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Fished two Iowa trout streams solo this day. First spot was the “for-sure” since I had seen it and knew where to put my flies I was confident I could take a few. I was wrong. The “put-and-take” fishery looked as if it had been taken. I spied the occasional Brown but only found one spot with even a marginal number of Rainbow trout. I tried switching [singlepic id=915 w=320 h=240 float=right]between nymphs and streamers to tempt these fish with little to show for it. Conditions on the first stream were as expected, slightly stained but looking good with maybe a bit more flow than the last time I had been here. I fished it up stream as the morning progressed. The sun cresting over the bluffs made it enjoyable and although few fish were caught here I did stop at a shallow riffle and found not one Giant Water Bug but one on almost every rock I turned over, interesting. I am curious do these things have an “emergence” period? Are they just prevalent on this stream? I know if I was a trout and spied one of those things headed my way I’d be all over it.
The second spot I had not experienced before, crystal clear flows with a massive amount of instream foliage which denotes a high number of macro-invertebrates: trout food. Along with the larger amount of food that the instream veg provides it also provides a significant amount of cover and in this environment the wild brown trout thrive. With the air temp climbing and the sun out I hiked downstream to fish my way back to the truck. I hiked until I found exactly what I was looking for, a spot to sit and watch the fish. I took out the KML and sunk it deep, I landed two fish but after seeing how many were present I was surprised to only take the two. The fish on both streams seemed lethargic and less active, maybe slowing down for winter but the temps around the region have been higher than average and I was expecting to find more willing trout.
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I sat back in the sun, just watching. I ate lunch and fished upstream using a long leader and lightly weighted flies, it seemed that no matter how careful I was with my approach and cast I would spook the fish, if not with my line and flies then just my motion. I stayed low and worked hard to try and keep from being spotted but it seemed no matter what I did I was seen before I could present, something I still need to work on. Midge of the super small variety (#24-28) were present causing the occasional rise but nothing to get worked up over so I avoided swinging a super small dry fly. Working my way out I almost put my foot in a small game trap which scared the hell out of me causing me to hasten my exit. For me the Solitude is a good thing, maybe the best of things. To do it on your own. To know you can, just go do it. I know I wouldn’t fish very often if I had to wait for friends to become available. Just remember to be safe, do a bit of research regarding the situation you are likely to be in, i.e. November around here requires Blaze Orange, note my hats reflection below.
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There are many of us out there that fish with friends upon occasion. There are many of us out there that like to fish alone, too. Gives one time to commune with nature. One thing I always do when I return home is to email my Wife and let her know I’m there & safe.
I do enjoy company while out on the streams as well, I guess I enjoy looking around when I’m miles from anyone realizing my small place in the world. I called my girl between streams and right when I got in the truck to head home, she appreciates knowing I’m safe as well. It’s important to let someone know where your going and to check in. Thanks for the words Mark, take care.
Your note about waiting for friends to come free strikes a chord. Sorry we missed each other by a day.
Our reports are basically interchangeable: tough fishing to spooky fish, but some success found and some fish had.
Working downstream was the key for me – should have done that all day.
Good report and pics.
I wonder if sunken beetle patterns are even worth a shot? I did a quick search and there aren’t a lot of beetle patterns that are wet flies– here’s one I did find though:
that trap is scary as hell. Glad you didn’t step in it
Wendy, I need to work on that downstream presentation, it really didn’t even cross my mind to approach the fish like that. I’m day dreaming about a winter hike to the source of a trout stream near you, if we can swing it I’d like to make that run with you. Take care.
Brian, the trap… scary as hell. You find cocaine and needles. I come across a bit of trash and traps.