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5-7-06 - Back on the Bear, just upstream from our Cabin.

Mike works over a wild brown on South Bear Creek.

Only after switching to 2lb do the hits start coming!

Derek makes a few passes through an occasional pool...

5-7-06 - Last chance day for the "newbies"...

Waters Fished: Bear Creek, South Bear Creek, Big Springs Pond, Turkey River
Fish Caught: 3
Outing Date: 5-5-06
Weather: Sunny
Air Temp: 70's
Water Temp: N/A
Water Level: Normal, except the Turkey River was RAGING.
Water Color: Turkey River Visibility less than 6". Big Springs Pond visibility 2-3'. The rest were clear.
Fish Species: Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout
Pattern Fished: Various beadhead nymphs, #18-20, Chicago Leaches and other big patterns
Pattern Color: Assorted

Another great breakfast and we kicked off the day right where we did yesterday on the Bear. I opted to fish some likely water right outside our cabin while Mike and Derek went straight back to the bend. After 3 hits on my line, I moved up to check things out...the water looked a bit dirtier and I didn't see anything in the bend which bolstered Mike's observation.

The night before we had talked about some destinations for today and one that was on Mike's short list was South Bear Creek. I hung with Derek earlier on while Mike pool hopped. MOST spots that normally hold TONS of fish were EMPTY which was more than unusual in my opinion. Judging by the angling pressure we observed at most access points, I'm going to guess that many fish had be taken over the weekend. That didn't stop us from fishing to anything we found!

The South Bear was running VERY CLEAR...all weekend we had been fishing 4 lb fluorocarbon tippet. It seemed that maybe we needed to make a switch? I dropped to 2lb and instantly got a fish landed. YUP, that's the answer...these fish have seen TONS of pressure over the weekend.

As the morning wore on, Derek and I found Mike eagerly fishing to a pod of concealed fish. I had pointed the spot out earlier, noting all the fish, yet back then Derek and Mike had both simply moved on. Well, as it turned out, this would be our last stand on South Bear.

We stayed for about an hour...probably longer than we should have. Once Mike got the flies exactly where they needed to be, he got a LONG strike. His line danced for a couple seconds....I was shouting "SET THE HOOK"...I think Mike may have been distracted. By the time he came back the fish was gone. A couple fish were rising and a small midge hatch was coming off. I switched Mike up to dries. Despite lots of good casts, this spot didn't give up anything for either of the guys.

Mike breaks out the "accuracy challenge", casting to a couple risers in a pool of several fish.

Mike and Derek continue to work 'em over.

It's high noon and the guys are still trying for those stubborn fish!

Around noon it was time to start heading home...but we would have time for one more spot. After driving through Waukon and gassing up (and of course picking up some slices of Casey's pizza) we made our way south towards Big Springs. It's Sunday afternoon...this place could be crawling with anglers.

As we came over the last ridge and drove down along Big Springs Pond, I was relieved to see that we were the ONLY ANGLERS THERE! EXCELLENT, we should have a great time!

We made our way down to the pond, switching up to some larger patterns to call in the big boys. Before Mike had even rerigged I had already landed 2 fish. Of course, we stopped at the pond simply to wait for Mike; the real destination was the Turkey River!

Big Springs Pond.

Right off the bat, there's another trout.

And a 2nd trout.


Derek swings his flies through dark & heavy currents on the Turkey River.

The guys get some practice putting out the distance back on Big Springs Pond.

But when we got to the Turkey, we found it high and muddy. That doesn't automatically mean it's "bad" though. Mike and Derek took turns practicing their roll casts and working the flies in the heavy currents. After 10-15 minutes without a hit, I realized this wasn't fishing nearly as good as it should have. BACK TO THE POND!

Of course, I think we'd had our allotment of hits for the weekend. Derek and Mike had their work cut out for them...to get to the best fishing holding water they needed distance in their casts without putting their backcasts into the grassy hill behind them. For the next hour we all made our way around the pond...I saw some HUGE turtles and spent a bit of time sightcasting to a lone trout cruising on the sandy flats...sure looked like bonefishing to me! In the end, we only really gave up when a family of anglers fishing bait showed up. Back to city life...

  MP 

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