5-01-05 - Another Snowy Spring Day in the Coulees!
Waters Fished: Silver Creek, Waterloo Creek, MP's
Secret Stream, Big Green River
Fish Caught: 3 personally
Outing Date: 5-01-05
Weather: COLD, Cloudy
Air Temp: 40's
Water Temp: 50's
Water Level: low
Water Color: clear
Fish Species: Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Brook Trout
Pattern Fished: Various Beadheads (including the Tucker Nymph),
Blue Winged Olives (surface and emerging)
Pattern Color: As per patterns
Fishing Quality: Poor
Yup, another cold, snowy, blustery day in Iowa!
Hardly what you're looking for in a Trout School, but that's how
it went down.
Ron left after breakfast in anticipation of a 9
hour drive back home..can't say I blame him! Tanya had to head back
to Chicago as well...stuff to do before the week starts!
So that left FAT and the 3 Matts. After being totally
frustrated on both good streams we fished yesterday, we figured
we'd give one of the less fished streams a chance. A game of chance
and some debate, we settled on Silver Creek as our first destination
for the morning.
Well, wouldn't ya know it, the first access spot
we went to was simply devoid of fish. We moved upstream to try and
get in at the access spot I had fished and done well at in the past,
but it's now POSTED no trespassing. There was private land available
to anglers downstream...all we found were a half dozen fish in several
hundred yards of stream. Pretty dismal.
Finally, one more stop further upstream and we
thought we had the spot to ourselves. Again, I think I can count
the number of trout we spotted on one hand. They were all in the
deepest spots of the deepest pools, holding tight to the bottom
and really nervous. Add onto that some anglers who apparently were
either the land owners, lived very close by or had trespassed their
way upstream, and suddenly this spot too felt crowded. Rather dejected,
we decided to change things up.
You can always count on the C&R Section of
the Waterloo to hold fish, so that's where we headed next. It was
a better choice than driving way out of our way only to drive back
for lunch. We pulled up and here too found anglers already on the
water...they were heading upstream so we headed down.
FAT took off in a hurry, with Matt and TallMatt
following shortly thereafter. For some reason I was drawn to at
least go upstream a bit, just to see what the other anglers had
Well, for starters, those other anglers had passed
by a mammoth brown trout that was easily in the 8lb. class...it
looked like a tributary fish sittin there against the light sand
bottom. I never had a chance...he bolted the second I inadvertently
walked up on him. Len H....I know where there's a big trout in some
big water to chase!!! ;)
I too then turned my attention downstream as we
all leapfrogged one another, hitting the bend pools and holes. Most
fairly deep water held nothing, again it was only the deepest of
the deep spots that had fish, and these were so deep that unless
you got lucky you couldn't even see them to be sure there WERE fish.
Talk about TOUGH!
I made some adjustments - 2 split shots. I fouled
a number of suckers but at least I was on the bottom where the fish
were. Somehow, shear luck I think, I managed to detect the strike
of a small wild brown. LUCKY fish in my book. Shortly thereafter
I fouled a 16" brown...not sure if he ever took a fly or not,
so of course he went back without his photo.
Cold and hungry, we headed back to camp for another
round of sandwiches. Matt and TallMatt were ready to call it a day
and packed up after lunch to head back to Chicago. Meanwhile FAT
and I took the early afternoon to clean up camp and stain some picnic
tables while it snowed!
Our afternoon fishin' was a tossup. Rich simply
wanted to try new streams while I was of the notion that we should
try DIFFERENT streams. Specifically, I felt that perhaps the Turkey
River might hold some promise when all the small spring creeks were
holding their fish close to their hearts.
Somehow in some sort of Fat / Matt compromise,
we ended up at my secret stream. Thankfully it was the first time
all weekend that we didn't run into other anglers! We walked up
to the first pool which normally holds a buttload of trout. I saw
OK, so this was admittedly getting depressing,
but after the floods last year the first pool just hasn't been as
good as it used to be. With that, I reasoned we should at least
hit a 2nd pool before calling it quits. Keep in mind at this point
both Rich and I were pretty frozen.
Perhaps the saving grace, Rich and I walked up
to the next pool to find OODLES of trout. Rich claims it was more
trout in one pool than all the trout we'd seen all weekend, and
that would probably be a fair assessment. To top it off, they were
We both slid in, I took the upstream position while
Rich cast from below. It became quickly apparent that the trout
were rising to a hearty feast of Blue Winged Olives that were dancing
on the surface. It was arguably the best insect hatch I've seen
in Iowa since 2003.
I rerigged as did Rich and we both started casting.
Within our first two casts the rising stopped. As I later stated,
"I think we put the fish down". Rich retorted, "I
KNOW we put the fish down".
Well, just because we had pushed the fish from
the surface didn't mean they weren't biting. Rich could clearly
see a few brook trout at the tail of the pool..from where I fished
I could easily make out several browns and rainbows. Realizing that
the surface bite was not going to happen, I rerigged again, down
to 2lb with a #20 Tucker Nymph and a #20 Beadhead Copper John.
The Copper John was a perfect "point"
fly...the trailing fly I usually call the "dropper" (yes,
calling the first fly in the rig the dropper makes NO sense to me
whatsoever). The Copper John went straight down 3' to the fish,
and from where I crouched I could watch the refusals, the looks
and the takes. My first fish landed was a dink rainbow.
Ok, so the pressure was really on the FATMAN, and
in the clutch he managed a stunningly beautiful brown trout, which
the secret stream is known for. I managed another rainbow that struck
but was fouled when I set the hook...that's how nuts the fish was
this weekend. Had I not been watching that tiny glint of light sink
to the fish and be snapped at, I wouldn't have ever known I even
had a take. The fact that some of these came in foul is likely that
these takes were so light that I probably pulled the flies right
out of their closing jaws.
Both relieved of the black and white monkey, Rich
and I tried to stop at the Cabela's in Prarie Du Chien but guess
what...knowing how our luck went this weekend we arrived at 6:05
PM, 5 minutes after they closed. Well, on the drive home Rich suddenly
veered off the road onto a side street. Before you know it, we're
standing over the Big Green. I'm rigging up my rod, ready to hit
the water when Rich declares, "There's NOTHING HERE, Freakin'
NOTHING"! It was a pretty quiet ride back to SE WI...lots of
"I can't believe this...I simply can't believe this...".
Thankfully there's many more (better) days ahead.