8-05-06 - The Real McCoy is Trout Fishin!
Waters Fished: Waterloo Creek, North Bear Creek, South Bear Creek, Trout Run, Coldwater Creek
Fish Caught: many
Outing Date: 8-05-06
Weather: Partly Cloudy
Air Temp: High 70's
Water Temp: N/A
Water Level: Normal
Water Color: Most Clear, Trout Run - Cloudy (vis. 6")
Fish Species: Brown and Rainbow Trout
Pattern Fished: Various Beadhead Nymphs
Pattern Color: Assorted
So I was looking forward to seeing Mike, Mitch & Mason for our second annual trout fishin' trip. However this year, there'd be more than just the four of us; Mike's father Bob and youngest son Miller would be joining us on the water! I rolled into Dorchester after dark, slept fast & hard and got up just after 6AM to meet the McCoy family for breakfast at the Sportman's Motel restaurant.
On to the fishing!! Mike asked me to guide Mitch & Mason while he took the responsibility of helping Miller. Bob, an experienced flyfisherman, was left to fend for himself. We kicked off our morning on Waterloo Creek. It was the only spot we could find without an angler. It took a little work, but Mason soon landed the first trout of the day. Shortly there after Mitch countered his brother with a little wild brown. By this point, other anglers had appeared downstream - looks like it's going to be a crowded day on the Waterloo...
We headed over to the North Bear Creek. Despite finding a few cars in the parking lot, the spot I wanted to fish appeared to be vacant. When we got to the spot, Mitch, Mason and Mike each claimed a section of the pool. I suggested to Bob that he go downstream into the forest and work the bends.
The fishing wasn't as profitable as it had been on my prior visit. There were still many big rainbows lurking. But they were not actively feeding at the moment. Mitch & Mason both had a hit or two. Mike fared slightly better, landing a nice rainbow trout - his first on his new MP custom rod.
Bob came up from downstream, apparently the hike was well worth it - he had landed at least two trout, and lost at least that many. The boys were eager for a change of scenery, so we headed to South Bear Creek.
South Bear Creek was crystal clear as always. I set the boys up on a deep pool where we could see every movement the trout might make. While everyone was finding their spot on the pool, Miller somehow came in contact with the hooks on Mike's fly rod! The slight prick caused him to yank back quickly pulling the hook all the way into his finger. I've never heard such blood-curdling screams come out of someone so small! Miller had actually pulled so hard that he snapped the fly off Mike's tippet.
Thankfully, I've witnessed Rich Brown take more than one hook out of my own hands - so I knew what to do. Mike & I brought Miller back to the van and tried to calm him down. I prepared a loop of 30lb mono while Mike iced Miller's finger to dull the nerves. I explained to Mike what I planned to do and assured him that while I've never done this on a human - it worked really well on Alice, our dog. Mike distracted Miller causing him to look away. I seized the opportunity, pushed down on the eye of the hook and swiftly pulled back on the mono loop which had been placed around the bend of the hook. With a quick pop and a single drop of blood, the #18 beadhead caddis was no longer stuck in Miller's finger.
Mike stayed back at the van with Miller and I headed back down to check on Mitch & Mason. I arrived just in the nick of time to find Mitch engrossed in battle. He played the fish like a champ and got it to shore - chalk up another trout for Mitch! Mason begged his brother to let him perform "CPR" on the fish & Mitch was all too happy to oblige.
Later, Mike & Miller came back down to the pool and were ready to wet a line. Mason & Mitch had been working the water but hadn't had any further interest from the fish - a lot of lookers, but no takers. I'm not sure what Mike did, but he managed to hook up. We ended the fight quickly with another rainbow trout brought to shore. Soon after, Bob returned - he'd found the tree and plunge pool I recommended earlier. Long story short -again some lookers, but no takers. Time for our mid-day break.
Usually on weekend trips, Saturday is the better day to drive West. Heading west on any departure day can add an hour or two to your drive home. Having seen most of the water we fished last year, Mike was interested in checking out some new spots. I had a couple places in mind.
A 45 min drive brought us to our first destination, Trout Run. We headed up towards the hatchery so everyone could take a look around before fishing. While rigging up, someone walked up behind me and said, "Hey Buddy". I turned around and to my surprise found Jim, Leanne and Kenny standing there! I had no idea my local angling buddies had also made the drive to Iowa this weekend.
The headwaters of Trout Run were pretty crowded. But as soon as we started wetting lines, we figured out why! In no time Mitch had landed ANOTHER rainbow trout. He moved upstream and soon had yet another rainbow on shore. With no fish from North or South Bear Creek, Mason was starting to get a bit frustrated, but as we all know your luck can change in an instant when you're fishing. The turning point was a heart-pounding battle punctuated with an acrobatic eruption and several drag-melting runs. The battle ended with a pudgy brown trout. It turned out to be the largest fish of the day! We didn't stay much longer, just enough time for Mitch to land another rainbow.
Our final stop for the day was Coldwater Creek. I hadn't been there for at least a year. Coldwater is usually quite productive and I had heard that it was recently fishing well. When we pulled up, we only found one other car. We started our way upstream, located the other anglers and pushed onwards to give them plenty of room.
I set Mike up on a tiny bend - it looks fishless, but a bank-hide provides plenty of cover for big fish. It would be a good spot for Mike to be challenged while Mason & Mitch fished the next bend upstream. After about 15 minutes, Mike came up and asked me to come down to show him how to make a presentation to a particular fish he had his eye on. In essence, it was this year "guide challenge".
The fish in question was a good-sized brown trout. The cast was difficult. Most backcasts would put the flies into tall grass and a roll cast was not an option because of an overhanging tree. The fish laid in a small pocket surrounded by weeds and sheltered from above by the tree. The largest problem was that most casting options placed the flies too far upstream. Long before the flies could drift down to the fish, near shore weeds would catch the fly line or leader, ending the drift short of the fish.
My solution, was to change my backcast lane - casting high behind to avoid the tall grass and upstream which utilized the available open space over the river. A tight loop was required to punch the flies underneath the brush on the far shore. The rod was held high, parallel to the water with arm extended, which reduced hang-ups on the near shore weeds. Once I'd locked in this presentation, it only took a few drifts before the fish struck. I didn't land the fish, but Mike gained a lot from the demonstration.
I took Mitch & Mason further upstream to another large bend pool. There was plenty of room for both of them to fish. As afternoon turned into evening, Mason finally had his good share of the action landing three more rainbows.
Did I mention Bob? When we arrived, I had suggested he go upstream to the first crossing and told him to start there and continue on as long as he wanted. Mike and the boys had called it a day, so I got to spend a little time with Bob. I found him slightly downstream from the crossing working a pool of actively rising fish. Bob didn't need my help in the least; he was quite proficient with his Hexagraph rod. I took a lot of pictures as Bob landed three fish. When he had his fill, he turned to me and invited me to take a few casts. Three casts later, a rainbow trout was brought to shore. We could have stayed here till nightfall, landing fish after fish - our appetite for trout was sated, all we need now was real food.