view of Richmond Springs sealed the deal for me. It has now earned the title of "Most Scenic Trout Stream in Iowa".
I know it looks big, but this was actually one of the smaller stockers.
I love this shot! All suckers except one Rainbow...notice how they stand out like a sore thumb in that steel-blue shade?
Just one more reason why I say Richmond Springs is the most Scenic.
Ensign Hollow on Public Land.
Now consider the private stretches that have been generously made available to the public.
Does this remind you of anyplace? Well, to me, it looks an aweful lot like sections of Bluff Creek by Whitewater, WI.
This FRIGGIN INSANE sunset pretty much made my weekend! Absolutely NO image enhancement...that's a legit photo and guess what, looks exactly like I remember it. COOLPIX 5700 YOU ROCK!

8-30-03 - I get to fish in Iowa again?! Man I am BLESSED!

Waters Fished: Glovers, Grannis, Joy Springs, Richmond Springs, Ensign Hollow
Fish Caught: 6+
Outing Date: 8-30-03
Weather: NICE! Sunny in the AM with some clouds in the PM
Air Temp: 70's
Water Temp: N/A
Water Level: All Seemed Normal
Water Color: Glover's -> Muddy, Grannis -> Clear, Joy Springs -> Clear, Richmond Springs -> Clear and Blue when deep, Ensign Hollow -> Clear
Fish Species: Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout
Pattern Fished: Tucker Nymph
Pattern Color: gray & gold
Fishing Quality: IMPROVED over last week!

With cooler weather brings better fishin. With better fishin and a three day weekend comes yet another TRIP TO IOWA baby! My first NOTE on this report, I now have a new replacement camera. Since there was no way to get the Kodak DC 5000 repaired in time for the upcomming Pink Salmon Trip, I bit the bullet and got the Nikon Coolpix 5700. Trust me, I got a heck of a good deal, otherwise I'd never be runnning around the rivers with that camera strapped around my neck! All of these pictures were shot with the following settings:

Auto Focus - Center-weighted
Image Sharpening - Off
White Balance - Automatic
Saturation Control-normal
Exposure / Aperature - Automatic
Image Quality - FINE
Image Size - JPG lg (1600 X 1200)
Flash - OFF

There may have been some other settings I monkeyed with, but that's basically how I like to run my digital cameras.

I was joined on this three-day trip by Chromeseeker (funny, with a nickname like that he does an aweful lot of inland trout fishing!) as well as a repeat from last week; Jim K. aka. MuskieSlayer 2.0.

It goes something like this; Jim K. has seen the post on WFF regarding the large brown I caught in Paradise Springs. Apparently some guy who goes by the handle "MuskieSlayer" on WFF and fishes Paradise Springs on a regular basis thinks that my brown didn't make it. While I admit it's possible, I'm not going to discuss that here. Suffice it to say when I met Jim at FAT's Camp on Friday, he walks up and introduces himself as "Muskieslayer". I admit, he got me good that night.

Well, as it turns out now Jim (hereafter MS2) is also going to be on the Canada Trip and I'll be riding with him. It was Jim's Anniversary weekend, and his wife Leanne (hereafter L) suggested that they make a trip to IOWA for their anniversary?!?!? JIM IS THE LUCKIEST MAN ALIVE! So I happened to already be going, so we planned to do some pre-Canada fishin' and bondin' to get our skills set for the Chinook Bet (aka. FAT Tribe vs. SMOKIN' TAHOE).

But I'm gettin' ahead of myself. CS got up to Iowa on Friday and fished the Waterloo and North Bear to get it out of his system...a good idea considering this was a holiday weekend and everywhere we would go we heard that the North Bear was "shoulder-to-shoulder". I only hear those kind of descriptions about the Root during the Chinook run normally!!!

So Saturday was to be a scouting day. I had the itch for a long time to head south and this time we'd do it! Our first stop was Glover's Creek. While very pretty scenery...the trout fishing just wasn't there. We slayed TONS of Creek chubs, but NEVER EVEN SAW a trout. The water was low and muddy. After checking a few holes we decided to move. I will put ONE disclaimer on this report of Glover's...there's a chance we weren't actually FISHING GLOVER'S!!! The creek we fished looks a little "too close" to the main road according to the maps. We may have actually hit some other creek that's on the way to Glovers. Not sure, and at this point, don't really care!

And that was basically what got us moving on to our second stop, Grannis Creek. We skipped over the well-known access that was instantly apparent as we drove...it was FULL of cars. Instead, we continued on and found the creek winding along the road. Our first look showed us something on the scale of a drainage ditch! "Forget This" was the concensus in the car. However, I did convince CS to make a quick stop so I could take a closer look. A tiny hole with a big rock and a rainbow sitting underneath it was all it took for me to start fishin!

Turns out we had a pretty OK time on Grannis over the next our or two...Bart and I split up and each landed a few nice stocker bows! But we were both in the scouting mood, wanting to find something better, and we continued on.

Around 11:00 we pulled in at Joy Springs which is part park part campground. As usual, it looked like everyone went downriver, so we went up! It took us a while but we found fish and tried...I became particularly obsessed with trying to land a special rainbow which clearly had a vivid red stripe down it's lateral line...a RARITY in Iowa! While I hooked up, the fish came off all too quickly.

Scouting downstream also produced some interesting finds...a couple of guys camping along the bank pointed out a HUGE trout hiding under a lunker structure. I only saw it when it came up and slapped the surface right at my feet; it happened so fast I didn't get a good look, but man it would have been TWO HANDS around that fish. AMAZING.

We finally came upon a pool so chalk full of fish it would have been a crime to NOT catch any. Of course, only Chromeseeker even manage to hook up while I wasted time on a large fish that he pointed out (by the time I got bored I think I realized that it was probably a SUCKER).

Anyways, in our eye's Joy Springs was nice, but not nearly as scenic as we'd had all morning, and hardly worth additional effort in the blazing sun, so we kept moving. We had a choice...at this point I had been planning on the Maquoketa River. However, a late Thursday email which has yet to be answered mentioned Richmond Springs; since we were right there already we skipped around and hit Richmond next!

Man, first let me tell you that there were a LOT of people. The IDNR suggests that if you want to avoid crowds, avoid stocking days or the day after stocking. But since Richmond Springs is stocked 3 TIMES A WEEK that's kinda hard to do! Not to mention that one whole section of the park was reserved for a WEDDING!

I'm gonna bottom line it for ya folks, Richmond Springs was indeed Paradise....but not for the trout. The views were breathtaking at times. However, fishing in most holes was a JOKE! The fish are, I'm sure, pounded relentlessly. We really had to get off the beaten path...well actually we couldn't 'cause there is a beaten path all along the entire RIVER!

If you don't like crowds, don't even THINK about fishing Richmond Springs. However, DO STOP to take in the scenery and maybe toss a line while doing so...that's a better point of view in my book. I'm sure I'll do it again, but I'm not ever planning on having my 30 fish day at Richmond Springs.

With that said we DID manage to land a few fish...stockers down here were considerably SMALLER than elsewhere so most got thrown back without even a photo...how they got 9" rainbows there and 14" rainbows up at Waterloo probably has something to do with how fish are growing at the various rearing stations around the state. I got MOST of my hits in one less-pressured pool, all on the tucker; resulting in a 3/14! Hard to keep those fish on, but they followed like wolves and often struck!

Well, CS and I were still in the scoutin' mood! Where next? Maquoketa River? Joy Springs again to hit the awesome pool? Nope, we decided on some C&R action, so on our way back to Dorchester we stopped at Ensign Hollow.

I knew full well going in that this would be a tough stream. C&R Only, mentions of tall prairie grass by mid-summer..best to fish anytime BUT the time we were there...that kind of TOUGH STREAM.

But as it turns out, there's also public access to private land and it's grazed! So CS and I started in the Public Land, basically hole-poking nymphs along bank hides and such. I only noticed 2-3 trout early on and they made a mad dash for the undercuts the second I showed up!

Well, we eventually moved onto the private land and fished...by this time I was tired (going on only 3 hours of sleep) so when my leader snapped I just gave up and cast. I was following CS as he worked downstream, so he kinda gave me the heads up, "Man, I just spooked a HUGE BROWN". Needless to say I never saw any trout ;)

Quite a productive day all around. I'd say the best thing I learned from this particular trip is that these southern trout streams are GREAT for hot summer days...you get to stay in the shade which keeps the fish more apt to bite as well. Granted, I think EVERYONE knows about this too...all of these streams (except for Ensign Hollow) showed the definite signs of being fished heavily. So plan accordingly if you go.

As we ended our day we got to witness the most stunning sunset I think I've ever seen! Sure, we'd have roughly 1 hour and 15 minutes to drive back to Dorchester, but heading south was DEFINITELY worth it. What we lacked in trout numbers we'd more than made up for with STUNNING VIEWS all day. There's definitely a lot more to Iowa than corn!

  MP 

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