6-19-05 - Iowa holds some surprises!!
Waters Fished: Waterloo Creek, Turkey River
Fish Caught: 10 (+2 not pictured)
Outing Date: 6-19-05
Air Temp: upper 70's
Water Temp: N/A
Water Level: normal
Water Color: Waterloo was crystal, Turkey was muddy (visibility
Fish Species: Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Smallmouth Bass, Quillback!
Pattern Fished: Nymphs, Leeches, even EGGS?
Pattern Color: natural shades for the type of bait
Fishing Quality: EXCELLENT!
Now, I have to say that I'm really at a loss for
precisely what happened this morning. I *think* I remember Paul
and Anne joined me for a couple hours of fishing on the Waterloo
at the secret spot. I can't be 100% sure though, because the 2nd
half of the day was so great it's pretty much completely shoved
the first half right out of my mind! My apologies Paul (and Anne)...I
just can't remember the morning very well, even when looking through
I believe the first fish pictured was ANNE'S! Paul
may have gone fishless this time 'round...in any case I know they
weren't able to stay very long as they had a long drive back to
the Cedar Rapids area and afternoon commitments. The Waterloo produced
a few more good fish, but the one I distinctly remember is the brown
trout pictured here. There's a large, deep eddy pool I know of that
seems to hold some relatively "mammoth" trout...they're
finicky and the only way to get down there is to start putting on
the splitshot! The coolest part is that you're standing several
feet directly above the water, peering into this crystal clear whirlpool,
and the whole time you can see exactly what's going on. I know I've
tried this pool MANY times before and have never gotten so luck
as to FINALLY fool one of the 4-5 big brown trout that lived there.
Paul and Anne headed west at somepoint in the morning,
and after the brown, I headed back to "basecamp" to put
things in order and start out for Chicago. Probably not even noon
yet, I was split between heading back early to surprise Renee OR
maybe I'd stop along the way.
Well, somehow I found myself pulling up to Big
Springs Fish Hatchery on the banks of the Turkey River. How the
heck did I get here??!?! Oh well..might as well fish, right? My
last time here was over 6 months ago in the middle of winter - we
won the 2004 Pet Fly Smackdown here!
There were at least a few folks huddled at various
"productive spots" so I continued my walk back to a spot
I could have to myself. The water was brown, visibility easily less
than a foot. I tied on a couple Chicago Leeches in black and started
plying the swirling waters at my feet, slowly covering the water.
I found the sweet spot after about 15 minutes...drifting
deep and then twitching along the seam of two currents produced
a pounding hit, then a second. Within a few minutes I'd landed 2
healthy rainbows from the Turkey River.
Why stop now? Next up was a HARD strike...whatever
I had tied into had some size! I think I laughed my ass off when
I landed this guy - a lifetime first. It was a QUILLBACK. Kinda
like a carp, kinda like a sucker, and really kinda cool with the
first few spines of the dorsal fin being very elongated. It reminds
me of another fish; I'd have to call the Quillback the freshwater
version of the Jacknifefish (a drum species found in tropical Atlantic/Caribbean
waters). Really, really cool and unexpected. But there were more
surprises to come...
Not too long after I had released the Quillback
the Turkey threw another curveball my way. Again, a feisty fish,
smaller but it definitely put up a fight against a 7' 4wt. I figured
it was a trout until I got it up...SMALLMOUTH BASS!
I didn't want to leave, but I had to get on the
road soon, so I hiked back towards my car, stopping at another productive
spot to fish a bit more. Some other anglers were pretty much "packing
it up" and suggested that they had REALLY good luck with powerbait.
I tied on a red egg pattern like we'd use for Salmon
as my new dropper. Of course it worked...bringing a couple big rainbows
to shore, only one of which I got a photograph of. The action didn't
stop there...drifting out along a seam I picked up another Smallmouth
Bass. Not a ton of size to either of the Smallmouth I got, but bigger
than most I'd seen in other places (like the Milwaukee River).
This day on the Turkey is gonna stand out in my
memory for a LONG time. Smallies, a Quillback, and more heavy fighting
trout that most folks need. Iowa's finally starting to "come
around" in 2005 afterall!