Thursday, September 9, 2010

CHASING FIN IN AN IOWA LIMESTONE FISHBOWL

   Jackfish Kate and I arrived at the quarry around 10AM on what would soon be a hot, August day. The water-level was down, but we could still cool ourselves wet-wading the nearly knee-deep water flowing above the limestone ‘shelf’ bordering much of the quarry. Fly fishing, photos, and exploration ensued.
 

      I cracked out the 10wt, knowing this was too much backbone for the intended quarry, but wanted to prepare for upcoming blind dates with musky. The rod was loaded with a Guinea Bugger. Jackfish chose a 3wt and smartly fished the steep quarry banks.

    I landed & released a skinny 15” largemouth on my bugger. Then, time was made for photos and exploration of the sister quarry. Just a ~30’ thick wall separated the two stone fish bowls. The banks of this latter quarry were more suited to spin fisherman, but I expect to wet a line there someday. Rock and brush habitat made great cover for the bluegill, shiners, suckers and lone bass that we discovered when stopping to scan the clear water at one end of the stone tank.

   Amidst the hot afternoon when the fishing was slow, we had a quick lunch of PB&J & got back at it. Despite the skimpy quantity of fish landed, the challenge of fishing this water and the diversity of fish present here will easily draw me back again. I hope Jackfish Kate agrees to return.

   Jackfish chose to get acquainted with her new 9wt (We’re both headed to musky country in October.) and to tie on a heavy fly. I switched to ‘My Fluffy Butt’; a red, lead-eyed, white-colored fly which pike find tasty. I was beginning to doubt Esox still lurked here, but knew this fly would get me down more quickly to cooler water.

   And Bang! Fish on! Oh, was I happy. During the fight, I was able to direct the victim onto the limestone flats & net me an Iowa Quarry Bonefish. Well, not a bonefish but a slick-looking, lively white bass that was also a species-first for Twitch.

   A little later, just when I thought My Fluffy Butt was safe from toothy critters, it was nipped and followed by a pike! Strongly marked and no longer quite able to carry the tag, ‘hammer handle’, it re-submerged into the cooler depths, never having known the thrill it provided me.

   I believe that My Fluffy Butt and a certain pike will have a date in October. Bite it again, Esox; I dare you!


1 comment:

  1. Hay, quite taking people to my secret spot! It does look familiar though. Good read!

    ReplyDelete