7-5-03 - Independence Weekend in Iowa, Part II
Waters Fished: Waterloo Creek, Trout Run, Trout
River, Coon Creek, Waterloo Creek, North Bear Creek
Fish Caught: 9
Outing Date: 7-5-03
Weather: Rain in the morning, sunny the rest of the day
Air Temp: Upper 80's?
Water Temp: Waterloo -> 72F, Trout River -> 65F, Coon Creek
Water Level: Normal
Water Color: Slightly Murky all around
Fish Species: Browns, Brookies & Bows
Pattern Fished: Mostly Bead Heads but also Griffith's Gnat
Pattern Color: mostly subtle natural tones
Fishing Quality: An average day
So today was going to be a solid day on the Waterloo...I
had planned Saturday to be "30 fish day" and I knew that
the Waterloo could produce it!
Bart & M got up about an hour before I did;
by this point the slight cold I had was in full effect; if I was
going to enjoy my day I needed ample rest. It had rained hard all
night; morning saw occasional drizzles.
I got down to the Waterloo around 9:30 am and on
my first cast hooked into something nice. As I battled the fish,
I noticed it was much larger than the average stocker rainbow; it's
coloration was also much darker (less chrome) and it carried more
red in it! SWEET! It actually took a while to get this fish to net;
for a moment it wrapped itself in the weeds and I was sure this
fish was going to be lost. Patience and confidence prevailed..and
this turned out to be my largest Iowa trout to date...a stunning
15"++ Male Rainbow. Not sure if he was a small broodstock or
a holdover...but a great looking fish that really made my day. I
seriously could've gone without fish the rest of the day and been
So I tried numerous spots but the best was the
first...I got lots of little bites and hits, ended up getting 2
more including one on a Griffith's Gnat immediate in front of a
tree branch that was hanging in the water. Talk about fun! I floated
it down and just as it got to the branch, brought out the slack
and skated it a couple inches which drew a hammering hit from a
smaller rainbow. "YEAH!" was screamed rather loudly which
drew a funny look from Bart and M; this turned out to be trout #3
brought to net out of something like 20 hits.
We left at 12:30 as it was really getting hot;
lunch and cold drinks sounded good. M wanted to avoid the afternoon
heat, so Bart and I got back to fishing. Well, Bart wanted to go
see the Decora Hatchery; he was also really keen on hitting the
Trout River again, so we ditched the "Waterloo all day"
plan and drove west again.
After the hatchery we considered Trout Run, but
it was packed...which makes sense on a holiday weekend in the largest
town in the area. Ok, back to Trout River. I went up immediately
to the hole that had produced so well...Bart fished his little favorite.
We both got bites. More precisely, I got TONS of bites, but brought
nothing to shore! The message I left to myself on my phone literally
said, "went 0 for a gazzilion on Trout River". I think
the most frustrating point was when I had a large bright yellow
brown hit my fly not once, not twice, but THREE times...all three
in plain view, and NONE connecting.
Bart and I were kinda curious what else was in
the area, so we added on a new spot, the Coon, to our itinerary.
It's back a ways in the woods, really nice scenery, although it's
small. Flowing pretty cool too and 65F. I did spot TWO EXCEPTIONAL
brookies sitting in the sun; got two casts in...the first they didn't
want and the second cast spooked them. From what I understand it's
Brookies and Browns only, and a put & grow under catchable stockings.
Sounds great, but this is going to be a tough stream to fish...shallow,
lots of bank hides, and SPOOKY fish.
By evening we had to go get M, we had left her
in the motel for 6 hours! More fishing on the Waterloo...we split
up; I went to the double secret spot which probably only works well
'cause no one knows it's there...it's not particularly good water...in
fact it's pretty bad, but I've managed to coax a few bites each
time I'm there..probably 'cause it gets no pressure.
Well, 2 nice WILD WATERLOO BROWNS later and I got
attacked! Just as I finished shooting #2 I heard something behind
me; I whirled around to find a cow running me down. Well...it kinda
stopped (along with the whole herd behind it) but they all came
closer. I ended up standing almost nose to nose with this guy and
a pack of his friends...they clearly wanted something I had...namely
the FISHING HOLE. Apparently it's one of the places they like to
I wasn't about to argue with a herd of cattle,
nor was I quite courageous enough to walk through them...horses
I would have been fine...for some reason I have NO experience with
cows so I don't know how to act around them. I ended up jumping
the stream and letting them have the hole. Darn, I went 2/4 and
probably could've done better.
I don't think Bart and M had been doing well downstream,
so he proposed going back to the North Bear. By the time we got
there it was around 8:15 pm; any catching we'd have to do FAST.
So I turned 1 rainbow on the first cast, and then
3 little browns. We're talking fingerling browns...landed tons of
them on the first trip. While they still count, there are stockers
to be caught. Considering it was pretty dark by that point, the
only fish that really would bite would be the browns though...
Which brings me to Bart's story. He took a monster
brown. Kept it for dinner ('cause quite frankly we were hungry and
only had a couple trout in our possession). Turns out it was likely
a stream-reared trout...gorgeous deep red flesh...totally different
from the stockers and younger browns. Definitely an OLD FISH...this
male was about 14"+ and had the KYPED JAW.
So while this didn't end up being my 30 trout day,
it ended up being another enjoyable day. Still not quite the numbers
we were shooting for, but by all means an acceptable day.