5-15-05 - Fish Fat Iowa Fly Fishing School - Day
Waters Fished: South Bear Creek, Sny Magill Creek
Fish Caught: several
Outing Date: 5-15-05
Weather: Partly Sunny at times, overcast mostly
Air Temp: 60's
Water Temp: N/A
Water Level: South Bear - Slightly Up, Sny Magill, a bit low
Water Color: both crystal clear
Fish Species: Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout, Brown Trout
Pattern Fished: Assorted Beadhead Nymphs
Pattern Color: Assorted
Fishing Quality: Improving, Fair to Good
It's another day of Fly School...we really didn't
have much we needed to go over again so after a good breakfast we
suited up and hit the streams again.
This time around, we hit South Bear Creek in the
morning. In short order some of us were having really good luck...including
Mike who got the first fish of the morning. I managed to coax a
couple out of a deep pool.
The morning progressed slowly...the fish were definitely
in. As I headed downstream, Nick hooked up with a fish and fought
it hard. When it was a few feet from shore, he set the rod down
and proceeded to hand-line the fish in...I'm shouting "NO NO
NO". Well, as you guessed, now that there was no shock absorber
the fish got away with ease.
Downstream I found a few nice browns, the first
holding under a stump. He hit twice, coming off both times. Ok,
time to move. Upstream a bit in a pool that pretty much holds only
suckers I found a MASSIVE brown and spent arguably way too much
time trying to get a bite out of him. Got some suckers on the dead
drifting midge pattern, but overall, once again, DENIED!
I came back upstream to find Mike hooked up again...excellent.
Don had been working the water patiently as had Rich. In fact, Rich
had gone to an indicator rig..that's how subtle the takes were.
Well, if the fishin' is so-so it's time to move
on...we moved a considerable stretch downstream on South Bear and
rerigged. While getting Don set back up, the rest of the crew was
already on the water. I thought it was Nick who had hooked up, so
I ran downstream to get a picture. Nope...fish gone! Meanwhile Rich
was on...in fact everyone was getting hits right off the bat.
Don and I set up on a nice bend pool and there,
in the gut, lay a large brook trout, possibly a broodstock. In short
order Don landed his first fish, then lost his second as it tangled
itself on a fallen branch. Darnit. Don was right. We should have
MOVED that branch when we got there.
I managed a small rainbow but was really really
goin' for that brook trout. Rich came back to let us know he was
setting up lunch...I told him I'd have to catch that big ass brookie
As time wore on we could hear the shouts of frustration
from Nick and Mike upstream...heck we making some of those same
noises ourselves. As I watched the brook trout in the depths of
the pool, I slowly started increasing my pattern size, each time
getting more interest and more SUSTAINED interest out of him. The
Coup De Grace was when I attached and drifted down a "Flyin'"
Chicago Leach. He looked at it, rushed towards it and PUSHED IT
with his nose. @#$Q#%^#$^Q#$%^
Well, I put it down there a few more times and
thought I saw him crush it...I set the hook and ended up with a
fouled brookie. Got him in and released him without pictures or
other incident...man the thing was 14"+ easily. Definitely
a brookie that was stocked in 2004, not this year.
After lunch Mike and Nick had to go. Rich, Morgan,
Don and myself headed to Cabelas...I was intent to stock up my trout
box with the truly bargain $5.99/doz. flies. $200 in flies later,
it was time for a little more fishin'. Rich had to head home, which
left Don and I to finish out the day in Iowa.
After some debating, I decided we'd visit the Sny
Magill. We dropped in at a usual hotspot and honestly, well, there
wasn't much going on. It took some hiking to find fish...the first
being a stunningly colored brown trout that whacked my fly not once
but twice before being landed. Don had a couple looks out of the
pool...I figured we could hit them on the way back again.
Upstream in "no man's land", in so much
as there was no obvious path, we found a literal HORDE of trout
in a depression. They were active and aggressive...definitely we'd
have some luck. The only problem was a branch that overhung their
position, sheltering them from most any and all casts.
The solution came in the form of literally poking
the rod tip into the tree and dapping a well placed fly into a narrow
drift that would go underneath the branches and down to the trout.
With a bit of practice Don figured it out and in no time was hooked
up. As it so often goes, the trout won the battle that time.
While Don took a break, I tried my luck with a
much shorter rod...2 hits later and I was frustrated too. What to
do? Well, we tried one more of the usual "hot spots" without
any luck and called it a day for THIS access point.
Maybe we'd go to Bloody Run? Well, turns out I
found a new access location. We pulled right up and saw one or two
trout...not what I was hoping for. We continued downstream and found
one of the less likely access spots...one of those spots where you
really have to hike a bit to get back. Figuring it was the end of
the weekend on a popular IA stream, I thought this spot would hold
more promise than most of the ones we'd been to so far today!
I'd like to say the move "paid off" with
tons of fish, but in reality while it was good it wasn't the insane
IA stream trout action you hope for. This was new water to me, which
was interesting because it gave me a chance to talk Don through
the methodology of approaching new water.
I stopped at a likely hole...I though Don would
to but he was up and off on his own checkin' out the next one upstream.
Sweet...I like to see how folks gain confidence over the weekend.
My instincts paid off with a couple hits and a
stocker bow landed. We continued upstream and saw more stunning
water. As dusk approached, I felt a tug towards a spot downstream
that we could see where we walked in.
Well that "bend by the tree" turned out
to be nothing but flat shallow water...not the type of water that
has been holding fish. We pressed onwards into the forest and there,
around a bend, the stream simply opened up wide.
There before us was a massive pool, the size one
can only dream about and the size that tends to hold monstrous fish.
Add onto that the fact that we were in a stretch that likely sees
less pressure...my heart was thumpin.
Don chose to fish the head...from there he could
use a standard overhead cast using the tunnel above the stream for
casting room. I set to the task of roll casting across to the far
side. Bam Bam Bam...3 little wild brown trout later (too dark to
photograph them) Don came down and was convinced to try roll casting
While Don worked on it, I switched up to the Flyin'
Leech in the hopes of connecting with a monster brown...heck a monster
trout of ANY species would have been nice. It wasn't meant to be
however, and as the last bit of sunlight cut across the treetops
Don and I decided to end a good day on the water.