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8-6-06 - Before everyone heads out, I ran to the Waterloo to check its condition - high and muddy!

8-06-06 - A rainy day in Iowa won't stop the McCoys!

Waters Fished: Waterloo Creek, South Bear Creek, North Bear Creek
Fish Caught: several
Outing Date: 8-06-06
Weather: Raining in the AM, HOT and HUMID in the PM
Air Temp: 50's rising into the 90's!
Water Temp: N/A
Water Level: up
Water Color: dirty in lower areas, clearer but still stained upstreams
Fish Species: Rainbow Trout
Pattern Fished: Beadhead Nymphs + Hopper Dropper
Pattern Color: assorted

After such a fantastic time yesterday, of course it had to RAIN all night! We didn't hurry in the least come Sunday morning...a hard, steady downpour most of the night lead me to believe we'd be up for some hard times on most of the streams. After breakfast, I took a quick look, still in the rain, at Waterloo Creek. It was mud, as was to be expected.

The rain stopped just long enough for us to make our way to South Bear Creek. While gearing up, it started to rain pretty steadily again. As the initial cloudburst lightened, we trecked out...the camera remained safe and dry in the car for a change.

As the day progressed, the rain dwindled, came and went, and both Mitch and Mason simply had a banner day on a particularly good spot. I can't even count the number of hookups they had, and when things died down, we left, headed further downstream where MORE fish were hooked, only to come back and again share the pool. These two boys drifted it like pros - they even got the concept of how they could cross their lines during drifts yet not tangle...it's all in the order of who casts and who retrieves based on the direction of flow and where each angler is standing. Mike needs to be applauded for raising such great children...most kids their age wouldn't have had the patience, respect, and interest to pull off sharing such tight quarters and doing it WELL, let alone that they didn't tangle up. I can't forget Miller, the youngest of our group. We came inches from landing his first trout as his older brothers gave up their hot spot so he could take a spin. Mason had a few solid hookups all on his own...not too shabby for his first time out trout fishing!

When the rains went away, I was able to break out the camera for our afternoon time spent upstream on North Bear Creek

After lunch, I got to take some time with the 3 boys while Bob and Mike watched. All weekend Mitch and Mason had been asking about fly fishing, we decided "what the heck" and put rods into their hands. I rigged up three rods with yarn on the end (obviously no hooks) and put all three of the guys through their paces on the lawn at the Sportsmen's Motel. Now, to be fair, it's not like they were anywhere close to ready to hit the water in the afternoon with a fly rod, but all of them showed promise. I think Mike was tickled to see his three young men flailing fly line through the grass and air. It was pretty darn cool!

We knew our time was somewhat limited (I had to drive back to Chicago that night) - we weighed our options and headed back to the Bear Creek complex. Wanting to see new water, and realising that all of South Bear was crowded with anglers, we traversed North Bear Creek a few times before finally finding an access spot that was open.

My mission for Bob was simple...we were fishing a pasture stretch that happened to be hopping with black crickets and grasshopers. Taking a bit of the "western" approach, I had Bob rig up a hopper dropper combo and suggested he keep moving ahead of our pack...fishing water that the boys had been through with their spinning gear was likely not going to produce!

Mike followed that lead as well, working a more standard nymphing approach. Miller kept close to Mike, while Mitch and Mason batted cleanup. As we made our way around each bend, Mitch had the only short-lived hookup I got to capture.

Everyone fanned out across the pasture.

A little sculpin, one of many I encountered while crossing the stream in a shallow riffle.

Mitch briefly hooks up!


Miller sticks by Mike as they ply promising water.

Most of us ended up on a big bend pool.

Mike makes many casts.

Getting out beyond the near shore weeds and debris requires longer casts.

 

A family portait, 3 generations of McCoys, at the end of a great fishing weekend. From left to right - Mitch, Mike, Miller, Mason and Bob.

 

The heat was rapidly rising as the rain had cleared, giving way to brighter skies and evaporation. By the time we caught up with Mike it was getting close to my depature time. We were drenched it sweat...I'd say it felt like it was at least 100F. Mike patiently worked a technically challenging yet promising bend, but in the end patience, for a change, didn't pay off.

Bob came back from downstream. The hopper dropper combo had paid off for him, fooling a pair of trout. As endings go, they always happen fast, and before you know it I was technically LATE for my departure. I gathered the crew for a family portait on the banks of North Bear and then forced myself to depart. My heart wanted to stay with this great family on the water the rest of the day.

Sounds like the phrase "there's always next year" will ring true...I can't wait to get FLY RODS into the hands of the older boys!

  MP 

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