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5-13-05 - A bit of drizzle doesn't stop us from hitting the Waterloo - it's gorgeous in spring colors. Mission #1 - Beautiful Streams - Accomplished!
The first trout of the morning is Todd's!
Todd with his first stocker rainbow trout.

5-13-05 - Friday the 13th...will we slide by under the radar?

Waters Fished: Waterloo Creek, Trout Run, Twin Springs, Trout River
Fish Caught: several
Outing Date: 5-15-05
Weather: Overcast, Drizzle at times
Air Temp: 60's
Water Temp: N/A
Water Level: slightly up
Water Color: Waterloo & Trout River - tinged but clear, Trout Run & Twin Springs - MUD
Fish Species: Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Brook Trout
Pattern Fished: Assorted Beadhead Nymphs
Pattern Color: Assorted
Fishing Quality: Good

As soon as we were done with our first trip, Chris was planning an Iowa Fishing Trip. This time his brother Todd would be joining us for a bit of Iowa Inland Trout team fishing! Chris had 3 specific "requirements" for his customized trout trip. First, Beautiful Scenery. Second, the opportunity to fish over wild trout. Finally, the opportunity to catch brook trout. Here's how it went down...

I arrived in Dorchester around 3:00 AM and settled in for a quick sleep in FAT's RV. I set the alarm for 9:00 AM, giving myself enough time to wake up and get ready for the day ahead. Chris and Todd were due to arrive around 10:00 AM...by 10:30 I was starting to worry they were lost so I kept myself busy getting things set up for the Fly Fishing School, which would start at 7:00 PM this evening. I was literally getting ready to leave a note on the RV and head to the stream when Chris and Todd pulled up in the Bitchin' Camaro's Soulmate - a White Pontiac Firebird ;)

While Chris has fished Iowa's Trout streams before, Todd is relatively new to the sport. We rigged up and got ready to hit the streams; my plan was to start at the Waterloo and spend some time with Todd to see how his casts were.

While driving along the stream, I stopped periodically to point out the access spots we might try...I had my sights set on one of the uppermost spots but we arrived to find a few anglers already working the water. Backtracking, we arrived at one of the more obvious spots that usually gets pounded on any given weekend. However, this wasn't a weekend...it was FRIDAY! I think the group consensus was that I had already met requirement #1 of the trip...this spot was gorgeous, simply covered with fresh green and ferns unfurling from the ground.

As we approached the stream, Chris and I spotted rises in the upper pool and Chris headed up there. Todd and I dropped in on the lower pool and I started to give Todd the basics of reading the water in an attempt to locate where the fish *should* be holding. Todd had never made a roll cast before, but he picked it up in minutes. By that point, it was time for the catchin' to begin!

In no time Todd landed his first and second fish; a stocker rainbow (creeled for dinner) and a beautiful 14" wild Brown Trout, released as all the wild ones should be. In no time, we had already accomplished goal #2 with the stunning wild Waterloo Creek Brown Trout.

Mission #2 accomplished - Todd lands a wild Waterloo Brown Trout. Rainbow trout for me too! Another look at the Waterloo.

The action was relatively nonstop down where Todd and I were hanging out. The fish were not quite on the seam between the fast current and the eddy, but were rather holding deep in the eddy. Adding a splitshot to get down, the hookup rate increased by at least twofold. Throughout the late morning and early afternoon Todd and I simply whacked them...I know I landed 4, photographed 2, and honestly I think Todd did even better.

Meanwhile Chris was upstream and although he had a slow start, once he found where the fish were holding he too got into the act, landing a pair of stocker Rainbows in short order. I suggested perhaps he come fish the pool where Todd and I were...he was about to do so when a fish rose just short of the tailout. Eager for a challenge, Chris stayed upstream hoping to coax this riser from the depths.

Chris works the deep back bend of a pool. YES! Everyone has trout under their belts...this one belongs to Chris! Another small stocker Rainbow for MP.
Todd has hooked up again!
The fight is successful - another Trout! Todd admires another Iowa Rainbow Trout. Hey, I'm not "promoting" catch-and-kill here but I'm not against the sensible harvesting of a stocker or two for food! Todd and Chris wanted a few stockers for the fryin' pan and well, you're lookin' at two happy guys with their dinner - it's a classic scene you don't see much on the trout streams anymore.

So it was probably only 1:00 PM when we wrapped things up. An unofficial part of the trip would be to see several good streams during our time together - Chris and Todd had 2 more days to fish IA. They decided it was OK to leave the "hot action" in favor of seeing some of the other streams, so a few pictures were shot with the boys and dinner (4 stocker bows) and we were headed off to find gas.

Chris changes up, trying to coax a strike from Trout Run.
Twin Springs usually clears out quickly but today, it's MUD!
What, this was like the first cast?! A nice Brook Trout comes to shore from the Trout River. Put those brookies back!

After our pitstop in Waukon, we moved on to Dorchester. My initial plan was to set the guys up on Trout Run, show them the hatchery, and let them fish while I grabbed Casey's Pizza for lunch. Upon arriving at Trout Run, it was clear that rain has the aquifer up; the water flowing from the spring was practically MUD. We all switched up to "Flying Chicago Leaches" and I headed back to Decorah.

I learned that Casey's doesn't make pizza on the weekdays basically between lunch and 4:00 PM...RATS! I returned and relayed the bad news...no biggies though as no one was starving. We fished Trout Run for a bit..Todd and I each got a hookup while I think Chris went without here. Looking for better water (and more good scenery) we moved on to Twin Springs.

Usually Twin Springs clears out more quickly than the neighboring streams. Apparently though, it's possibly on the same aquifer as Trout Run, as here too we encountered extremely dirty water. We all fished the one small deep pocket that always holds fish, but with no luck and difficult casting, we made the call to move on in short order.

While 4:00 was almost there, we pressed on, ate some snacks while on the drive to Trout River. I somewhat expected that we'd find dirty water here again...in advance I suggested that we might have to drive back north to the Bear system or even head back to the Waterloo to end our day.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the water was practically Gin Clear! We geared back up and got on the water. I walked Chris to a good pool and was going to then take Todd upstream to another good spot...when I turned around I found Todd taking his own initiative and heading up on his own. That's CONFIDENCE...and as you no doubt have been told before, a lot of fly fishing success comes from confidence.

Well, I guess I had enough confidence in my spot selection 'cause within the first cast (maybe 2) I hooked up with and landed a nice stocker brook trout. I knew there were more in the hole...Chris was still getting ready. I was MORE than satisfied with my day already, so I turned to Chris and said "I'm not casting here until you get your brook trout"!

Todd goes off in search of his own private pool. Mission #3 accomplished - an Iowa Brook Trout for Chris! Another Trout River Brook Trout is fooled by the Tucker Nymph.

Well, it didn't take long. After Chris got his fish, another nice Iowa Brook Trout (check, goal #3 accomplished) I left him and started fishing upriver myself, looking for Todd. When I reached the upper stretches of the accessible area, there was Todd, right where I was going to take him, working one of the bend pools.

Todd works the pool after missing a strike!
Chris hooks up with a spirited Rainbow Trout on Trout River.

I talked Todd through covering the water and in the process of demonstration hooked, and landed, another brookie myself. We both fished a couple pools in the area without much additional success, Todd had a hit or two but didn't land 'em. It was a stunning location and the sun was starting to show through the clouds a bit. We couldn't have asked for a better last stream.

With only 30 minutes left, I suggested that we start gathering up and trying other holes in this section of river. Back at our access point, Todd, Chris and I all fished a deep pool that has held LARGE wild brown trout in the past.

This time though Chris hooked up with a Rainbow from the tailout of the pool. It went LDR (long distance release). We all shifted our casting patterns to focus on the tailout...I got a hit and dropped the fish only inches from shore.

That pretty much wraps up what I was there for...I had to be in Dorchester by 7:00 PM as our fly school students would be arriving by then. I do know that Chris and Todd went on to have two more exciting days of Iowa Fly Fishin...heck we drove past them and honked both Saturday AND Sunday!

  MP 

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