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5-16-04 - The Waterloo has also seen some really high water and looked a bit different.

Lloyd and I hit some sweet holes like this that *should* have held tons of fish. Check out the enlargement above or view the entire Panorama in the 3D Viewer (750 KB).

Looking down from a bridge; this is how the Waterloo is SUPPOSED to be along it's entire length!

We're on the deep slow pools...this one held some fine rainbows! Some of the toughest fishing I know of on the Waterloo, but the fish are worth it!

Of course the Wild Waterloo browns are fun too!

Check out this PIG; yes it's a stocker rainbow but not exactly "stocker" size; try a holdover!

Another holdover most likely...a bit too big to be a regular stocker but definitely not a broodstock!

Lloyd was havin' a rough morning, so in the afternoon we hit MP's Secret Stream. A chub was the only fish we got landed in his short stay.

I got to show him the stocker browns. A bit small this time of year.

Another small stocker...last fall spoiled me a bit. As always, with the Secret Stream, I creel the stockers to take pressure off the gorgeous wild browns!

Did I mention gorgeous wild browns?!

BTW, if they didn't have to compete with stockers, I bet there would be even more like this 18.5" brown!!!!!!! Biggest Inland Trout to date for 2004! Not to mention C&R ensures this fish is a bit smarter and harder to catch the next time I go for him!

Followed up by a brown that almost beat it, but tapes out around 17.5" or so. C&R as always on the wild browns! One look at this report should make it perfectly easy for anyone to identify a stocker vs. a wild brown in Iowa!

And you wonder why I keep this stream a secret?!

Nailed a FAT stocker rainbow and in the creel it went!

Another small stocker brown, only pushin' 8-9"...barely a meal.

5-16-04 - Fishing this good is almost wasted when you're all alone....thankfully I have the pictures to prove it!

Waters Fished: Waterloo Creek, MP's Secret Stream
Fish Caught: 15/49
Outing Date: 5-16-04
Weather: Sunny most of the day, cloudy in the evening
Air Temp: 40s in the am up to upper 60's
Water Temp: MP's Secret Stream - 60F
Water Level: Waterloo receding, Secret Stream up a good 6"
Water Color: Waterloo muddy below, clear upstream, Secret Stream was muddy, visibility 6-12"
Fish Species: Brown Trout, Brook Trout, Rainbow Trout
Pattern Fished: Hare's Ear, Olive Caddis, Glo Bug (in orange), Copper Spey, Black Wolley Bugger, Tucker Nymph, and the list keeps going
Pattern Color: per the patterns
Fishing Quality: Waterloo was tough, Secret Stream was ROCKIN!

What can I say, we stayed up not too late and decided to take it relatively easy on Sunday; started fishin at 7:30 instead of 6:00!

Got on down to the Secret Spot on the Waterloo...wow it looked different. The grasses aren't high yet so the whole section of stream was in plain view; man it felt smaller than when you could never see the stream!

FAT, Les and the Boys set up on the prime pool while I took Lloyd down to my favorite little run...normally we'd see tons of fish here...today? Lloyd gave it a thorough thrashing and yet nothing came up. In fact, where are all the resident browns?!

We kept going downstream and sat on a deep pool that used to be covered by a stump...the entire tree was now GONE and to be honest, I didn't even see it sitting in the river downstream. In fact, this whole section of the Waterloo was high, muddy, and totally REARRANGED. It was like it had been hit with a Tornado! Normally we will at least get hits from small, naive browns, but even they weren't cooperative...heck I didn't even see any?! Only saw 2 medium sized browns go flying downriver as we walked past...that's it. WTF?!

Things were tough all over, so we moved to the upper stretches...much better here. The Water was clear, fish were present in good numbers; this is how the Secret Spot normally is.

As usual, Lloyd and I headed to one hole, Fat & Les worked another. Lloyd and I perched high up over a deep pool; fair amount of suckers and rainbows, one clearly visible brookie (that Lloyd got a hit from early on) and a couple small browns running around.

The water here is REALLY slow, enticing these larger rainbows isn't easy as they have more than enough time to look at what you're offering. Being out of Tucker Nymphs I was running the gamut of flies past them; many got looks but none got bites...until I figured out this rig.

For the lead fly I went with a #10 bright-ass orange glo bug. The dropper, about a foot underneath, a #18 gold ribbed beadhead olive caddis pattern. My luck started to change.

The bright orange proved irresistible to the rainbows; they'd run from all over the pool to inspect it. I'm watching my fly several feet down; I can't see the caddis but I can easily see the glo bug among all the fish swarming around to check it out. Then I see the glo bug do something fun...it moves UPSTREAM.

SET THE HOOK!!! Out comes a nice little wild Waterloo Brown! I put the rig back in the water and on the next few drifts I miss two fish that take the glo bug! Keep in mind now, the pool is sooooo slow that each drift probably lasted 2 minutes or more!

Here's what I figured out; using the Glo bug as the lead fly made a DEADLY indicator. I would have never seen my hits had I just been fishing the nymph...it was far too deep and too small even with the gold bead. Hits were so subtle that I doubt a surface indicator would have done much good, I'm pretty sure this pool is deep enough that I would be underwater even if standing, and the fish were all tight on the bottom. When the fish would come in most of the time they'd look and leave, but two times I'd see fish in the vicinity and the glo bug would make a sudden movement; both times I set the hook I was rewarded with BIG rainbows, judging by their relatively pristine condition and larger size, probably holdovers. Talk about a SINISTER rig...man this was one tough pool and I got a new technique out of the deal.

Lunchtime back and camp again, and after lunch Les was on his way. Lloyd was still fishless for Sunday but was going to have to head towards home. We talked about it, and I convinced him he should make one more stop with me...the Secret Stream. He wanted to know the name, I wouldn't tell him. He'd simply have to follow me and hope he didn't get separated along the way.

Well, about 2:00 we arrived and I told Lloyd to bring out the insurance policy; he had my last two Tucker Nymphs! We got on the stream and found it to be MUDDY, which I totally did not expect!

Apparently the mud didn't matter, and even fishing a #18 Tucker Nymph Lloyd hooked up BIG TIME, I mean BIG TIME. He's sittin' there practicing & refining his roll cast and his line starts moving...I don't think it registered with him right away as there was this pause that hung in the air forever...one of those slow motion moments. I snapped back into reality...I think I shouted "SET THE HOOK" even though he had already done so.

We got a good look at the fish but Lloyd was playin' with 2lb (I was expecting the usual gin-clear water so suggested that). Definitely couldn't horse this fish; a good solid wild brown about 15-16". It gave us several good looks and I totally blame myself for not having a picture of Lloyd with this fish; I definitely waited too long before getting in position to help land this fish. Lloyd had it subdued and at the surface...as I crouched it made one last head jerk and the Tucker Nymph flew out of the brown's mouth and into the trees overhead. G@#$()*@#$

Lloyd did manage to land a chub and had a few other hits, and I got to show him what stocker browns look like, but as the afternoon wore on he decided he couldn't fish longer. I told him "just two more casts"...he gave it three and then decided it was time to go. He almost made it all the way home without finding out the name of the Secret Steam, but he ended up figuring it out..DRAT! At least he knows the name is never to cross his lips.

So Lloyd you may want to stop reading the report here and consider that your day ended well, having tied into a 16" wild brown on the Tucker. I swear, don't read on....trust me.

I had put Lloyd in the absolute best spot on this river to catch fish and he had done alright. He's currently walking back to the car, so now it's my turn to take a crack at it. Right now I think I was 1/1 and it was probably 3:30, maybe 4:00.

First cast into the designated spot I hook up and lose a fish. 2nd cast I land a stocker. 7th cast I land my first wild brown of the afternoon, one of those tailwalkin' berserk wild browns that fight like rainbows (as in you'd think you hooked a BIRD they're in the air so much). MP's Secret Stream is the only place I've had browns go truly nuts, Skamania Steelhead style, and it's a fairly regular occurrence!

Sorry I got sidetracked, I'm still counting casts. I'm in the 20's when I change drifts to focus a bit downstream and I get another tug (I've lost a few between my 7th cast and where I'm at now). I get yet another tug and this time it fights back hard....then goes ballisticly airborn...MY GOD that's a HUGE BROWN! I'm on four pound so I can fight him well....when it's all done I get a few pictures and thought about creeling him but then remembered what I ask all of you to do...let he wild browns go. He's back there for you guys.

This fish blew my mind, I had been counting casts but after a fish like that I totally forgot where I was in the count. It didn't matter though, as the next cast (ok maybe 2 or 3), same exact drift, I get another FAT TUG...and another BIG ASS FAT BROWN goes skyward. SIMPLY UNREAL. Get it landed and it's back in the stream as well.

The day just kept on going like this, I really never moved more than 10 feet from my general casting position. Before 6:00 or so I had hooked 40 fish and landed 10! And you wonder why I keep this stream a secret?! One of the highlights was a plump stocker rainbow. I also got two smaller ones, not really worth the pictures as we have plenty of stocker 'bow pictures already. Got pictures of most of the wild browns, many of the 9-10" last year are now 12" at least.

Between 6:30 and 8:00 the action just shut down...I had lost my good flies (Hare's Ears #12 and #18) and had struggled to find anything else in my box that would be productive. Tried dries as the fish were feeding on the surface everywhere around me; the problem was that there wasn't any discernible hatch going on, and I think that at least some of the feeding fish were chubs.

I worked hard but ended up with 2 more fish + 2 hits, rounding out my time on the Secret Stream at 12/44! Honestly wish I had converted more; something must have been off as on a good day I land about 50%. I honestly was torn between continuing and leaving, but the dark skies and rapidly dropping temperature lead me to count my blessings as I made the long drive home.

 

  MP 

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