Oct. 23/24th, 2011: The 2nd 24hrs

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The 2nd day of the weekend adventure saw me shivering as I rolled out of the tent, the night before as we pulled off the creek due to thunder and lightening we got a decent dousing. After a cold evening that shower coated everything in a thick layer of frost. I prepped the fire and got things going, a choice was made to pack up camp quickly and head out. We chose to hit the same creek as the day before, with Liz knowing the water a bit better the chance of her doing as well if not better than the day before was good. After a brief stop to get a cup of much needed coffee we were pulling up [singlepic id=2982 w=320 h=240 float=left]to an Iowa creek void of any other vehicles, good choice to go on a weekday.

10am creekside and the airtemp was cool in the low 40’s. Layers of clothing were applied, the wind was not going to help us again but Liz was able to handle it the day before so I had no fears that it was going to hamper anything. She rigged her rod with the same #14 Pink Patrick as the day before and we hiked to the first spot for the day, our goal was to leisurely fish the rest of the creek that we hadn’t seen the day prior. I sat back and enjoyed my black coffee hunkered down low to keep out of the wind, I watched as my girl took aim at a slow section of water that had given up a handful of nicer sized rainbows the day prior. It wasn’t long before I was up off my ass taking photos, I let her do the landing [singlepic id=2997 w=320 h=240 float=right]and releasing as I won’t always be right by her side to do so. She worked that first spot over well and landed a half dozen or so rainbows before we moved upstream. By noon the sun was warming things up, I spotted a handful of rises upstream as we hung on another stretch that Liz was nymphing. It wasn’t long before I watched a BWO float past.

Thinking to the day before and Carl’s dry fly prowess I snuck away upstream after I spied the first handful of rises coming from a very long slow moving stretch of gin clear creek. I rigged my rod with a #18 Parachute BWO and tried to land my fly without sending the trout scattering. There is something so satisfying about taking a tiny trout under difficult conditions, being able to see that trout scoot over and nail your fly from thirty feet out is that much better. Shortly after I noticed Liz was behind me watching my approach and cast, she was studying. The first fish was a well [singlepic id=2991 w=320 h=240 float=left]earned brown, the two that followed were eager rainbows. I moved upstream and talked Liz through my approach, what I was thinking and what my goals were. Upstream a bit further and I was into my kind of challenge, a lone rising trout in a very difficult position, this was going to require some luck. Under a small rock outcropping was a lone rainbow rising every so often, I had to get my fly to land in just the right spot to allow for a drift under the rock outcropping without catching my fly on any one of the snaggs hanging from the rest of the rocks around. Liz and I waited and watched. A couple attempts and I got the perfect drift on the location which resulted in a splashy rise from a smaller rainbow, right under the rock outcropping. This was the day maker for me, the holy grail of fly fishing, the pick your fish.

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With my day fully made I turned my attention back to Liz who was watching this show go down and getting eager to maybe toss a dry fly of her own. We tried the #18 BWO for a bit but it was soon apparent that she needed something a bit larger to start with, I had her stick on a #10 Stimulator and let loose on a run that was bringing trout to rise. Fifteen minutes later and she hadn’t landed a fish, hadn’t gotten a single strike but her backcast was getting better. She knew she had blown any chance at those fish and yet we sat there practicing that cast for another fifteen minutes. The smile on my face probably looked stupid but sitting in the sun watching her slap the creek with her line then slowly figuring it out couldn’t have been better. Truth be told I saw one trout rise in a rough spot and I asked if she wanted to try for it instead she handed me her rod. Second drift and I watched that [singlepic id=2993 w=320 h=240 float=left]rainbow turn downstream, chase after that Stimulator and nail it. The sun was glorious and the morning layers were shed during the afternoon hours making for a very enjoyable day on the water. We fished for another hour or so but wanted time at home before dark so we called it around 3:30pm and hit the road.  Can’t stress how fortunate I am, the pictures illustrate that well enough.

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4 Comments:

  1. So long man! You’ve got a permanent fishing partner, by all accounts.

    Really though, very cool. She looks focused.

  2. Good stuff. She will outfish you frequently.

  3. Congrats, Liz! Nice work. WFF, we will have to discuss stream access in Iowa at some point. Is it a difficult to find good water? They don’t have the fine stream maps that our DNR produces…although according to their state DNR site there is one coming soon.

    Be well,
    Paul

  4. Wendy B., We’ll see what happens come the real test: winter. I’m thinking I’ll end up fishing solo again eventually but I do enjoy getting to spend time with her doing what I love.

    John, I can only hope she outfishes me, I should note she was looking through the Columbia trip photos last night, she was asking questions like: so these things put up a good fight? I’m thinking she’d go for carp too.

    Paul, I’ve contacted the Iowa DNR about the map issue. They recently took down the old maps they had up. They offered to mail me a map and told me that the new maps won’t be available until spring next year. Keep in touch, let me know if your planning on making it down there, I might be able to help.

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