8-24-03 - 3 Days in Iowa with FAT, his posse and
the Monkey! Day 3, Brennon, ASM and I SCOUT out new waters!
Waters Fished: Waterloo, Clear, Wexford, Little
Fish Caught: 2/4
Outing Date: 8-24-03
Air Temp: up to 92F in the shade!
Water Temp: N/A
Water Level: All Seemed Normal
Water Color: All pretty clear, Clear was a bit muddy and Wexford
was blue/cloudy in deeper spots.
Fish Species: Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout
Pattern Fished: Tucker Nymph
Pattern Color: gray & gold
Fishing Quality: Downright TOUGH
Again, if you missed the Friday report, the "caveot"
on this weekend's reports is there, so jump
over and look at it for a sec!
Now, with that said, here's how it went down. On
Sunday B & ASM entertained my notion of scouting out new rivers.
On the list? Waterloo, Clear, Wexford, Little Paint and maybe a
couple others if things didn't pan out.
Without having pictures, or notes, it's kinda hard
at this point to say just how we all did! We started our day early
on the Waterloo, hitting a new section I hadn't done before, but
was on my list. We found this huge hole bordered by tall banks...ASM
and I both hooked up and landed here...but it was tough. The stocker
rainbows were some of the largest we'd seen of the trip! I've seen
a rough scan of the picture taken by ASM of me landing my trout...man
how I didn't fall in?!?!?!
After that, stop #2 was hitting Clear Creek, which
flows through a town right on the Mississippi. Now, Gene Hughes
calls Clear Creek "the most inconsequential trout stream in
Iowa" (or something to that effect) in his book Iowa Trout
streams, and I cannot agree more, although I think he should have
used the term "worthless" instead of "inconsequential".
It looked like the Pike River in Kenosha after it hasn't had rain
in a couple weeks. Low, muddy bottom, murky if it's deep, and perhaps
most importantly, almost no aquatic life of ANY kind. Access sucked
Now, upstream on Clear is supposedly some of the
un-mapped "Put and Grow" areas, but these were a total
bust too! We drove around looking at dry creekbed after dry creekbed.
Bottom line, Clear Creek was a TOTAL bust.
Next stop, Wexford! Took us a while to get there,
but well worth it. The first access we found was alright...a small
pool downstream of a bridge that held a few large stocker rainbows.
Beyond that, nothing. We fished it briefly but the fish were not
interested in biting at all (they were totally baking in the sun).
We only faired slightly better at the second access
point...a gigantic hole that was deep blue...and DEEP too! I saw
ONE trout which I spooked while walking up; ASM noted a large trout
that followed his fly up out of the deep, but never took. Brennon
had gone upstream and came back with nothing of interest to report.
So we called it a day on Wexford...nice, small, and at least this
time around, totally unproductive.
Now this is where the story gets funny, and I am
totally going to plagarize from ASM's
post on TSS
and let you hear it from his point of view (afterall, it will only
last on TSS
for a month or two, but on MP's RR you can rest assured it'll be
"An interesting side note on the trip: Drove
through Harper's Ferry on the mighty Mississippi on the way between
streams on Sunday afternoon. Stopped by the only local dive in town
open for lunch (something like the "Harper's Ferry Supper
Club" - mp). Upon walking in, mp, Brennon, and I noticed
AT LEAST 40 mounted trophy buck heads all around the bar. I made
the irresistible comment "looks like a haunted house for trophy
bucks in here" to the waitress. A little bit later she pointed to
a guy that looked like an evil clone of Ted Nugent, dressed head
to toe in full camo on a 90 degree day, and said "He's the one who
done shot most of those". It was a trip having this guy and his
posse stare us down the next 30 minutes while we enjoyed some of
the biggest, juiciest burgers I've ever seen (INSANELY HUGE AND
JUICY, and they brought out tons of fried fish for EVERYONE too!
- MP). I can't help but wonder if he was contemplating adding
a mount of the rare Snow Monkey (and his buddies) to the wall!"
Now let me tell you I was relatively grateful to
eat and run quick...and leave a big fat tip too! From there we headed
to the Little Paint. For once it was relatively deserted!
Brennon acted as our guide on this river as he's
already fished it top to bottom. He started us all the way as low
as he's ever started and we hit every friggin hole upstream for
two miles! The bite was slow in most places...you'd either find
a pool of spooked, uninterested fish or a hole where they were on
fire..chasin' each other around and hitting anything they could!
Of special note, I again caught the elusive put & grow (or maybe
even WILD?) brown; my only fish on paint, and again on the TUCKER
We also saw some really huge trout upstream and
arguably the best one was the rainbow that got away from ASM with
the fly...it resumed swimming around the pool, chasing other trout,
all with a gold beadhead piercing! That was one unstoppable trout!
Well, with 4 miles of hiking in full sun and 92F
in the shade, we called it a day as afternoon crept into evening.
It took 3 cans of mountain dew, slammed, before I even really started
to feel myself again!
One more great trip to Iowa, and this time especially
fun 'cause ASM got to see the Iowa Streams and I got to hang out
with Brennon again! I'm looking forward to fishing with both of
these guys again, and if ever the opportunity should arise for you
to fish with them, do NOT decline the offer!