5-6-06 - FLY SCHOOL!
Waters Fished: Bear Creek, Twin Springs, Trout
Run, Trout River, Patterson Creek
Fish Caught: 4 (3 personally)
Outing Date: 5-6-06
Air Temp: highs around 70F
Water Temp: Bear Creek was 52F
Water Level: high but not blown out
Water Color: Bear was pretty clear, Twin Springs was crystal, Trout
Run was VERY dirty and Trout River was visible about 1'
Fish Species: Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout, Brown Trout
Pattern Fished: Various beadhead nymphs, #18-20, Chicago Leach in
Black & Brown
Pattern Color: Assorted
So it's an Iowa Fly School but not like you'd traditionally
think. Things are up in the air with FAT's Fly Schools this year
due to the new job, the moving of the RV and such, so who knows
when the next Fish
Fat Iowa Trout School will be??! I had Rich's blessing to put
together a trip for Mike and Derek....let's all hope that Rich gets
to spend more time on the water soon!
Mike was up at 6:00 AM, the bird chirping on the
branch outside the window by his head, only a couple feet away,
was more than he could take! We had spent the night at a place that's
new to me, Big
Joe's. It was recommended to me by Shawn Boesen. Shawn, the
three of us are VERY grateful for that recommendation! Our Riverside
Cabin sat on the bank of Bear Creek (not to be confused with Bear
Creek to the south in Fayette County, this is the Bear, downstream
from the confluence of North and South Bear Creeks). Whatever you
do, make sure you find Willow Dr. by coming up on W60, NOT the other
way, let alone doing it at NIGHT!
After Mike whipped up a great eggs and bacon breakfast,
we meandered outside to start "fly school". @#$@#%!!!!
The Bitchin' Camaro had a flat, and we're in the middle of BF NOWHERE
Iowa! Well, Derek and I both tried to loosen the lugs and get the
spare on, but the darn tool that comes with the car is so USED that
it no longer grabs the nuts. NUTS!
While I started Derek's morning of instruction,
Mike went off and found Big Joe. Apparently there's a local service
that will come fix the flat on the spot?!?! I figured we'd give
it a shot!
So both Mike and Derek went through fly school,
more or less the same as they'd get at a Fish Fat Fly School with
a couple exceptions. 1. No handbook. 2. No Big Fancy Knot Kits.
3. No Video recording of the casting. Honestly it didn't seem to
hamper things much...if anything I think I had a bit more attention
of out Derek and Mike (who'd already gone through Rich's fly school
last year). Less stuff to get in the way, less overwhelming perhaps.
In any case, it went smoothly.
Well, just as we wrapped up the basics, Josh from
the Farm Tire Service came down and had a look at the tire. Derek
and I got around to casting in the wide open grass fields behind
the cabin...it was an ideal setting. By the time Josh came back
with a fixed tire, Derek was shooting line and easily getting 40
feet on his better casts. I was VERY impressed with the Farm Tire
Service and will be including all the info on the Iowa Links Page
- put it in your cell phone if you're heading that way as it's an
It was TIME TO FISH! Derek and I spent some time
learning the roll cast ON THE WATER - a definite improvement. Shortly
thereafter we all moved upstream..Mike had been having good luck
in a bend upstream of the cabin and has already lost a few fish!
Mike's weapon of choice all weekend was the beautiful
St. Croix 7' 3wt. that Dave
Dyer built for me; he had fished it last year and when he saw
I had it in the car this time around he quickly called "shotgun"....who
am I to argue? I set Derek up with arguably one of my best casting
setups for a beginner, an old trusty Dogwood Canyon 7' 4wt. from
Bass Pro - I've done some tweaking and this rod cast as well if
not better than some of the "higher end" rods out there.
I had my pick of the litter, and opted to go with a cane rod that
had built specifically for Iowa Trout fishing. Just a reminder,
I rent out my two Trout Camp
cane rods on guided trips, so if you want to try bamboo without
making a significant investment up front, you should really give
me a call!
It started off with Derek landing a BIG chub, probably
8". Then I got chubbed too. This is NOT a good start. Maybe
it was the bamboo rod, or maybe my experience, but I ended up pulling
2 fine trout from the bend pool on the Bear...meanwhile Mike struggled
with missed hits and Derek seemed awful quiet fishing the large
pod of fish at the tailout. As the action slowed I suggested we
do lunch and head on out to our final destination for the day -
Along the way we were driving into Decorah past
Twin Springs. It wasn't on my list of things to do, but sometimes
you get real lucky there (other times it downright sucks).
Well, I sent Mike off upstream to explore every
bend, pocket and channel while Derek and I would take our time.
Just a bit upstream we found a deep pool holding several trout.
This would require special skills. Was Derek up to it?
Ah, the fine art of dapping. While demonstrating
the technique to Derek I hooked up and pulled out a shiny silver
rainbow. Derek had made the call, we'd be eating trout for dinner,
so this stocker went into the creel. Derek, seemingly intrigued
by the creel, ended up being creelmiester for the rest of the day
We spent probably 45 minutes to an hour working
the pool. Derek literally had hits from EVERY STINKIN FISH in there!
Now that's Iowa Trout fishing. Derek lost a couple on the hooksets
(a guy used to saltwater fishing obviously won't be accustomed to
letting the rod do some of that work). I recall 2 being on for a
while, one almost making it to the net, but ultimately Derek didn't
get his first fish there. After the action stopped, we decided to
rest the pool and go downstream. A bit larger space, Derek got to
use his roll cast, but no luck. Time to go see if the 10 minutes
rest had helped, only to find MIKE on our pool! Mike hadn't had
any luck on those fish, so I "kicked him downstream" to
our other fish while we tried putting a Chicago leach through the
pool. Not really any interest...time to call it a day on Twin Springs.
I wanted to pick up a couple trout maps from the
DNR, so we stopped at Trout Run. It was JAM PACKED with anglers
on this Saturday afternoon. We turned around, but hey, Trout Run
has fished kinda well for me in the past. The water was dirty, we
switched to buggers. This was a quick drill. Take a cast, step downstream.
When we're all back at the bridge, it's time to go. It should take
less than 30 minutes.
Well, I was down at the bridge and of course, I
get the sharp tug and land a brookie! Meanwhile Mike and Derek make
their way down and between all 3 of us we never had another hit.
Enough screwin' around, the real destination was Trout River afterall.
We pulled up at Trout River...the first spot had
2 cars and honestly, I've never liked fishing there anyways. The
2nd spot...WTF?! 3 cars?! 2 were from Wisconsin and one from Iowa.
We got out and scratched our heads? We got in the cars, turned around
and were ready to leave when it hit me - I didn't drive 5 hours
to NOT fish where I wanted to fish. I watched the anglers...most
were moving downstream, I wanted to go up, and NONE of them were
fishing the pools that I would want to fish anyways...they were
all bypassing them. WHY NOT...let's go fishing!
I hadn't even made it to the river when I heard
a shot - "IS THAT MP?!"
"Yeah, who wants to know?"
I sent Mike and Derek straight to the honey hole
and huffed downstream 2 bends to see what was going on. Sure enough,
there was FATMATT (of PFS 'FAT TRIBE' FAME, single-handed winner
of last year's smackdown). FATMATT is from GREEN BAY....
Turns out I guess Matt had told me he'd be out
in Iowa this weekend and it somehow slipped my mind. He was out
with Tom and Kevin (I hope I got your names correct). He happened
to mention that they had landed a small brown (wild) among other
While chatting, Matt hooked up with a brookie -
time for action shots! Matt doesn't waste time in landing his fish..he
had it up on the shore, unhooked and it wriggled free, slid down
the bank and back into the water. It only took two or three casts
for Matt to hook up again, and this time he walked it WAY BACK AWAY
from the edge of the bank.
Things were looking pretty dismal for the guys
upstream...they hadn't had a hit. Well, OK, Mike had a sucker. We
all slowly worked our way upstream, trying various bends. Derek
and I arrived at another sweet spot. I told Derek that if we didn't
get anything here we were DONE for the day on Trout River.
Sure enough, the spot and Derek's persistence paid
off. A little chromer for Derek's first Iowa Trout...nicely done!
We all fished a bit more, then I met up with Matt and chatted a
bit more while Derek and Mike tried other good spots that had been
producing earlier in the afternoon. When I got back down to the
guys, it was clear that they hadn't seen anymore action. Time to
I figured we'd try ONE MORE RIVER. I thought it
might be the South Bear, or the Waterloo, but as we drove it quickly
became apparent that we really wouldn't make it to either in time.
I ALMOST stopped at Pike Creek, but I had really not been impressed
when I checked it out, so I pushed on. Patterson Creek was "on
the way" and hey, it's kindof my "namesake stream"
so maybe the river god would look upon us favorably.
This was a run and gun...sunset was 30 minutes
away. I stopped at the first access point we came across...it just
happened to be one I haven't been to before. Very pretty, but we
NEVER saw a trout. I saw a rise, but it could have just as easily
been a sucker or a chub. When it was finally too dark to see, we
called it a night and headed back to Big Joe's for a great Trout