7-27-03 - What an awesome day on Trout Run!
Waters Fished: Trout Run, Little Paint Creek
Fish Caught: 11/20
Outing Date: 7-27-03
Weather: Partly Cloudy
Air Temp: around 80F
Water Temp: 58F
Water Level: Normal
Water Color: Slightly Cloudy...deeper parts were blue.
Fish Species: Brown Trout, Brook Trout, Rainbow Trout
Pattern Fished: MP's Tucker Nymph, Bead Head Pheasant Tail Nymph,
Pattern Color: Refer to the pattern
Fishing Quality: FRIGGIN INCREDIBLE
Who would've thought this would be the best day
of the trip?! It's hard to top a day where you triple slam on the
Waterloo and end up with over 35 hits through the course of the
day! Well, FAT was also in Iowa this weekend with 4 folks from the
Chicago TU; they had spent Saturday on Twin Springs, Trout Run,
and Trout River. Overall fishing had been "average"; some guys had
good days, some not so good. Their plan for Sunday was to fish the
French; our original plan for the "traveling day" was to hit South
Pine Creek in the AM, followed by Coldwater Creek and North Bear.
But that would all change. Coldwater hadn't been stocked in almost
2 weeks, new information on South Pine suggested that it was way
too late in the year to hit it, and we had already done North Bear
last night! What to do? Well, based on FAT's Saturday experiences,
it was decided we'd probably do something like Trout Run and Coldwater
Creek, maybe with a stop late at French on the way home.
Let me tell you now that we never made it past
Trout Run..it was on FIRE!!! We got there and for once there wasn't
anyone on the river...Sunday morning must have been the trick! We
sat in on a large hole and within minutes we started catching fish.
Frank got on the water first and hit the head of the pool; I got
in lower and could instantly see MANY FISH holding at the tail.
There were also many risers slapping the surface but there was nothing
floating on the water...what the heck were they feeding on?
Well it didn't matter....within a few casts I laid
out a nice one towards the tail. I could barely make out the gold
glint from the bead head on my Tucker Nymph, but that was enough
to call fish up from the deep. I stood and watch the nymph slowly
swing in the almost nonexistent current when a form appeared rising
up. It came up to the fly and looked...and then SLAMMED THE FLY
AND DOVE DEEP! The fight was on!
I tugged and pulled...there was a lot of barbed
wire scattered about the shore so I wasn't sure what was in the
deep...thankfully this fish didn't tangle up. When I finally got
the fish up to the surface I saw it was a NICE BROWN. The fish kept
on diving and I'd have to work him up nicely until FINALLY I landed
him. Talk about a stunning fish...definitely a stocker (no red coloration
at all)..the fight was incredible for a brown of his size.
I switched up to try and get the risers across
the pool from me, but got no interest on an Elk Hair Caddies. So
I switched up again, this time to a Pink Squirrel, and in no time
hooked up with #2...turned out to be a nice rainbow. Snapped off
the fly and retied with a Bead Head Pheasant Tail.
And that pretty much was the fly that stayed on
the end of my line the rest of the day. #3 was another stocker brown...talk
about a fun fish. He rose..I could see his leopard spotting as he
followed the fly. A strip would keep his interest...and the faster
I stripped, the faster he chased. I stripped my nypmh back faster
and faster...the brown following with such ferocity that it left
a WAKE on the surface. FINALLY, within 10 feet of me he HAMMERED
the fly and again, headed deep. I was so excited by this battle
I had to run over to Nardo and show him the fish...he snapped the
shot of me at right (look at that smile...ear to ear permagrin!)
#4 again fell for a swing at the back end of the
pool, and turned out to be another stocker brown. Frank meanwhile
was having hard times at the head of the pool...having hooked up
a couple times but not landing anything. After my fourth fish, I
shouted up to him and said that if I got my limit before he even
caught one we'd switch places. Right after that comment, I got #5,
another chunky stocker brown. As usual, the fight was awesome on
these fish...running deep, tiring, and when you thought you had
them they'd make another mad dash down into the blue water. FANTASTIC!
Sure, the stocker rainbows jump, but these stocker browns brought
much more brute force to the fight...really made for a fun time
on my 4wt. with 7x tippet.
It was about 11:30 or so at this point so I gave
my spot to Frank and showed him what I was doing there. Let's clarifly
now that he HAD caught fish in the upper part of the pool...a creek
chub and 3 BLUEGILLS?!?!?!
Walked up and got some lunch out of the car, and
came back down to watch him. Apparently the spot really was key....Frank
got his first fish...a nice rainbow. I got something really cool...from
my vantage point I was able to see the entire pool which made for
some really fun camera shots of his fight.
I could tell Frank was frustrated by the lack of
activity at the head of the pool, so I wasn't really keen on going
up there. I joked with Frank that I would wait for him to catch
his limit before I started fishing again, but he was rather insistent.
A call out on my angling ability was made; "Keep fishing Matt.
Go up there, and if you catch a fish, I'll be really impressed"
Nardo remarked. A'ight, if that's the way it's gonna be ;)
Didn't take long before I hooked up...I could see
a brown in the pool below and using the high-stick nymphing method
I put my PTail right in front of him..again the hammering strike
followed by the deep run. Of course, all the while I was yelling
to Frank, "What'd you say about catchin' fish up here????"
Admittedly the action was much slower at the head...at
least an hour went by without a bite...Nardo got another rainbow
down at the tail. I started casting less "fishy" sections
just to see what was there...an upstream cast got a tiny bite on
what I thought was a creek chub.
I pulled in the tiny fish (about 6") and only
then realized I had the most awesome thing I could've asked for
that day...a BROOKIE! I turned to Nardo (who'd been really wanting
a brook all weekend) and said, "You're really gonna hate me.
No, I mean you're really, really gonna be mad" and held my
catch up...still attached to the line.
Now Frank may have mumbled something or even given
his approval, but I never heard it. The brookie wiggled and came
off the line, tumbling down the steep bank! NOOOOOOOOO..... Frank
shouted "It's still there...get it!" and I went for it.
The tiny trout had landed only inches from the water in the leaf
litter. I scrambled down what looked like a path to the water, and
maybe it was, but in my haste my feet slid out in front of me and
I landed hard, on rock! That wasn't gonna stop me though. I carefully
made my way to the brookie, who thankfully had not made it into
the water yet, and got my hands on him.
A quick rinse in the water and I held up my prize.
Frank shouted, "Did ya get him?"
"YES" I shouted, and then like a bar
of soap in the shower, the little brookie squirted towards the sky
out of my hand. In slow motion I watched him arch through the air
and land about 2 feet out in the pool.
I was too shocked for obscenities. All I could
do was scream. I'm sure Frank laughed ('cause I would've)! So I
turned to climb back up the path, and in my haste AGAIN lost my
footing. Now, bear in mind that I wasn't wearing waders, or even
wet-wading gear, when fishing on Sunday, so it really really got
me mad when I went into to the pool about knee depth! I got friggin'
wet for the fish and still didn't have a picture!
So I took a break after that and watched Frank
continue to ply the pool, but by this time the bite had slowed down.
The fish would move deep when a cloud passed, and return when the
sun reappeared. Eventually I made it back to the head of the pool
and managed another brown, admittedly not one of the chunky stockers
we had been getting into earlier.
By about 3:00 Frank had the 2 decent rainbows plus
a small brown as well, and he was getting bushed. So we switched
off on the tail of the pool..and wouldn't ya know it I hooked into
yet another stocker brown. These things were ravenous...all it took
was to get their attention and then twitch...and if you got a follow
but not a take start stripping line in.
Frank and I looked, and it even got to the point
where I suggested he try my rod because the only thing different
between our setups and techniques was line color and the fly (his
was just a smidge larger than mine). It almost worked for him, but
no dice. Somehow I managed yet another stocker brown!!!!
Ok, so Nardo wanted to wager, "Next fish...all
or nothing". Immediately after that statement, BAM yet another
fish for MP, another rainbow! I honestly just think that Sunday
was my day. By about 4:30 the bite had totally stopped and Frank
was already late for the drive back home!
We packed it up and parted ways...I still had a
couple hours I could kill in Iowa..but where? Coldwater almost wouldn't
be worth the drive...I wanted to hit something on the east edge.
I remember FAT talking a lot about hitting the Paint on the way
home...and a look at the map showed both the Paint and Little Paint
right there, just a couple miles off my route back to WI.
Now I must say I went there pretty much with scouting
in mind; I had gone a total of 11/20 on Trout Run so my day was
already fantastic. I opted for the Little Paint, as the Paint is
a temperature sensitive stocking river (which means no fish stocked
June, July, August).
I think the pictures below pretty much sum it up.
I hiked most of the accessible areas or at least drove through them...the
scenery was absolutely breathtaking, the best I've seen in Iowa
so far. The creek itself wasn't large but did have some fair pools...I
spotted rainbows and brookies for sure, and what I'm 90% sure were
browns as well. This was difficult fishing water, at least the areas
I checked (I didn't go where people were already fishing). Tiny,
crystal clear, the fish were spooky. On the upside the Little Paint
is surrounded by campgrounds...it'd be a great place to take an
RV and set up base-camp!
Well, that about sums it up for another fantastic
weekend in Iowa. Bart wanted to go back this first weekend in August,
but that's a little too soon (I'm actually writing this report 6
days after the fact on Saturday anyways; I have some catching up
to do!) I figure at least one more trip before the big trip to Ontario
for Pink Salmon!