Log

IOWA WATERS

C.River
3/31/15:  1 nicely-marked pike, maybe 24" long. Nice, brief fight.  Landed in first ~20 minutes of fishing on new chart/yellow, eyed BB's Forage.  No other known pike sitings.  Switched to Fluffy Butt, blk leach, etc.  Had smb on blk dbell eyed leach. Lost it.  Had 2 strikes on different casts by likely same fish with very silver belly.  Unknown species.  Overall, slow day, same with others fishing in my usual location.  Watched others fight a lrg catfish off big bridge & someone lowered a net down to water, in time netted it and hauled it up. 65-70* air temp. Waders & fishing shirt on.  Maybe up to 10 mph wind.  Sunny day.  Water cloudy.  Fished from ~2-5:30 or 6:00.  Noisy day.
1/18/15:  1st pike taken on a chart/yellow, no-eyed BBs Forage.  2 others briefly on the fly, the latter fighting vigorously after a strong strike. Poor line control on my part near the ice's edge lost 2nd pike & 3rd fighter threw the hook despite my better line control. Still, no regrets for debarbing! 3rd strike came to BBsF olive/copper/yellow with ol-blk-copper dubbing rope head. No eyes. 2nd strike came to XX-colored BBsF. 4 follows for sure.  Air temp 42*, no or low wind, sunny.  Fished from the ice & waded some.  No pike in the big water but James got a carp there!
12/15/14:  5 follows by ~3 pike including one hammer handle.  One other strike & I did not set hard enough.  Fished both BB's Forage and beefy Shannon's.  Forage was best, oranges.  Generally lazy follows.  Light sprinkling good part of day. Most fish came near the wall.  Light wading; generally below knees. Avg 45* air temp. Wind ~10 mph.  ~29.61"Hg Baro press. Most action around 1:45-3:00.

Cedar Valley Quarry
8/19/14:  Sunny with scattered clouds & in upper 80's. Water level up from last visit and some on limestone shelf.  Hit water around 12;30 and left about 3:15.  Tried a popper & cricket: nothing.  Tried smaller modified Shannon's & nothing.  Tried other flies including Fluffy Butt & nothing.  Initial focus was bass but actively-feeding carp changed this.  Used bead head, nothing.  Tried hellgrammite.  May have had a small taste or foul hook, then nothing.  Water was turbid but could see a few feet down when sun right.  Saw plenty of very small bass and 1 turtle.
5/5/14:  Returned to quarry for more punishment.  Arrived about 10 and left around 6:15.  Sunny day and comfortable air temp with light to no wind.  Met 'Mr. Hamer' a quarry nbor who volunteers to caretake the quarry and Cedar River grounds.  Reported deep end is about 70-80' deep.  There is a drop near the float.  There may be a sunken car still somewhere in this upper quarry.  Used 10wt intermediate again but switched later to 8wt intermediate with longer leader for less intrusive presentation.  Water-tested 3 of the musky flies on 8wt rod with Little Tunny line. 8wt did not handle this too well but testing completed. Red/chart was good with up/down and side-to-side.  TnT maintained upright and was good with up/down and decent profile.  Blue fly with fancy head had least action.  Only landed 2 smallies.  First was about 8" & came to the hellgrammite pattern.  The last, during latter 1/3 of day, was 10-11" & taken with a gr/silver tinsel chenille Shanon varient.  A little more fish surface action in center today but still sparse.  May try sink tip.  Counted up to 20-30 sec for intermediate line to sink.
4/30/14:  Fished from about 3:30 to 7:00.  Cloudy and chilly- waders not needed but kept me warm.  Trialed 10 wt Little Tunny line and 10 wt reel on 8 wt rod to see if appropriate for use elsewhere.  Not good for me.  The bulk of the reel was not in balance with the rod.  Developed wrist joint discomfort.  No water on the shelf - it is about 2' lower than the shelf!  Some small bass cruising the edges.  No other fish sighted other than a dark shadow that I could not make out.  Landed 4 bass throughout the day.  One earlier and 3 about up to 1 hr before I left.  The latter came while casting from the center, to the right of the 'float' & about 20% out from my edge.  Posting late, but remember most of fish came on WHITE (not black) Fluffy Butt and also on grey Guinea Bugger.  2 men and little girl left with ~3 respectable bass - reported they were hitting for a short time then it died off.
7/13/13:  Started fishing around 645 PM.  8wt & intermediate line.  As with rest of fishing this date, no fish.  Many follows but no takers. Largest fish seen were suckers or their cousins.  I did not see any bass over 7-8" long.  Lots of fry and fingerlings.  Attempted many fly patterns, sizes, colors all to no benefit.  Water on shelf is about 2' high.  Wet-waded.  Warm & buggy.  Sunny.
6/20/12:  Started fishing around 6PM.  Water-level down even farther than the last post.  Surface water temp ~84*.  HOT day: 90's.  Perhaps a smallish, 10" bass cruised perimeter, but otherwise no others identified.  Plenty of large carp visible but not feeding. Bluegill/crappie on the surface, esp in the center and at main entrance to quarry.  Fry present.  Large fish did break the surface a number of times in center or steep side of quarry.  3 goals: have fun, land a fish, don't land a bluegill.  All goals accomplished.  I landed a ~14" channel catfish on a dun-colored Guinea Bugger, sz 2.  Varied sizes and colors of fly patterns. Light-colored best this date.  One other strike but unknown what it was.  Friend Tom landed a crappie.  Watched a painted turtle and a snake cruise the water.  Near dark,  the water activity slowed.  Left after 930PM.  Plan to return on an early morning and try my luck for carp. 
4/13/12:  Started fishing around 3PM.  Water-level down ~3'. Chilly, windy day which is only reason why waders helpful.  No bass were seen cruising around the perimeter (a first). Did see a large number of fry.  Occasional larger fish breaking the surface at center regions of quarry.  This picked up at dusk.  Used multiple 'go-to' bass flies and no luck.  Tied on a (?) sz 10 blk bead head wooly bugger.  Landed 4 chunky bluegills and missed a couple.  At least not skunked. (did trial my skunk tail musky fly and the action, while not really great, was good. Light skunk smell when wet and then gone when dry.) Left water about 820 PM.
7/29/11:  Poppers, the sub-surface Shannon's fly, olive Guinea Bugger. Fished ~640-915PM.  Man who had been fishing with a bobber reported no luck, except for fish hitting his bobber.  I had no luck, except I had a fish on (probably Largmouth Bass) with the Guinea Bugger near 900.  Did not keep the rod tip up.  Fish had been hitting the surface at the quarry center much of the daylight hours. At dusk, they were hitting near the edges, then all was mostly quiet except for frogs.  Plan to fish much smaller flies my next time out.  Sunny, slight or no wind and `low-80's. Wet-waded on 'limestone flats' in ~2' of water.  Water clarity to about 10'; the best I've seen.  All sizes of Bass present.  Current healthy environment but expect high competition for food.  Saw pair of large suckers(?) bottom-feeding.

CCk
5/28/17:  Water on high side of normal. Little-mod cloudy. Waded to 2nd bridge. A couple of deep holes discovered but no fish scared up. Saw 2 in the flat water. Landed one ~10 inch smb casting to near the rocks at the typical run. Came to a blk/chart Guinea Bugger. Tried many flies. Had 1-2 other strikes. Slow day.
5/1/17:  Water high. Tried. Got one strike for sure.
4/24/17:  Landed one smb again...likely gold bead blk Wooly Bugger. Had more than a few strikes to chart popper but fish couldn't be hooked... fish too small. Also visited DC. No luck.
7/11/16:  Water higher and cloudier but able to wade upstream. Hot day but great wading. Saw floating frogs and a dead mink float buy. I think I tried streamers and topwater. Ended up with smb to chart topwater for sure. Maybe 3? Don't quite remember. Getting harder (biz brush) to take trails down here.
5/13/16:  Sunny day turning lightly overcast. Low 70s to high 60s, early to mid-afternoon. Started at last year's 18-19" smb hole with blk bead w.bugger. Downstream of it, had a flash and ~12" smb on - first od the year! "Taken" on the bugger but because I wanted to net it instead of plop on sand, I lost it. Oh well. Hard to manage line with L hand in splint and this is first day being able to use L hand again! John C arrived when I fought fish. We shared my rod and we did alright. I switched to grey Fluffy Butt. Did land a ~9" smb here. Had other small, unconverted strikes. We went downstream to lrg hole. Near the rock bank we each got smb & JC does a nice job casting. Not lots but enough smb for a satisfying day. Final fish taken on blk & chart Guinea Bugger. Most of John's on Pearl Marauder and I think I got one on it, too. Water cloudy & up a little - fishing nicely.
X/15:
X/15:

Deep Lakes
6/10/16:  Birthday trip and KL came too! Did well, esp at Lake Patricia. Smb along the shore on the right side as entered and continuing along that bank. Chart topwater was the bug of the day! Got a few agates too and KL mostly hunted those.
6/11/16: Returned day after my birthday or within the week. Warmer temps and small SMB has changed up with the larger SMB that had previously been closer to the shore. Got a few SMB but not like the previous trip. Ended up near the small island in center on the left side where the water drops off. Good place for holding fish! Also hunted agates, found some - smalls - and got an excellent geode sitting partially in the water.
6/22/14:  Spent from ~10:45-2:00 on the water.  Partly cloudy changing to cloudy with thunder in near distance.  Wind 5-10 mph.  Air temp, mid to upper 80's.  Muggy.  Fished from pontoon at Lk Chester.  Primarily fished largish frog topwater near the shore.  Had one strike, missed.  Last 30 minutes, changed to sinking line & got a little bit more fishing in.  No luck.  Angler with depth finder reported some spots ~50 feet but generally ~30 feet depth.  Fished a clouser (floating line, near shore) and grey fluffy butt, sinking line but little time d/t weather.  Feel that best time to fish is early and at dusk.
6/11/14:  Just fished from bank.  At small lot for Lk Chester fish were breaking surface during day.  Landed small bass on wh Fluffy Butt, first cast.  No other luck but saw small bass, large carp and  (?) large bass cruising 4-10' from bank.  Went to main parking lot after 630 pm.  Bait fish busting surface &  larger fish breaking the surface.  Broke out rod & waded again.  No luck - not even a nibble.
8/10/13:  Floated Lk Chester and 'portaged' into Lk Patricia.  Dink follows but absolutely no luck.  Others reported the same.  Latter lake was exceptionally clear with great visibility ~10-20' at least.  Rec returning to here.
7/30/13:  Landed a smaller bass on blk Fluffy Butt. Wading at Lk Chester.  casted // to shore in shallow areas.

Duck Creek
7/11/16: Fished the bigger water just past Monte's and before the river. Tried many flies and moved upstream. No luck at all. Went elsewhere and did better.
5/13/16: Briefly fished DG around 1230. Saw a few sm smallies & a couple followed but that was it. First day using L hand - modified and fingers stiff. Went to another creek.
5/5/16:  Beautiful blue-sky late AM to early afternoon with cool temps in low 60s. Water level is normal range, slightly cloudy but can still sight-fish. DG for 1-handed fishing. No smallies seen or hooked in 1-2 hrs. Suckers present. Met Ken, who volunteered a spot for larger smallies.
4/30/16: Cloudy, cool day - perfect for being out and fishing. Water level on lower side of normal & can sight fish. DG and upstream for 1-handed f.fishing. Hooked one eatly but technique not yet honed & lost it d/t slack. A few chases at DG and elsewhere but no further hook ups.
5/5/15:  Water up, not horrible, but choco milk.  Fished after work.  Blk & chart, blk, and white sinking streamers then even sm Shannon's.  No hits.
4/30/15:  Still wearing waders but short sleeves.  Returned to 2nd hole dwnstream of DG.  Water higher than 4/23 but not bad.  Had 2 follows- likely same smb.  2nd time it mouthed the fly. Stripped & missed.  Laned 1 gill near wood.  Went with John C to area near Monte's place.  2 guys fishing the best hole near rocks.  I fished other hole upstream.  Nothing. 1-2 smb nests. Then, fished the best hole. Sun just above rock wall. Landed 5-7 smb??  Taken on blk bead-eyed leach with d.bell eyes, then wh fluffy butt.  Also landed a gill.  John started fishing later & landed fish, too.
4/23/15:  Sunny day. Upper to mid-50's.  Slight wind.  Started fishing around 315 pm after return from NC.  Started at DG & landed only strike there, a 14" smallie.  I watched the strike as the wh, silver-beaded Mr Green came cross current through a school of cruising suckers.  Hiked downstream.  2nd hole larger & saw many smaller smb follow my first fly's strip out of water.  Grn mini Shannon's.  No takers.  1st 2 casts with silver-beaded, blk wooly bugger & 2 smallies.  Then, nothing. Wh jig fly netted another & then lost one.  Final smb taken with blk bugger again.  Did try other flies.  Slow strip or very slow, let sit on bottom, strips were the ticket.  Fished til ~700.  Not many smb yet & no action seen except to fly.
8/31/14: Fished a couple hours in the evening near the lagoon.  Landed numerous green sunfish and 1 of the 2-3 smallies I targeted when I first scanned the water.  Fairly clear and slightly low water.
9/1/14:  Mid-morning fishing.  Visited 'new water' upstream of lagoon.  Nothing.  Went to CCP.  One tiny panfish follow.  1 smallie on the fly.  I won't report here what happened!  Water up from previous night and cloudy.  Saw scant fish action and no action from bass.
5/8/14:  Fished & checked out the water from ~9 until 1:50.  Around noon, sat on unsubmerged rock in stream for about 1/2 hr to watch carp spawn.  This was near the Devils Glen bridge.  Early morning fishing was best and I watched several bouts of bass busting baitfish, esp along the rocky bluffs.  Fish caught on different stretches (upstream of first fishing spot) but the bulk were at the same spot I visited in 2008 when water was low and no fish to be seen.  22 smallies were landed and others slipped the hook. Generally seemed to run about 13 inches or smaller.  Three foul hooks of carp near bridge and gave that up as they had no interest in the fly.  Downstream of bridge hooked about 18" carp but foul-hooked again in pec fin. Lame fight and did knock this fish off the bucket list.  Used Winston 5 wt.  Smallies here appropriate for this rod - very fiesty fish!  Early, landed many fish on ~sz  8 or 10 silv/grey Shanon varient - which matched baitfish well.  Later landed one on green version but they seemed to want more meaty fly.  Tied on hopped-up bead-eyed leach.  They attacked this, chasing it well!  Landed last 3 fish on this fly.  Humid, warm day, likely in mid to low-80s.

Little Turkey River
9-12-15:  Fished at Gouldsburg park.  Just before the bridge (nothing) and under the bridge casting down and across.  Also went into the park and fished.  Landed 3-4 smb. I think it was a wh Fluffy Butt that had the most luck.  Was there for ~2 hours in the evening.  Sunny day. Mid to upper 70s air temp?

Maquoketa River
10/1/16: 18-19" brown trout (was fishing for smb) on this stretch that exits Backbone Lake and the dam at Backbone State Park. I also landed smb at other stretches of the river just downstream.
4/12/15:  North Fork  Finally visited this stretch of river that looks so pretty from Hwy 61.  Arrived after 430 & it was sprinkling.  When I left about 1-1.5 hrs later, it was sunny.  Smallies (carp?) leaping out of water.   No strikes to flies but I might not have gotten the flies out far enough.  There are some stretches that will lend to a decent backcast here.  Both rocky and sandy areas here.  I won't be very quick to return to this stretch but I'm certain I will.

Turkey River
9/13/15:  Floated the same stretch as 1  month ago -  Skip-a-Way at Clermont to Guilberston (where I camped) in Elgin.  USGS at Eldorago:  5.37' & 180 CFS.  This was at the mod-higher end of ideal.  for a float.  Learned I could float down the next stretch with Skip-a-Way shuttle for $25-30.  Fishing started slow & only had a couple strikes to poppers this date.  1 smb on a black leech.  Otherwise, wh or grey Fluffy Butt was good.  Landed 13 smb, 1 rock and 1 bow.  The greatest number of fish came at the string of rocks just before campsite - where I will also try to hike to in the future.  If I remember correctly, pretty sunny day & sometimes windy up to 15 mph.  Water temp cooling off but air temp higher - upper 70s- than 1 month ago.
8/23/15:  Wet waded #86 access (near Eldorado?).  While I may have had one strike - don't remember- I landed no fish here although there is potential.  I did lift my first rock from the water & it was an agate!  Later, got an orange-eyed one, too (also slate 'pendant').  Then, went to (#62?) access below Clermont dam across from Skip-a-Way.  Landed 2-4 smb. Had other strikes. Essentially fished 2 areas here. Very windy, est 20-30 mph.  Mostly sunny progressing to mostly cloudy with air temps high 60s to low 70s.  Didn't start fishing until around 2 pm -explored the water & its accesses(See map for penned-in details or pics).  Water level lower than normal!!!
& 8/24/15:  Floated from Skip-a-Way at Clermont to Guilberston (where I camped-$10, prim & showers/outlets!) in Elgin; a 5-6 mile float.  USGS at Eldorado: 5.25' & 155 CFS.  This was pretty ideal for a float.  Day remained windy & lightly cloudy progressing to mostly cloudy. Estimate winds 20-25 mph but valley & wind direction  often helpful. Newish Echo S3 rod great to cut the wind!  Air temps mid-60s to start & likely to low 70s for the high. About 1230 start to 700 end time.  Due to late start & good early water, I got behind & skipped much good water c concern to get back before dark. Suddenly got back at 530!  Rowed upwind, upstream to "fishy" rocky bank just before camp & hit it with poppers with good results! Fought/lost another at least 15" smb. Overall, landed 12-14 smb + 3 rock bass.  If I'd kept to poppers (lrg char/blk) I may have caught more (& get on water earlier!). Streamers didn't do as well, but I did land my largest of trip, 17", on grey Fluffy Butt - near house with stream drain.  Due to time of year, cool weather, & being a Monday, I was only person on the water.  Otherwise, this is the most heavily floated section of Turkey.  BUCKET LIST goal of floating Turkey this year met and I've been missing out!  IA has done great job with this "water trail."
& 8/25/15:  Explored a little more.  3rd day of wind but maybe 15-20 mph this date. Generally sunny with similar air temps of mid-60s to low 70s.  No luck this date when fishing 2 spots.  Access outside Elgin (#57, Gilbertson Narrows) where I found a sm agate on rocky plateau of shore,  I had 2 strikes c one briefly on to popper and good-sized one fought & thought I was going to land - not!- on (you guessed it!) grey Fluffy Butt.  Tried Bronze Goddess, too, but no luck.  Drove back through Elkader & ate at Irish Pub.  Recommend! Had boxty & red pepper hummus wrap.  Fished the Elkader access #38 for 56 minutes (I promised myself to lv in 30 minutes) & had no luck other than snagging the bronze goddess.

Upper Iowa River
9/27/14:  Fished up to one hour at dusk hoping for white fly hatch. ~sz 10 or 12 white mayflies~ Heavy the previous night but only a smattering this night.  I landed 1 small smb. Had at least 4 strikes with 3 briefly on. 1 small bow leaped for fly. Skittered fly on the water which enticed strikes.  Rec 5wt for better effect with this technique.  The guys didn't have luck but landed 1 smb and 2 bows the previous night during heavy hatch.
9/13/14:  Fished U. IA River from rocks for 15 minutes where Melanaphy Springs enters the river.  Fished near right side of rocks and landed 1 small smallie, about 9 or 10 inches.  Beautiful day hiking with Theresa!  Rec visiting the springs and climbing the rocks and looking into the small cave where the spring leaves the bluff.  Saw bird nest with 2 eggs inside.  Reportedly wallys here.  Rec fishing upstream of this area.
9/7/14:  Chattahoochee to Trout Run Access - about 5.6 miles.  1130-730, but at least 30-40 minutes at XXXX and latter portion of float  was slower but working on DNR survey with friends.  USGS recordings (from Bluffton) were 4 feet and 270 cfs that mornging.  Air temp about 75*, later afternoon.  Water temps 66-68* in am and 70*F, downriver, mid-afternoon.  Around 5-10 mph wind.  Sunny.  A perfect day for a float.  On this stretch, the water likely ideal for a float.  One stretch near latter portion of the solo float would likely have entailed a long drag on toon had water been lower.  A couple areas just to row through but overall, lots of good habitat for smallies.  I landed no fish during the solo portion and only had 1 strike.  No fish were seen. During the last portion of the float with T, son Ben, and Chris, I finally landed a couple of smallies and lost a few.  2-3 more smallies were landed by others.
9-27-13:  (Late post) Weekend of Trout Outing.  Clear day. Current flow ~145 cfs and gage ht 1.93' from USGS data at Decorah.  Floated from Iverson Bridge Rd to Upper Iowa Resort.  If I did it again, I'd cruise through the sandy/silty areas & concentrate on the better habitat.  This can easily be done on this stretch in a 4-5 hr float.  I think I landed about 6 smallies & of course, lost a few.  On a long stretch with farm field on one side, somewhat slow current, but some visible rock present, landed my year's bucket list fish: a walleye!! Estimated 12" & landed on black Fluffy Butt.  The fight was over quickly & not exciting & it reminded me of how a sucker fights.  Still great, though!  On this water, the bass started rising at dusk to (white fly - ask Dan).  I estimate the very early part of float and between 1/2-2/3 through the float had the best fish habitat.
9-7-13:  Planned for put-in at Malanaphy Springs bridge access (this is a good access), but d/t a late start, we chose to shave off 2.2 miles & used Lowell's Bridge access.  This was a very good access with paved parking. The good, bridgeless take-out was just upriver from Pulpit Rock Campground & on Pulpit Rock Road, located near River & Trail Outfitters. Distance was approximately 5 miles & took 8 hrs at relaxed pace. At Bluffon, USGS CFS and gauge readings were:  140 cfs and 3.78'.  Mostly sunny day in high 80's to low 90's.  Decent amount of shade.  Last stretch to take-out was sandy.  Right before take-out, near outfitters, some rock present.  Smallies hitting near rocked banks and near center river, when rocky.  Deepest holes didn't produce much.  Used 1 top water hopper, tan, & landed 1st fish of trip.  3 dumbbell eye streamers used ( blue, black, white) & white Fluffy Butt produced the next 7 bass.  Lost 14"-17" bass.  Guys did better than me & Dan lost ~20" bass.  Most bass were small, 9-11".  Previous day, MN guys floated Bluffton to Lowell's with 2-person framed Fish Cat toon. Some dragging at this water level when toons got softer as sun set.
7-20-13:  At Bluffton, water level ~5.42' and 830 CFS with 263 the mean CFS.  Day started clear, became cloudy early-mid afternoon then cleared. air temp avg'd 81* during the day and at 830 am it was 70*.  Humidity was 58% in pm. Baro pressure was ~29.93in and higher than preceding or following single days.  Wind avg'd about 5 mph.  Put-in at New Bluffton (6) bridge and take-out at Hutchinson's (9) for 7-8 mile float.  In water at 830 am & completed at 440 pm.  No fish action am & early pm.  At most saw action 5 times.  First fish: It was busting minnows. Landed it at ~1:50.  ~7" smallie.  Missed 2 other fish - one was on the hook but I was watching a bird in flight.  Final fish in sight of bridge 9.  Casting near treed bank.  1st cast, fly landed, and ~3' away a largish fish leapt into the air.  I casted in that direction and ultimately hooked tree. Got lucky & kept the fly but drifted in brisk current downstream. Elected to row back upstream.  Finned furiously again while casting.  About 5th-6th cast, the fish took the red-eyed Fluffy Butt!  It jumped a couple times, dove and in general fought very hard.  After about 4 minutes, I landed the fish and a nice man in a kayak took picstures for me. I eyed against my rod and compared at my CRV: 16.5"!  A good fish on this river on a hard fishing day, & at the end of my first float on this river!
*Attempted Bronze Goddess, gld beadhead blk Woolly Bugger, a copper blk/wh streamer c yellow r. legs, and then black Fluffy Butt c red dumbell eyes.  All action on latter fly.
Campground notes: Hutchinsons was $10 prim tent along river.  Fire rings but ltd picnic tables. $2 shower & sat in sm room next to toilet. No electric there. 2 porta-potties.  Fire wood $10.  $20 shuttle (offered to take me/car to another take-out, but it wasn't needed). Chk shuttle prices elsewhere. Owner(?) Dixie, was nice.  Not crowded but T reports folks can party hard there (??).  Campgrounds in Bluffton looked like campers (sardines) in a can on both sides of river. Loud country music and loud fireworks at night.  Everyone I spoke with or saw was friendly in campgrounds or on river. (:

Volga River
6/10/17:  Fished with Dan and Jeff. Could not go north d/t work. Smb float on my bday! Again, M to Klock's. Sunny, temp 90s, 20-30 mph winds but not as bad certain stretches, CFS 299 at Littleport. Dragged boats a little but wouldn't really want the water any lower. Only used fins at the ~2 largest pools. 18,17,16 i.e., 18 rocks, 17 smb, 16 chubs. I had 2-13s and 2-11s and rest of smb were smaller. A couple ~16s I was told were landed. Dan & I would prefer different water (albeit this is pretty float!) and I would like to fish other sections downstream again, including Klock's to bikepath, and other sections not yet fished or floated. Popper did not land any fish. Black c blue Itty Meaty Leach did well (short shank makes for inc time for hook removal). Also had some luck with my black c chart Guinea Bugger and a grey Fluffy Butt. Remember: this float has decent water, esp near banks the last 30% and some popper action could be had. Ran out of time this date.
9/4//16:  Fished with MJ and Douggles. All landed smb. VERY low water conditions. Dragged/rowed a lot. Tendonitis R elbow next day.  From USGS at Littleport (Fayette defunct) 175 CFS. No water depth available when I checked. From M to Klock's.
7/11/15:  Mostly cloudy day with 50% chance of rain/tstorms that never materialized. Low wind.  Mid to upper 70s for air temp?  Wade fished near Albany Bridge (in the forest), fishing upstream of it. Find it by driving to end of equestrian campground.  Landed about 6 smb. Lost others. Landed 2 chubs & 2 r. bass. 1st came to mini Shannon's. Also, blk, silver-beaded wooly bugger, other flies. (235 cfs at Littleport)
9/20/14: Sunny day, at least 75* , 0-8 mph wind.  16 cfs (100 cfs at Littleport) and 3.18' via USGS at Fayette.  Too shallow for a float but 1 Des Moines kayaker out.  Got late start around 20pm until dark.  Spent time using axe and then buddy's portable bow saw to clear downed tree from DNR path. Landed 4 smallies total. Lost a few.  deerhair muddker sm modified Shanon's and Shanon's fly.  At end, fish hitting Shanon's.
9/14/14:  Partly cloudy day, 66* F, windy at ~10 mph. Started about 3pm at Fayette at Big Rock.  Fished the big hole where others took big fish. Shanon's fly.  Some small nips, follows.  Went upstream to the pretty limestone bluff & 2 holes on either side of big rock. Had a couple of small strikes but that was it.  Rest of fishing with grey bead-eyed leech and wh Fluffy Butt.  Poor fishing day.  Likely should have switched flies more frequently.  Late pm reading from USGS site at Fayette:  17 CFS (110 cfs at Littleport) and 3.20 feet.  Cool but still able to wet wade.  Very shallow.  Generally up to mid-calf.  Recommend cont to fish downstream at this access.  Left by 5pm.
9/6/14: Beautiful day of ~77-78*, mostly sunny and little wind.  Late pm via USGS at Fayette, water level 3.23" and 19 cfs, making it much too low to float.  Entered through XXXX XXXX access.  Turned L and parked in turnaroud.  Landed 6-7 smallies, which were concentrated in holes, seams, etc., but not in riffles. Lost just as many.  Great day!
Dan's trip report -7/19/14:  Overcast first half of day & sunny the 2nd half.  Air temp, low 80s.  USGS stats: 3.6' gage at Fayette and about 55 cfs (240 cfs at Littleport).  Cranefly and mayfly hatches. Clear water with some dragging of their framed toons but exc current flow for repeated casts on the drift.  Too many smallies to count -from 10" to 15.5", and 1 >12" rainbow.  All but a couple landed on topwater with aggressive strips -they did not want the occasional twitch.  Too many to count - the bite was strongest when overcast but still continued when it was sunny. Fished ~10-4pm. cgrnd to...
7/6-7/13:  At Fayette, CFS was 90 and 80, and gauge height was 3.75' and 3.68' respectively.  3-pontoon float trip from cnty road M to Klock's Island campground ($10/night/person to tent camp. Free single shower & buy wood offsite) took about 8-9 hrs with leisurely fishing ~5-6 miles.  Next day we put in from the campground for a shorter trip of about 4 hrs ending near the pedestrian bridge (near golf club?). Water levels very good for finning through flat sections. We had to drag pontoons ~4 times for short distances. Faster water was a ball & toons very stable. First day we saw many bluffs & very pretty.   Day 1 saw more fishing action & only 2 other kayaks on the water.  We all landed smallies.  I also landed rock bass (disputed if green sunfish), bluegill (2) and 1 rainbow.  Jeff took largest smallie ~14". I landed more larger smallies than dinks on day 1: 11-13".  Many strikes on day 2 but short-striking d/t being small fish. Sz 6 woolly bugger produced 3 fish in succession and firmer strikes. Otherwise, I landed fish on a variety of patterns: blk leech-like, orange guinea bugger, etc. Smaller profile seemed to work better. Dumbbell eyes worked well. I used intermediate line (not necessary) as little line out in short water & wted fly got fly down enough w/o snagging. In the deeper holes fly got down fairly quickly with this line.  Dan and I remained subsurface and Jeff also produced with topwater patterns.  Good shorts weather. Sunny, hot. Wind occasionally brisk but down in river & with trees, not a problem. Little fish action around the bluffs. If need to fish faster, avoid small holes along sandy stretches.  Day 2 saw little fish production at deep holes. (My fast-action 5wt would be fine on this water.  I used the 8wt which was fine but overkill.)
8/7/12:  Temps rose to at least low 90's. Early water temp was 68*. Skies clear and little to no wind. On water from ~930-315.  Sampled 2 new flies in white and in black.  Small bass chased them but little to no adult interest.  Or Guinea Bugger fished briefly end of day with same results.  Once again, changing to the pearl grey version of Shannon's fly made all difference!  All fish taken on this pattern.  Explored 3 different sections of Volga, which currently looks like trout stream.  Suckers everywhere.  Many bass juvies.  Landed ~6 smallies.  If it remains accessible, recommend fishing along Big Rock Road, past the golf course, in Fayette. .9 mile drive down to where I fished. Downed tree blocked last 150 yards of road. Don't drive down if you are protective of your suv's paint job or have a really large suv.

Wapsipinicon River
7/13/13:  Fished with James Durbin on section at Independance, IA.  Pike were main goal.  Both of us had chance to convert strikes on 1 fish each this day and failed.  This was all the action we had.  Some minnows breaking the surface & occasional surface action otherwise, but that was all.  Overcast day & unsure if the 84* predicted temp was achieved.  It was comfortable to wet wade.  Plenty of bugs. Food at Chinese restaurant was very good.  Fishless but fun day!

Wr River
8/21/16:  Slow day but the 3 of us caught smb. I got a strong 16 and MJ topped with 18". As usual for me, the fishing picked up near the end of the trip but not as much as the last trip. KLs first time and there were more portages around downed trees than I've ever experienced on our float waters. I think they were hitting more to black leach patterns and BrGoddess. I had fish to chart popper and ?? Too late of a post to remember! Not as hot of a day. Water level normal & cloudiness normal.
7/18/16: Water started out light chocolatey but improved with time. Water is always a little off-color. Water level good. Very little dragging. Saw 2 groups of kayakers. Hot, very humid day. Initially cloudy turning to sunny. First smb to chart popper during first leg. Tried wh F.Butt, grey bead-eyed leach, blk w.bugger. Couple strikes to wh F.Butt. Ultimately most of my smb came via the chart popper. One smb came to back & chart Guinea Bugger. Got about 6 and lost more. Lost a large, aggressive smb due to my lame finger and the splint. Our smb were 13" and less. Doug got most smb on Bronze Goddess. He also got a catfish. There was a large logjam during latter 1/3 of trip before concrete embankments. L side was a dam with undercut at its end. Portage on R. I called/notified DNR, Curt, the next day.
7/12/15:  Prettiest river to date??  Watch NF for water levels for this river.  Could flood quickly so care must be taken.  Also, will get shallow quickly.  We did an almost 4 mile float.  We hooked about 60 smb.  I may have landed 15-20 smb.  No other fish species landed.  Fish taken on Bronze Goddess, black dbbell eye leach, f. butt, and... grey, or grey with yellow bead-eyed leach. Some strikes to top water but not much.  Cloudy with some clarity water - excellent for fishing. Wet waded. Mostly cloudy, some sun. Hot & humidity increased throughout the day. Wind no factor.  No fins needed this date. Often rowed to shore & wade fished but also from toon. Fish not consistently in commonly found areas.  Odd for this river, per MJ.  Fishing got better in eve after ~5 pm. He landed prettiest smb I've ever seen. Around ~18". (3.42 & 375 at NFMFUL)

Waterways so SECRET (I am told) That I am supposed to forget their names (& I have!)
10-9-15:  SMB fishing with M.J.  2 new places on private land.  We caught smb to poppers and streamers with M.J. so surprised they came to poppers this time of year & both us us having a lot of fun and staying out until dusk.  Great time!!!  M.J. has the nads to find owners & ask permission to fish the private water and reaps the rewards of this.


NE IOWA STREAMS

Bankston
7-27-16:  Ed's first trout trip. We each caught trout and each had trifectas! Woolly Bugger not working. Pink Guelk and Olive Guelk worked. I nabbed a bow on a caddis dry. Tied on a Missy D with gun metal dropper. Had multiple strikes to dropper only and landed a brown. Water likely upper side of normal but cloudy. Good for fishing. NO takes to terrestrials. Sunny day and mid to upper 80s. After crossing the stream, the path got a bit rough. We did do some bushwhacking.
4-12-15:  Mid-60's air temp.  Sunny around 1230, to partly-cloudy then cloudy with sprinkles but 2:30.  Up to 15 mph winds but very fishable.  No fish seen except for the deep hole at the big limestone rock.  Landed 1 bow a few holes down from the prkng lot - used a lrg dry with Cody's  Rainbow Warrior as a dropper.  It took the warrior.  At the big hole I landed 2 more bows & a fat, male, 11" brookie that fought better than the bows!  One bow came to a pink guelk nymph, and the rest came to a Mexican worm.  Fished for ~2 hrs.  Watched 2 browns fighting. Browns are seeming rare here these days.  Others commenting on the scarcity of fish.
11/26/13: Mid-30s air temp.  Saw 1 fish flash near my fly and later, at dusk, a small school in a slow current run. Otherwise no fish seen. Hooked/landed 1 ~11" brown on another slow current run on a sz 18 nymph dropper.  KL had none.  Tough day! About 3" of snow on the ground.
1/2011:  Nymph fishing.  Landed a few Browns in the cut backs or tail-end of pools or deeper water from the large limestone rock.

Bear Creek
8/13-14/16:  Fished for 1-1.5 hours on Saturday and landed 2/3 fish - a brown and a bow. Topwater, I think. Despite recent rain, this stream normal and fairly clear. Not many bugs under rocks. Went to Cold Water after this. Water much different. On Sunday DP and I fished for a bit in the AM. DP got a brown on his B-E Leach. I explored a bit more upstream and landed a nice 14" brown on Driftless' topwater pattern. It was in a run/riffle section. Pretty flat water after that. Need to explore downstream. Now it is Joe's Campground. The flat area is now corn but it separated campers from stream and tent section. Very quiet. Wood reasonable and owner hauled it down. Bathrooms still v. good but only 1 toilet and shower per sex. I would camp  here again! Waterloo next and water in good shape.
5/5-6/12:  Barely more than wetting a line.  On Sat evening, spent about 15 minutes with a lrg Missy D.  No hits.  However, fish just subsurface.  From 1207(midnight)-120 fished under a full moon on Sunday and loved it. Much of snags were algae. Lost one due to the banks being a bit high & had to grab leader.  Flipped the hook and rested on water's edge. Brown? VERY active fighter.  Later, had a smaller fish on but lost it.
10/2/11:  Just did enough to 'wet a line'; can't honestly say I've fished it.  According to a friend, not much public access to this stream.  Fished on Big Joe's Little Campground.  I liked the small cabin/shower facility. Would recommend it.  I suspect too busy with 4-wheel campers in summer for one who likes a quiet, get-away-from-it-all place.

Big Mill
5/28/17: Fished here for first time. KL and I fished. Started around 11:00 and ended by 3:00. Landed 10 browns/bows with 2 being bows. Did land one to a Hippy Stomper (or other surfacer) and missed landing a final fish with swinging a dry fly on way back, but rest came to Missy D while using an indy. Generally in the deeper holes but some action in riffles/runs. Went upstream wading most of way. Not much in way of paths. Very pretty holes/greenery. KL went downstream. Stated caught trout and bluegills! GPS coords from trout map worked fine.

Bloody Run
1/1/17:  KL and I fished this cloudy day. I couple also fished, but that was it. I fished upstream of the railroad bridge near the outhouses to the big hole. Landed 5 bows. Lost a few others. Had strikes to the wet fly and believe I landed one. At my favorite hole (that is changing for worse) I landed rest of fish, and I believe all of them took the scud, not the Missy D. Near dusk, visited the 2 holes that we first fished last year (near entrance from highway) and drastically changed and, again, not for the better. No luck at all here. Will still try fishing this area again as there is good water upstream of here.
2/?/16:
1/2/16:  Kate and I went fishing. Sunny day. Light wind. High 20s to low 30s with guides freezing at times. Didn't see fish but landed 3 bows (one was 1.5' below my hand & shook free) & lost a few.  Didn't have strikes at deep holes, but they were in the runs. Then, checked out new spot that, every year, I say I want to check out. Yippee!  Kate stayed at car here (boo!). There were about 3 good areas to fish in a quasi-s curve. Slow-mod current into a more shallow hole with riffles (lost 1 sm brown & landed another), then fast current charging into a deeper hole (landed a 14" brown quickly here!!!!), then another bend with a longer deeper run/hole of slower current present - no action here. Brown Hole.  Will return here! (Heard BK fishes this hole)  We fished from about 1145 to 415.  Fished nymph (Missy D) rig with dropper (first a scud then a little red wire blk thread body midge pattern).  All fish, except the 14" brown, came to the sz 18 midge.  The bigger brown wanted the Missy D - about sz 10.
11/10/13:  Fished at Iris ave. Clear skies progressing to partly cloudy skies. High 40s-50s air temp.  Somewhat windy ~10mph.  Smattering of BWOs on water.  Water was gin clear & likely somewhat low.  Fish present & largely in schools.  Can move quickly on this section. Fish mostly at hole and a couple of runs. Can be silty otherwise.  Ez hike.  Landed 5 bows at big hole and 1 chubbie. Missed other hook-ups, esp on dry fly. ~Sz 18-20 BWO pattern, wet fly(OCs), blk beaded woolly bugger, gold beaded ol colored Missy D.  Latter had least success.
2/10/13:  Drizzle during 1st 15-30 minutes & just cloudy afterward. Temps in low 30's. Noon-3:45. Light wind.  Water low and clear. Fished my fave pool & landed 1st bow on midge dropper, no indy.  Fished seam near 2nd bridge & quickly moved on.  Experimented at big hole/no current.  Fished big hole slow current at 1st bridge, 1st time. 3 bows (2 on Missy D, 1 on silv bead white nymph), and 1-10" brown on midge. Fished deep with an indy near fly line & 2-fly rig at this hole.  Spattering of midges present during day.  1 rise.  Friend landed 3 trout.
12/4/11:  Deer huniting season. No snow. Heard many, but saw only 1 hunter.  5 (11" avg) Rainbows and a few others hooked/lost. Nymphing with dropper and (1) 3/0 non-lead split shot. At last deep, slow current hole added T-ma-bobber. ~2.5hrs+ travel-time to stream. Cloudy, no wind, mid-30's. Water clear; not gin-clear.  ~11" Bow at 'our favorite hole' on 1st cast on sz 18 midge-like dropper.  Lost nymph rig. Down to 1 remaining Missy D. 2nd Bow at my 2nd fave hole on 2nd cast on Copper John.  Another Bow on C.John. (landed another? Do not remember). Crawled and sat at this swift, shallow bridge hole while working way upstream. Landed another Bow near brush at bend of hole near where we went swimming last year on a 90*+ day. Didn't really expect a fish here. Cool! At large, slow-current hole at flat rock, stood in riffles and casted downstream, letting out line. Fish were breaking water. ~3' distance tween T-ma-bobber and rig. On 1st good cast, had fish on, but rod tip not high enough & lost it. Line was taught.  Immed cast back x2. On, briefly, lost it. Fish on? No, feels like thick branch. Fish on! Thinking BIG FISH. Ha. Poor Bow. They fight hard when hooked at the anus. Released him quickly. Getting very dark. Time for food.
12/3-4/10:  Browns/rainbows. Primarily nymphing with droppers.  Single digit temps with variable cloud-cover and variable wind.  Snow on the ground. We wore orange. Deer hunting season.

Brush Creek
11/12/16: Returned to Brush Creek with a healthier finger! Went upstream instead of the usual downstream. Met up with T and her boyfriend in the eve in the parking lot. He got a 1-3 trout going the usual downstream. I landed 50 creek chubs! Personal best. LOL! Go upstream for the trout. Probably prettier downstream, though.
3/18/16:  Upper 30s  today. Partly cloudy.  Water level normal & very clear. Sighted school of fish at tail-out when looking over bluff when hiking in to canyon. At 2nd hole fished (big one that WE have fished before) I got a brown with blk bugger while casting down & standing edge of left bank. Rest of day crk chubs. Saw crk chub redd. Saw a little bit of new water & planned to return next day, but post pounder injury at workday Sat prevented this. Chubs wanted scuds & pink guelk.
3/30/14:  Air temp up to about 63* & often windy but affect on us varied depending where we were in the canyon.  Sunny day.  Water off-color/milky.  Rocky feeder stream gin clear.  Upstream, but just downstream from another large, rocky bluff, there was a dry feeder stream that was flowing when we returned about 1 hour later.  Still snow on ground. Hike to/from stream somewhat treacherous d/t ice and mud on vertical path.  Gravel road to this park has some soft areas with ruts that could leave one stuck.  Beware after heavy rain or when spring thaw occurs.  No rising fish. Sighted chubs. Saw ~6" long, wide-backed orange-colored fish with dark band on its back???  First brown came in 'new' water downstream from where I last fished. Long run/hole after riffles.  ~7" nicely colored, few spots, par marks still present.  At deep hole with downfall at outside, landed 2 more browns, about 10-11" max.  Blk beaded blk woolly bugger.  One had healed from an injury to upper head.  Jeff landed another brown.  Dan was jinxed by the 'damn bird' but we all landed creek chubs (me, 2 on gold beaded, grey woolly bugger).  Didn't see stonerollers.  This would be great place to see in fall.  Rumor is hearty rattlesnake population at this preserve.  Sticker bushes greatest challenge to bushwhacking once in gorge.  Many easy water crossings.
1/8/2012:  Theresa landed 1 small Creek Chub spin fishing.  Observed non-shy chubs and stonerollers in small hole below tree. Observed (probable) larger Brown, and later a school of ~12 fish, unknown type.   Uninterested in flies/lures.  Darters and/or sculpins present.  Gin clear water, both rock and sand bottoms. Very deep holes. Water temp near 1 hole with some thin ice was 38*.  Water temp at nearby springs: 48*.  Sunny day, lower 40's(?).  Suspect few Brown Trout present. Sampled by DNR (via fishing method) in May, 2010, and 8 wild Browns at 4.5 fish/mile were discovered.  Many more Creek Chubs and Common Shiners were present.  However, I will plan to return to this stream again.  The hike into the 'gorge' is somewhat steep & challenging.  Excellent climbing/discovery available at the tributary stream to Brush Creek.  Beautiful clear, wide water in a setting rare for Iowa. Brush Creek Canyon State Preserve.

Canoe Creek
5/16/15:  Fished around 3:40 to 5:45 PM.  Saw suckers spawning before the first bend.  After that, nothing visible except darters or similar small fish & tiny tadpoles & carp jumping twice at bluff hole.  Water up but very wadable. Slightly off-color.  At least in70's & too warm with waders on.
5/26/14:  Very quick trip here.  No strikes, etc.  Suckers heavily spawning.  Picked up butternuts from Raife at the Sattre Store.
5/16/14:  1-1.5 hrs fishing in morning.  Water slightly cloudy & average to slightly higher level. Air temps likely in 50s.  Partly cloudy to cloudy.  Better run had some 'rises' likely to emergers.  Saw ~19" brown rise about 10' from me multiple times & saw ~15" brown and 1-2 other smaller. No takes, maybe 1 taste. Harder fishing this date when knew fish present.  Return in spring! Smallies likely present at spawning temps.
7/21/13:  Much changed following flood.  My campsite had had bulldozer running through it. Layered with mud and stack of trees dozed in one section.  Evidence of tree jam at bridge and silt/mud had reached upper rock embankment near my campsite. More sand on stream bed, esp from bridge to 1st bend. Also, more rocks exposed in other sections. Heavy sand/dirt mix deposits on banks as well. Bluff hole bend has moved slightly upstream c bluff on mostly straight end now.  Still lots of silt/mud  here. Only fishing action (scant)seen here.  Water cloudy c little clarity.  Running a little higher/faster than typical.  Attempted fishing the bluff hole with grey then green mini Shannon's then the blk Fluffy Butt.  Fished the latter while making way back to CRV.  No luck.  Good rocks this trip.
4/27/13:  Late evening.  Prime water level and slightly off-color.  One 13.75" Brown landed -fighter! - on Missy D.  2 attacks on fly - one that caused loss of rigging and one that caused loss of the fly, including a wet fly.  Fish taken at/near big bank where often holding, but strikes in riffle section.  1 creek chub.
4/22/12:  Late evening with ~25 minutes of fishing.  Water is somewhat high and off-color. Fished runs beyond the first bend where I've landed fish in past, as usual this year (Feb), no sign of fish except sculpin or some fry.  (Did see fish break surface at hole #1, trout-like) Fished larger hole near first bend near site(where I saw larger fish earlier this year).  Had multiple hook-ups but no keepers.  Wondered if sucker as felt that way.  On 4/23/12, returned to hole for ~10 minutes.  Hook-up, lost. Then, saw large ~18" white sucker.  Wonder if school and most foul-hooked?
4/17/11: 1 Brown landed & 2 threw the hook.  Best fighters to date & all in same area (a wide hole next to bank followed by riffles)  Always few to no fish hooked on Canoe, so happy today. No fish rising.  No fish sign near campsite.  Water condition best I've seen.  Optimum level and v. clear.  Some v. deep(er?) holes. Limestone bluff hole structure changing. Found path to rocks.  Try float tube here?  Sunny & very windy w/ temps in mid-high 30's.  Fly: size 10 Missy D nymph.  Strikes came w/o the strike indicator or split shot. 

Coldwater Creek
11/5/16: Did well catching trout (mostly or all) browns on this stream. Late post so details murky. Estimate 12-14 trout. Also landed a 16" brown in a feeder to this stream. Otherwise, up to 15" on coldwater. Fish were hungry! Mostly swinging wet flies. Got to wet wade!!!
8/13/16: Early afternoon. Warm. Sunny but water high/within banks and just shy of chocolate milk. Briefly tried good topwater for this stream (already on line) but knew the white color not work here. However, I did have one little attack. Switched to (streamer first?) Missy D + droppers. Strike indicator. Did very well. About a dozen and lost more. Bows and browns. A few 14 inchers. Parked at upper lot again, hit 2 of the usual holes and worked upstream between them, also having luck. Returned to Bear to camp with DP. We each saw 1 meteor that night as leftovers of Perseides.
1/28/16: Early morning nice weather turned to chilly, sprinkles and very windy at times. Met one MN angler on the stream. 4 (or 5?) trout. 1 bow/-4 brown. Missy D, scud, mostly white streamer. Many taken at favorite hole & one brown taken on back side of formerly favorite hole in slower water allowing fly to scoot below downed branch in water on periphery of current. Water was in the banks but high and cloudy. Good day here and a little surface film fish action seen. Winnie did well here! Indy with and w/o split shot. Looking forward to next visit.
5/17/14:  Low to mid-60s air temp. Sunny, some clouds.  If hook set better this date would have landed ~7-8 fish in addition to the 2 bows I landed.  One was taken near the bank on the bluff and another was taken at a deep hole near bank hides.  Stream looked better than I have seen it since last couple of trips.  Average to slightly higher water level & some color to it.  Nymphs - Missy D and Rainbow Warrior - split shot for latter.
3/22/13:  Only 2 fish landed & just a few strikes, 1 to ~5pm. Tiny brown on Missy D and a ~10-11" bow on sz 18 beat-up scud pattern.  We fished from hole near upper parking lot to the cave entrance.  The 2 beaver dams closest to the upper lot are now gone.  I think the fishing would've been much better downstream & water temps would've been a bit warmer in the field.  Water was clear and it was a blue-sky day, no wind, with air temps about freezing (took ice off guides once). Some exploration done as well. 'T' said the former road near the cave used to be a school bus route!
12/7/12:  Only fished hole below the bridge at dusk. Couple fish rising. No hits. Missy D and dropper. Mostly explored downstream of bridge. Very low, clear, skinny water. Fish visible in the holes. 2 older beaver dams.
12/18/11: 1-8" Rainbow. Stocker.  Landed along limestone bluff, upstream from pasture. Used Tmabob strike indicator in deep, slow current water.  Sunny day.  Mid-40's or more.  We visited cave and I experimented with created fly; fishing as nymph then streamer pattern.  Also had a few hits.  Did not fish heavily or fish the pasture area where greater fish population is present.  Focus was on the fly & success was found fishing both as nymph & streamer in less dense fish population.  Happy this fly still drew fish at this time of year.  Guinea/elk fly has been generally successful on NE IA streams.  Plan to post recipe.  Sunny day. Mid-40's or more.  Water level low except upstream of the 2 beaver dams! Dammed area near old bridge remains was ~5' higher water-level than the stream now below.  Saw one large beaver near 2 lodges.
10/1/11:  1-13" Rainbow. Stocker.  3 fish strikes/on, then lost.  At big pool, after 3PM, fish rising.  Many rose to my fly or followed it when it went subsurface when I dapped poorly.  No takers or 'spit it out', esp after fly change.  Spin fisherman who later shared hole with me didn't bring any in.  (Hatch looked initially like PMD, then coloring more like BWO. Smaller white flies also present.)  Stocker landed in hole #2 in 3-hole run near truck stocking route.  Landed on ~sz 10 blk tungsten guinea-collared elk hair tail fly. This fly has been successful in this stream in spring.  Sunny day, avg air temp was 62* but felt warmer. 2mph wind.  Water was low and very clear.  Fish were very 'fishy'.  One stretch of the stream appeared 'pinched off' and only a trickle of water now present in that area.  Fished from the lower parking area up to where the woods begin.  Concentrated on a few holes & working on technique. Many anglers appeared from 3PM on.  Only 2 other anglers in the AM.
4/16/11:  At spring eminating from natural entrance to Coldwater Cave, 2 small Browns --not in the mouth, but in small seam running along 'canyon' rim-- victory!  This area is beautiful!!  Very little fishing on Coldwater Creek due to searching for the mouth of the cave.  Did land 3-4 Browns & 5 C. Chubs at deep hole with wood structure on Coldwater Creek, upstream from confluence with the spring near Coldwater Cave.  No fish sign/rises this wkend.  Stream conditions excellent.  Clear, like liquid glass.  Insect larva present in v. large amounts near the mouth/canyon area.  Cloudy & little bit of snow remained on ground. -Mid-upper 30's and mod-very windy.  Did not fish Coldwater's pasture areas.  Great temps/time of year for hiking. Fly:  size 10 Missy D nymph. Strike indicator successful at the spring; successful w/ and w/o on Coldwater Creek.  (next goal: return and fish heavily!!) (12/15/11: Corrected this post today.  Helpful IA DNR personnel corrected my mistaken understanding of this stream.  I thought Coldwater Creek exited Coldwater Cave's natural entrance.  It doesn't.  A spring exits there and then feeds into Coldwater Creek.)
3/24/11: 1 Brown ~10". High spring water, cloudy & not wadeable. Below freezing. Partly cloudy skies with mild-mod wind. Fly: tungsten bead Missy D nymph(?).  Hiked from above starting at hunters' parking lot. No trespassing posted in woods near dry stream bed & did not reach the mouth.
2/13/11:  1 Rainbow & 1 sm, natural Brown landed. 1 Rainbow threw the hook. 30's. Sunny. Snow on ground, water wadeable.  Did not reach the mouth. Fly: tungsten bead, soft hackle nymph with guinea collar. (taken in deep, wide pool and in seam after fast-moving water)

Coon Creek
7/2/11:  Hooked trout for 1 second on a golden-colored stonefly imitation in a faster-moving hole on a bend.  Friend landed 2 there prior to my hook-up.  Friend, spin-fishing, landed 10 Rainbows overall.  We saw 1 dead Brown. Nothing more than 12" landed.  Sighted many trout and some ~18"ers.  Water generally slow-moving.  Brush riding down to the banks. Lots of itch weed.  Many trees downed over the creek, necessitating acrobatics on our part.  The most challenging NE IA stream for fly fishing that I've been on. Generally casting upstream but fish shy & water clear so distance casts are best on the straights, which is challenging. At the bends, could fish a bit from the shore if the banks weren't too high and the brush not too thick. Fished sz 20-10, nymphs, modified streamer, surface film fly.  Will return -if only as a barometer of how much I've improved my skills.  Water temp ~65*. Sunny day, light to no wind. 82-86 degrees. Wet-waded, but pants a necessity.  Bugs not a big problem. No ticks. To hike downstream to the Upper IA river, stay on the left side of the stream.  A 'Put and Grow' also opens into this stream.

Elk Creek
3/11/16: After 3 pm on a beautiful day. Fished this stream right in Twin Bridges Park. Ultimately, 2-3 browns landed and missed a couple at the last hole/run near the bridge. Started with pink guelk nymph swung like wet fly. After few casts, landed ~9" brown that had a stocker look. Happy though! Cont wet fly technique with Guelk and other fly & then with dropper wets, no further luck. Tried other flies and no luck.  Most of this was a deep current seam running along opp bank. Tried other holes and it was a "snag & tangle" day, so no fish there. Got to nice little area around bridge and landed 1-2 browns there. Missy D or droppers. Not a scud day. With a gunmetal tinsel dry fly used like dropper, did have some scud action. Also, may have hooked a couple 10" trout but maybe could have been chubs, too. Unknown. This was a fun section to fish for a short time. Campground & br here so likely hit hard and not peaceful in warmer weather. (3/13 logged)

Ensign Hollow
4/5/15:  Sunny day, mid to upper 60's & warm at times.  Up to ~10 mph breeze.  Sunny.  Water lower & generally clear but a silty off-color look.  Fish visible but unable to differentiate between creek chubs & trout.  Landed 12 creek chubs.  Lost the only brown trout of, at most, 10" length, that hit on the scud dropper. ~8 hit on dropper, 2 on Missy D, 2 on blk dropper.  Bad attempt with net to land brown - reason for not landing it.  Good fight.  Most fish landed in fave pool. Did go upstream in eve.  Different banks than downstream but more narrow?  It was a hard day of fishing.  Saw about 4 rises early.  No luck with dry.  End of day, tried wet fly & no luck except for one tug in fave pool.  Uncertain if will return to this stream next year.  Slightly more silty than last year?  Beagle there again.
4/18/14:  Sunny day in low 60s with light breeze.  First 'good weather' day of fishing this year!  Water clear but slightly cloudy.  Lots of bank erosion, plenty of silt but decent holding areas and silt-free runs for trout, too.  Landed 16 creek chubs and 10 browns (d). Kate landed 5 browns, no creek chubs (u).  Heavenly Hole produced greatest fish numbers on small, flashy nymph (X Rainbow) and later a couple more chubs on bugger.  Fished from ~1215 to around 615 & Kate ended ~1hr sooner.  I fished my section using the ?? Rainbow when travelling upstream and then fished the blk tungsten blk wooly bugger when travelling back downstream.  Plenty of hatches this date but neither Kate nor I saw a single fish rise.  3wt worked just fine here.  Had nice space when in stream or on bank when weeds not up to make long casts.  Excellent day.
4/9/11:  1 small Brown. 4 hooked but not landed, with one leaping ~2' in air & then throwing the hook.  (2 Creek Chubs landed on a beadhead nymph in a deep, slow-current hole) Fished 10:30-3PM. After ~1:45, no hits & it getting warmer.  Estimate 50-65* when fish biting. Mostly cloudy & low wind.  Clear water with many good holding areas for shy fish. Waders helpful to cross sm stream but also for weeds/brush on shore. Stream 6-8' wide(?).  FLY:  Tungsten beadhead elk hair nymph w/ guinea collar.  Point fly on nymph rig set-up not successful this date. Etc:  Casting downstream in riffles at a bend which opened to hole w/ a big, subsurface rock produced most fishing action. Fish observed feeding here.  Recommend this stream. V. brushy in summer? Gravel road to enter park lot is in poor repair if enter from the west.  Road is 'improved' if coming from east?....ask Gary.  Suspect gd foor primitive camping/winter fishing.

Fountain Springs
3/11/16: Beautiful day to fish and explore. Also checked out White Pine Hollow, Little Turkey stream and Elk Creek (Twin Bridges park). Short sleeves day, albeit it would be chilly for some. Sunshine. Got to low 60s? Low to no wind. Fished here for at least a few hours. Layout is very much like Richmond Springs, including bathrooms. Some anglers present. Landed one brown  - par near hole at road crossing. May have had others with interest but spooky fish here. Water seemed low and it was clear. Did spend a bit of time catching creek chubs & practicing my reaction time to setting hook while using nymph rig. Mostly little chubs & lots of em in certain holes. Did see couple respectable trout in tiny hole that I crawled to and set fly in water to allow drift. One strike that failed to connect. Ultimately startled the fish. Had another strike in riffles but unknown what it was. Went to Elk Creek next. (3/13/16 logged)

French Creek
5/16/15:  Fished mid-morning to about 3:00.  Cloudy to partly-cloudy then at the end, pretty sunny.  Wore waders d/t hunting morels earlier but would have been v.good wet-wading day.  Wind likely up to 10-12 mph.  Fished the hole at the bridge.  Saw fish holding but no lunkers.  Landed small brown to y. scud dropper then landed 12-14" brown to Missy D point fly.  Then, nymph and streamer fished downstream (no fish sightings) and dry fly fished upstream.  Landed 1 small brown on mosquito pattern dry fly, ~sz 18,fishing in water casting upstream.. sort of riffle area.  Many eroded areas now have limestone rock in place.  Fished the pasture area.  Fish number not the same anymore.
7/28/14:  Fished Hartley Dr section.  Strangely, no luck.  Saw no action. Saw one run - slower water- with 2 med-lrg trout.  Drove over bridge at cattle farm.  Large trout upstream and downstream with fish visibly appearing to feed surface and subsurface.  Fished cricket, no luck; fished moose mane midge, strike and then fought first brown. Difficult to net here at hole just upstream of bridge. Moss helped unbutton the fish.  Smaller fish rising. Put on sz 10 or 12 Missy D with indy.  Landed 13,12, & 11" browns.  V. good fighters!  Hooked & fought at least 5 min a lrg brown.  Stayed deep a long time but brought to service and to net at least 3 times. Unable to net the fish. It eventually threw the hook when moving rod behind me to draw fish closer & protect rod tip.  Gave too much resistance & unbuttoned it. I yelled and moaned but great fish!  Largest on to date -maybe 20" or more but can say 19" with very dark back and maybe kyped.
7/27/14:  Smaller part of stream near largest primitive campground.  Hiked back near power lines.  Warm/sunny day. Cool water temps & great for likely final day to wet wade.  I had no luck.  Did see 1 area of slack water with larger fish.  Saw another hole and run with med-small fish rising. No luck.  Did not have BWO.  Hitting on them -sz 20 per Jeff.  Otherwise, saw little action.  D & J landed fish, Jeff stated largest 4".  Dan had fish and largest 12".  Water clear.
5/25/14:  Smaller part of stream near largest primitive campground.  Hiked back.  Warm & sunny day.  Dan & I had no luck.  Jeff got 2-3.  Hard fishing day.  Bad choice to wear waders as it would have been an easy wet-wading section & it was hot. (late entry)
11/14/13 Th:  French Creek at Hartley Drive:  Started fishing shortly after noon.  High 40s-low 50s air temp.  Sunny to partly cloudy skies. Light to mod wind. Landed 2 browns, 1-11” and 1 -15” spotted beauty.  First was in the deep double pools. No action otherwise.  2nd was just upstream of bridge at tailout of a small hole/run. Not as much damage from spring flooding as I thought there would be. Signs of damage & flood water levels evident.  Then, fished upstream of dairy barn.  Did very well at putting fish down. Water very clear, on low side of normal.  Some water plant growth is starting again. Left water near dark.  I think both were landed on nymphs.
4/28/13:  Sunny & about 72* with some light wind present.  Slightly lower (!) of normal water levels, slightly off-color.  Morning until early afternoon.  Lower Fr -my fave section where a lot of erosion present.  11 browns taken at deep holes. Prince and green Pea Body were the primary flies.  5 fish at this time.  Then added larger pink/tan scud dropper.  Next 6 (mostly larger at 11-15") browns landed on the scud!  This includes 1 at very large, steep M. Prairie hole.  Mossy conditions with other water plants just starting to grow. Didn't see same huge number of trout present as in past.  Couple strikes when nonseriously highsticking the Hrtley bank at small riffles.  Sm trout.
3/9/12:  Approx 33-35* temp during early afternoon to dusk. Wind speed was 0-7mph. Sunny. Water running clear and still low.  Fished Mays Prairie section.  Saw trout and put them down frequently.  Clear skies and clear water did not contribute to stealth.  Used nymphs and a wet fly.  No strikes.  Late in afternoon, a couple of rises occurred, otherwise no other trout action.
1/7/12:  Mid to low-40's for temp on mid afternoon, fishing until dusk. Sunny day, low to no wind.  Water clear, and lower than usual.  1st time winter-fishing this stream.  Focus on Hartley Drive section.  First cast on stream, 2nd hole, near end of drift at weed edge, landed 14.5" Brown.  Atypical color ~light, almost washed out.  Never seen a Brown like this one on this stream before.  Nice fish, however.  Landed on my gold bead guinea-collared elk-butted nymph & used strike indicator.  Later, one tug near good hole at the bridge and one rise near another productive hole further upstream.  Unusual day on this stream. 1 fish and none of the usual fish sightings.  Briefly fished hole at bridge on Mays Prairie Rd. 1st cast, snag and lost rig.  Tied on another fly and no luck.  Too dark to see.  Missy D not successful this day, either. Couple hatches but only 1 rise. Plan dry fly and slow streamer at bottom next time.  DNR reports stream fishing has been slow lately.

Glovers, Grannis(Upper), Otter
4/9/11 (after 4PM):  Nada.  Zilch.  One of those goofy, off days when I feel like a beginner again. Fish very shy at Grannis, but at least I saw them.  Hit the stream across road from parking lot for less-pressured fishing. Oops. Upon exit, noted it was posted. Picked up trash.  More than usual here.  Other streams located in Echo Park outside W. Union. Good camping areas along water, but park road entrances were closed. Pretty. Limestone bluffs. Guys from PA reported success on Otter. Handsome man from Chickasaw cnty who was at the Glovers entrance reported good fishing and rec the Yellow River, also.  I saw one fish rising at Otter. At dusk, I visited Glovers. Another man who I'd also spoken with in the lot had mentioned success (9) on a black beadhead nymph with a strike indicator. However, by the time I was at the water, many fish rising/subsurface & I've no idea to what. They ignored the flies I offered.  So, I also practice-casted my new 5wt 8'6" Echo rod. It has been a pleasure to use on the Iowa streams. Weather temps in the 70's down to 60's by the time I left the stream at nightfall. Partly-sunny changing to cloudy.

Little Turkey Stream
3/11/16: Did not fish this, only prospected it. Ground-thawing day. The short Grade B road to the stream was too iffy to take. There is "room" to park 1 car near entry to this road. Parking lot also muddy. Stream slightly larger than Middle Bear. Silty edges like Patterson and some silty holes. Other sections/runs looked better and fishy, but didn't see any fish. Would try to fish it sometime, but wouldn't expect to spend much time there. Likely harder to fish in warm weather d/t bank weed growth but path present along the stream. Stocking truck road and private property adjacent to stream.

Middle Bear
11/15/13 Fri:  North Bear at upstream side of 370th St (N.Bear Rd).  Fished the small feeder stream (Middle Bear) most of time.  Stuck with a dry fly as means of learning.  Hooked 1 fish solidly at confluence, then hooked two more on N.Bear immediately upstream of confluence.  No fish day.  Hiked to fast water area almost parallel to deteriorating building in field. Dusk turned me around. Right before dark heard the coyotes. No other strikes after the 3 but 1 did show interest. Small, brief hatches. Low 50s air temp. Light wind, less than 10 mph. Generally sunny, lovely day.
5/6/12:  At 370th street.   Just wet a line at couple holes near confluence with North Bear.  Very pretty, smaller stream than N. Bear.  Rumor has it there may be some natural repro of brooks in addition to nat reproducing browns. Do plan to return here.

Monastery
4-12-15:  Used trout map gps coordinates which took me to Swiss Valley.  Coordinates for both locations are indeed duplicated on map.  Took Monastery road & fished the stream there a little bit.  IF this is the trout stream, there is no reason to return.  Silty, little to no plant growth, muddy.  Did not travel too far on this water...just along the cemetery.

North Bear
1/22/17:  Water high and very off color, but not chocolate milk. Did not see any other anglers this weekend. Temps still mid-thirties and 3-4" of snow on the ground with rain misting and heavy fog yesterday, Fished a hole at the bridge (of the confluence with S.Bear) and the other hole and runs just upstream of this....i.e., right near the parking lot. A lazy day and I knew I likely would not be crossing the stream to get to my favored water. Started off with a chartreuse glow-in-the-dark streamer used at Salmon Camp. Had one definite strike. Switched to med-small gold beadhead Woolly Bugger and had some strikes, I think. Switched to dropper rig: Missy D with yellow scud. Tiny brown on the scud. Had several strikes/hook-ups/losses and lost the rig. Tied on pink Guelk Nymph with yellow scud dropper. I believe I had one bow to the Guelk and one on the scud, and rest were browns. I believe all browns but one took the scud. Seven fish landed and had many strikes, quite a few on the fly and lost. I landed the smallest and largest with the largest 15" and the smallest around 5 inches. Used strike indicator most of the time (and all of the time the fish were caught. Only 2 strikes under the bridge. Scant to mostly no wind. Really, a good day to fish. Light to no fog and a good drive home.

Other dates:

2/27/16: Nice day. Snow on ground but much melted by end of day. Water mostly clear and good height despite the snow melt. Maybe 3-4 trout: 1-2 bow and 2 brown. Scud was most popular. Parked at bridge of N&S Bear confluence. Car camped at Quandahl campground on lower road d/t icy/slick road. Met Wacker from CR that night with truck stuck on campground road. 
1/17/15:  Hiked from confluence parking lot to the other bridge.  Cloudy & air temp upper 30's & occasionally windy.  Ice shelves bankside not too bad.  2 rises.  Fished from ~11-4.  Fist bow came to wet fly drifted across through riffles in fun section upstream.  Next bow came to nymph (green wire body, sz ~16) upstream from rock with holes.  Immediately downstream of rock with holes, discovered a little honey hole.  Landed another bow, then a highly acrobatic (in winter!) brown, and then a brown parr.  Saw a couple of flashes.  Fished a little more, carded by Brian of IA DNR, but headed back to fish different water.
  Planned to hit the Big Fish hole on French, but not enough time for this and preparing for night-fishing at 370th.  Went to 370th bridge and prepped.  Mono leader of 15# to 8# c handshake loops. Crystal Bullet. Headlamp, UV light, flashlight.  Noted the upper bank edges and brush behind me, then spotted where I would slide down to water's edge IF I should need to land any fish.  One rainbow struck the Crystal Bullet.  Slid down to the water & landed it.  Made a mess of loose line.  Red light on head lamp really preserved night vision.  Action on the water right at dark but as night progressed, no more action. Fished for ~45 min.  More windy than daytime but this assisted c casting.  12/6-7/14:  370th.  No hunters, No other anglers on the stream this date. Water is clear.  Plants are now present in the stream.  Day 1:  32-37*F air temp. Sunny.  3-8 mph, E to NE wind.  30.56" altimeter.  Day2:  32-36* F air temp but 10-20 mph mostly S to SE wind.  Cloudy.  30.40-30.21" end of day, altimeter.  Later morning starts to dusk.  Sat was sunny & felt warmer. Fish rising for 2-3 hrs & heavily in the beginning.  I blew fishing opps c dry early.  Landed 1 she-brookie (~11") to dry fly sz 18 dark Jeff Moore pattern.  Watched the fish rise, open mouth, take the dry & I set!  Lovely.  Lost one.  Likely missed other strikes.  No takers to nymph.  Dark H wet fly and took a 12" she-brown near a favorite spot, down/across.  Did not fish smart. Elected to return Sunday & make up for it, since day supposed to be similar.  It felt colder, was windy and cloudy.  No rises. All different. Fished much more water and fished smarter.  Missy D, then later added a dropper.  Landed 12" bow, energetic, on Missy D, sz 12.  Later, fought another likely bow for a bit but lost it.  I should have done in to stream to fight it.  Considering the day, I was grateful to land a fish.  T directed me to primitive campground near S. Bear.  Out house, too. Fire rings.  Great!  No other hunters or anglers on start of shotgun season for deer.  Did see 3 deer. (:
10/11/14: Fished upstream of 3rd bridge (370th) - not my best area to fish as downstream I know much better. The water viewed from the bridge has silted in somewhat. Upstream of confluence with M.Bear, the water is sweet!  Nice runs and deeper holes.  Rocky.  After this stretch comes the wooded area.  Flatter water & wider.  Fish rising in the evening here.  More upstream, more current and quite a foot path to this region. Still have not hiked beyond this area.  Note to self: stay on stream side of fence here!  Hooked 1 fish on ~sz 16 gold bead head nymph here.  BWOs coming off in eve in flat water. Need to learn how to fish this area better - rec learning this area when weeds are down & plan to spend the day vs. 2-3 hrs. Sunny day.  Likely mid to low-50's air temp.  Water plants coming back very well here.
6/9/14:  Estimate air temp high 70s-low 80s.  Partly cloudy.  Water continues to be cloudy -look like 'grey water'.  Low to no wind.  Flow was normal and less than last visit.  Spent time at the 'acrobatic bow run'  and landed 2 browns of 11-12 inches.  First was on ant and 2nd on Moose mane midge (by friend J. Moore). Fish 'rising' but not many and right next to the bank. Trialed many flies prior to success. At the slower run where I've previously landed fish on the dry, attempted wet fly w/o luck.  Tied on nymph with grn caddis dropper.  Fought brown & lost it - the mono on the bend of the debarbed point fly hook had slipped off, causing me to loose the fish and leave a fish with fly and mono at its mouth.  Lesson learned.  
5/26/14:  The first day I wet-waded this year!  It was great.  370th.  Water still looks mysteriously cloudy.  Landed a brown on grn caddis dropper and landed 2 bows bead head streamer (likely w. bugger).  Jeff landed 1-2 browns & likely near the bridge.  We didn't fish here very long.  No rises & the 2 men were not satisfied.  Drove to S.Branch.
5/18/14:  Beautiful day!  From confluence, hiked to iron bridge (where good prim camping exists - small site) and fished back downstream.  Long slower pools closer to iron bridge. Had numerous strikes and fish on, losing some 3' from me.  Landed 2 (3?) browns.  Nymphs were the ticket. I used Missy D.  Barbless hooks are good and my added challenge for now.  Kate and T both landed fish. Water dirty & unknown why. Good flows -slightly higher than average or average. Temps in mid to high 60s and recorded at 71* in Decorah at ~6PM.  Blue to slightly cloudy skies with intermittent wind.
4/12-13/14:  370th.  Saturday had a couple dashes of sun.  Otherwise, slightly windy and thunder grumbling in the distance all day. Air temp in mid to upper 50's.  Fished & experimented from 215 until evening/dusk aside from meal break.  That is when the storm started.  Landed 3 fighting browns on sz 20 dries.  One was LDR - did not take net.  Landed 3 bows on ~sz 10 blk tungsten bead woolly bugger.  This is where I saw 20"+ fish jump with low clearance from water.  Good rock cover.  With other flies (esp blk bead-eyes steroid leech) had follows and 1 taste but all ultimately refused.  (met JK from Driftless this date.)
2/15 -16/14:  Saturday, hiked and fished 1st bridge section for ~30 minutes. Had one strike to a wet fly.  Due to heavy snow, opted to find a good place to car camp.  Sunny Sunday, mid-20's & started fishing around 10 am. Light wind.  Wet fly, sz 18 dry, Missy D nymph and no takes. Then, fish began to rise. Looked for smallest fly in fly boxes.  Jeff Moore's Moose Mane Midge, sz 20. Had ~9 hits and converted 4 to the net.  Brown (12"), bow, brookie, brown (13-14"). Trifecta!  All fairly thick-bodied & healthy. Had to break ice off rod guides.  Despite the cold, the fish fought hard.  Got back to suv around 230. Hike through up to 2' of snow.  Heated coffee on the roadside and had my 'Caught in the squat' incident followed with  big smiles!  (Road to Cold Water heavy with snow and lots not plowed. Canoe not plowed. 1st bridge areas had some light plowing and car camped there.
11/16/13:  N. Bear at 1st bridge on Quahdahl Rd.  Low to lower-mid 50s.  Cloudy then a perfect rain later in afternoon.  Left water about 3:15.  Landed 2 rainbows and had 2 other hook-ups.  Started with nymph rig, w/o luck, then caddis with couple strikes, then fished a Dark Hendrickson, down and across.  Landed the 1st bow in pretty stretch where I'd earlier seen the blk dog.  Landed 2nd bow just downstream of where limestone bluff starts.  It dashed out from its hidey hole along the bluff and snagged the Hen just as it hit the deeper water over the shelf.  Very little wind.  Mist, changing to light and sometimes moderate rain.  Warm enough with half finger gloves to be comfortable.
 11/15/13: See Middle Bear, same date.
10/12/13: Nice sunny day with some wind.  50's air temp. Wader weather.  Explored further upstream of The Lodge Quandahl Rd/1st bridge access.  Then fished downstream for a couple hours.  1 foul brown and 1 fair brown, latter taken on new water.  Dry fly emerger.  ~Sz 18. Wet flies gave no interest.  Fished nymph with dropper to some interest but no lands.  Did not get to fish familiar water. Not enough time but very pretty area.  Water clear, but slightly off-color. Low side of normal. Good insect sign present. Fairly strong hatch.
9/29/13:  Beautiful day.   Fishing vest, long zip-off pants and wet wading all day!  Cold feet!  Probably up to 70*, mostly sunny.  370th street access.  Water on lower side of normal, slightly off-color.  Little change from floods aside from the big hole.  Landed 6 bows. All nymphs, aside from a large caddis when I landed 1 bow.  Unusual, generally about 50/50 browns/bows.  1-2 light hatches & no significant rises. Of course, fought and missed, or just plain missed other fish.
4/20/13:  Fished section near The Lodge.  Good water; higher side of normal flow and clear with slight stain.  Sunny c low to no wind. 48* water and air temp.  Landed 7 trout..  First on blk wooly bugger, also at least 3 on caddis, perhaps 1 on wet fly, rest on nymph or dropper. (6 gal trip- off water by 530)
12/8/12: Fished 380th st section (Walter Langley's property). Somewhat low but clear water on a sunny day. Little wind. Upper 30's for air temp. Some fish rising. Theresa and I both struck out. I had one strike & probably a crk chub. Fished from ~1230-4PM. Nymphs: Missy D and Guelk.
10/21/12:  370th st access.  Sunny day with temps mid-60's-high 70's.  Light wind with speeds up to ~12 mph.  Water mostly clear, but not gin after 2" rain this week.  Drought remains but v. fishable water!  Fished late AM to ~230.  3 bows landed + 1 brown foul-hooked on dropper. Bows taken on Missy D or dropper (flash with single grizzly hackle).  Indy, no shot.  All from larger hole at fast current and slow water.  No strikes at bow acrobatic hole.  (TS landed 2 browns, on white jig at same hole & lakeside of beaver dam). 
5/6/12:  We guided Theresa for the fly and she guided us on streams and stream life.  Took pictures of her landing a brown and she was so excited!  Terri & Shani landed 2 other trout.  Very short time on this water at 370th on side where cows roam.  Cloudy, probably upper 50's-60's for temps.  Enjoyed discovering morels despite not being able to remove them from this privately-owned land.  (next time, note where public land begins on other side of road)  Time to head home.
4/21-22/12:  Day 1, fished at 370th street access. Started late AM & hiked downstream to fish back.  Mostly cloudy and light rain later PM.  Temps high 50's-low 60's?  It did get chilly.  Water off-color and somewhat higher than average.  Landed 4 browns and 1 rainbow. Latter was in the typical spot and it was typically boisterous. Ranged from 8"-13" with bow being the largest.  Trout rising for a time.  A sz18-20 wh Elk Hair Caddis landed a few browns.  When switching to Missy D and/or Guelk Nymphs, larger fish began to strike. Bow was on Missy D.  Other strikes on Guelk but lost on the particular run where bows are found.  Earlier, I did have strikes on the PeaBody.  Occ 1-2 split shot and no indy. 
Day 2, warmer and few clouds.  Water slightly lower and slightly clearer.  Started at 370th street and worked downstream. Planned to fish opp side of bridge (cow-side) but guide/client there.  Attempted the caddis again when insects present but soon returned to fly box.  On the last main hole of the day I landed a nice brown trout. Nymph with strike indicator.
3/11/12:  55-62* with barometric pressure dropping.  Sunny, then partly sunny.  Wind was 0-13 mph.  Water was clear to clear-cloudy, with greater ability not to spook the fish.  Landed 2 Browns and 4 Rainbows.  Lost 3-4 fights including two stronger, longer fights with leader/line flying into tree when hook became unbuttoned. Missed several strikes, esp at start of day on slower run with Guelk Nymph.  All fish landed were on sz 18 midge-like pattern as the dropper.  Point fly was primarily Missy D. Did use Guelk Nymph for short time as the point.  Original Guelk with darker body has several strikes. Fish threw the hook when I was using new white Guelk.  No hits with white Peabody but only fished at 2 holes.  Most of fish landed with strike indicator and no split shot. Later, adapted T-mabobber to be raised & lowered easily. One landed fish foul hooked on abdomen. (throw hook and hooked again in belly? vs. another fish throwing hook when it was in its back) Great day!
2/3/12:  2 Rainbows. One 10" or less and one at least 14" and hefty. Lost 2 or 3 and had 3-4 more hits (3 possible short-strikes with new white-legged nymph). Fly:  both taken on sz 16 silver tungsten bead, peacock herl body nymph.  Removed fly to cont 'learning' with use of other flies. Lost 1 to new Peabody nymph and 1 to Guelk Nymph.  (Kate landed one/one on.) Fished new water off 380th st. Fished ~45 minutes into dark at 370th, where I lost last fish of day. Skinnier, clear water with silt/rock botton at 380. Temps in low 30's. Wind 4-9mph. Overcast. Guides icing up at dark. 'Bad' fishing day. Relaxed, but snagging frequently on many things.
3/25/11:  9 Browns. 1-16", 1-5", rest avg 10-11".  Above freezing. Mild-mod wind. Cloudy water but wadeable. Fly: 2 taken on tungsten bead Missy D nymph and 7 taken on the point fly, a ~sz 18 soft-hackled silver flash.  Just bead, & up to 2 split shot added. No hits on trial fly with dumbell eyes & elk hair body. 1 fish hooked/lost. (1 taken in deep, wide pool with current. Rest taken in typical seams/holes/runs in or near fast-moving water)

N. Cedar
12/12/15:  Used gps coordinates from trout map.  5 minutes from Sny's parking lot.  Heard this is difficult to fish & best when brush is down.  Very narrow!  Water shallow and clear.  Walked quietly over wooden bridge and easily scattered a few fish.  Much hunting activity here & it was after 4pm.  Thought I saw a slightly deeper hole just upstream of the bridge.  What the heck - at least I can say I "fished" this stream.  Squatting, or scooting on my butt to be stealthy, I got in to position and casted about 10 times. Nothing and I didn't see any fish scuttle away from where my leader or fly landed.  Walked upstream just a little way but didn't see anything to fish & the light was dim. It would be good to return here, maybe in early spring or late winter when there is a little more water... if only for the challenge of trying to catch a trout here (or any fish, for that matter) & to feel the real feel of victory if one actually did catch a fish here.  Cloudy. Air temps at least upper 40s. Much hunter traffic.

Patterson Creek
5/17/15:  Fished ~3:00-6:00.  Cloudy to partly cloudy with 1 rain shower.  Wind 10-20 mph.  Water cloudy & seemed maybe a tad higher than normal.  Fish rising near the downstream bridge.  Landed 1 small bow "trolling" a griffiths gnat fly.  Otherwise, did get a couple follows to scuds, maybe a blk bugger, & pink/wh Guelk Nymph fished like streamer.  No other hook-ups & could not entice another strike to dry fly although 1 did check it out. Fished other holes, runs but no takers.  Saw a little fish action at another larger hole but that was it. Much slow current on this stream where it is fishable.   
4/27/13:   Sunny & about 65*. 0-15 mph wind.  Water slightly off-color.  Missy D and white Pea Body used., dropper. Fish taking big fly.  16 trout; 8 browns & 8 bows taken at deep holes.  Busy stream c trucks at all stiles.  TU Fundraiser date.  I was at (often silty) downstream section where net would've been helpful.
3/10/12:  50-63*.  Winds at 13-23 mph, until 5PM to when it dropped to below 5 mph. Sunny. Smaller stream with clear water and many 'improved' areas.  Suspect heavy in vegetation in summer.  Located in pasture with some protection from the wind in this valley.  Many schools of fish, noting trout and suckers.  Lost a few strikes.  Foul-hooked a sucker.  Landed a ~9" Brown. Later, landed a smaller Brown which was very pretty. Both hook-ups occurred in the tail water.  Guelk nymph.  TS brought in a Brown.  Nice stream!  Will return.

Pine Creek
3/23/13:  Sunny around 930 and cloudy/overcast around 3pm. Just a dash of breeze present.  Left stream about 5pm with much of fishing finished by 430.  Air temps about 35* & a warm hike when layered up for fishing.  Water was clear. Normal-low depth, I'm assuming.  6-10" of snow on ground.  With info from Brad (fishdecorah website), I hiked 2-3 miles upstream, looking for large beaver pond/lake.  Fished downstream direction -not ideal- but better to find the better fishing and to finish closer to suv.  I saw 8-10 beaver dams which increased fishing challenges d/t having different, concentrated stream characteristics compared to other streams.  (on the truck stocking path, I crossed 2 feeder streams prior to getting near to my start of fishing, near where a truck path crossed the stream & went up bluff to private land)  I often could not even scare up fish where I was sure they'd be located.  On one stretch where I thought a few smaller fish would lie, I saw numerous larger trout -browns. This was flat water, super-slow current, silted with some runts of plants subsurface.  I landed a brown and either a brown or a bow (don't remember) and was close to landing a bow.  I may have had up to 15 strikes but after a few seconds of fighting, the fish won.  Rod tip high, fish subsurface, no slack. Changed out fly -perhaps tip a tiny bit dull, but even with fresh hook/sharp tip, I continued to lose fish.  At deep hole over 1/2 way back to suv, I landed a creek chub in spawning colors.  Fish were hitting well on dark beaded guelk nymphs -darker bodies with nat guinea or blue guinea.  The white-bodied guelk c silver bead only had a couple strikes but this was later in day.  (Next time, my plan is to lift rod tip more aggressively/set hook more firmly)  Loads of deer tracks but no sheds.  'Nick' whose grandfather owns property nearby, gave me a ride on an RTV from the 2nd feeder to the larger beaver dams. 
1/7/12:  Sunny late AM. High 30's - low 40's for temp.  Ice-covered throughout much of stream, esp in shaded or slow-current areas.  Some rock bottom, but much was silt-covered.  2 old beaver dams present. 1 muskrat.  No fish observed. No luck. Opted to go elsewhere.  Later, learned it is best to hike upstream from parking area past beaver dam until one starts to fish.  It is supposed to be a good fishery after this point.  Located near Sattre Store(an exc stop) and Pine Creek Cabins.  Plan to fish this stream again & see if the experience is better.

Richmond Springs
6/11/17:  Fished for a couple hours in morning with Dan/Jeff. Dry flies effective for them, ex: Parachute Adams, sz 20. I didn't do as well on the dry or other surface (ant and a couple dries) until I finally landed a brown with a ~sz18 midge pattern, then a bow with a brown beetle pattern. Missed a couple strikes. Water gin clear and a little low but still very fishable. Fish definitely rising. Temp probably in mid-80s by this time of AM. Sunny. Windy. Went to Spr Branch after lunch.
10/1/16: Pre-fished for CFR. Caught trout!
4/18/14:  Fished with Kate, and Cody and family from ~8:15 until 11:10.  Sunny day, light breeze, air temp likely lower to mid-50s.  Used fingerless gloves.  Saw about 3 trout during walk downstream.  I fished 3 holes and caught 1 brown in a small hole near a bank with some brush/tree cover.  Landed on Cody's ? Rainbow - a small nymph about sz 18-20 with a silver bead and flash back.  Cody fished my hole after me and landed 3-4 more trout in this section.  He also landed fish in hole just downstream of this one (where I had no takers). * differences: 11' rod, long leader, no fly line out the tip top, he led slightly faster than current c tip top. Extended arm. Dropper rig.  He did land one in seam just upstream of tree root. He used fluoro leader.  Stated that using leader is more sensitive than having line out.*

Sny Magill
12/12/15:  Cloudy day, & foggy on the roads, so late start.  Upper 40s for air temps. Nice!  No snow.  Fungus seemed to be actively growing.  Hunters out but felt safe at this location near lowest parking lot.  2 hunters leaving when I arrived, and 3 conventional anglers fishing when I left.  Slow fish day again. I did see a few rises.  Water somewhat low and it was clear.  Landed 1 bow in riffle-run area & I set the hook after seeing the line tip move (not by feeling the strike). I had tried a dry fly, but the highly-speckled bow came to a pinkish guelk nymph with silver tungsten bead.  Other 2 strikes in a bigger hole on current seam came to this fly, too. I should have hooked the first strike - Dang!  The 2nd seemed iffy.  It seemed that getting 2 strikes at one hole was pretty good on this day.  Fished the hole too long after that.  I got to see a big beaver swimming subsurface no more than 20' from me. Cool!  Fished too long (from ~1200 to 4) to go to Bloody Run or visit quarry.  Did check out N. Cedar - see post there.  Wanted to car camp but predicted heavy rains convinced me to drive home. Not satisfied with that!
11/17/13:  Drove the previous night from Decorah area in the rain.  Car-camped in lot. After pre-dawn trip to commune with Ma Nature, returned suv, climbed into sleeping bag and discovered a tick on my hand! Sunday morning in the daylight, saw that the stream was the color of chocolate milk.  Spent the day climbing rock piles instead of fishing the stream.
12/5/11:  First time here.  6 fish landed. 1-Brown c lots of yellow underbelly, rest Bows.  Many deep holes, fairly clear water. Cloudy and light wind. At least freezing, as guides began to ice up. Visited with deer hunter from KY. Short water-time of ~2 hrs. Off stream 12:20.  Started from hdc access point.  5 fish taken at first fished hole. Brown was first and on Prince nymph. Last & smallest fish ~7-8" on Prince and rest were on sz18 dropper: a grizzly hackle collar with gun-metal flash body.  (one fish landed threw hook on the shore, so unknown what it took.) One Bow, largest, about 13". Fun hole to fish with brush and varied current. Lost nymph rig. Tied on my nymph/streamer tung bead, guinea collar elk butt fly.  T-ma-bobber and 1split shot.  Waded into shallows, upstream of hole (worked yesterday at B.Run!). Casted. Let out line. T-ma-bobber dropped, lifted rod tip and nabbed 11" Bow. More casts & guides icing up. Time to head home. Lots of deer hunters in parking lot.

South Bear
6/9/14:  Dabbled here at large hole.  No luck with wooly bugger and caddis.  Fish rising in 3 select spots.
5/16/14:  Dabbled around 3 holes/runs. Had a flash & maybe a strike but no hook-ups. Didn't fish long. Tired and it was evening.
11/16/13 Sat:  ~9:30 am start.  Cloudy, some misting. Mid-40s temp.  S. Bear at 113th Ave on Quandahl Rd, near confluence with N. Bear.  Accessed from WMA parking/campsite.  This campsite gets less traffic than the two other sites right on opp side of bridge where N. Bear is located.  I’d rec it.  S. Bear is bigger water here, at times about 50’ wide.  Water is clear.  Many slow current, silty areas, but some fast water with more narrow, deep holes.  Just downstream of fast water, landed a 14” bow –a first fish on this water! I had on a nymph rig, no stike indicator, down and across and it took the Missy D.  Earlier foul hooked/landed another bow on the dropper.

South Pine
9/14/14:  Dabbled in a little fishing at 2 holes following a night of camping with Dan and Jeff.  Saw 4-5 rises in a long pool.  I was not successful in getting any strikes.  ~Sz 20 moose mane midge.  Challenges hole.  Lots of grasses, etc., hanging in water from bank.  Partly sunny, estimate low to mid-60s air temp & up to 10 mph wind that made fishing challenging on this small stream.  Jeff may have landed 1 trout the previous day.  I saw one humming bird.  Low 40* air temp the previous night.
12/28/13: The last fishing trip of the year and I only fished & walked the stream for 20-30 minutes.  However, the 'big goals' were accomplished!  Two friends and I wanted to do a winter camping trip to this stream and I had hoped to do it on the last weekend of the year.  I'd also wanted to camp at this stream on a moonless night when the stars were out and to do a night trek to the stream.  All goals accomplished and had a good time with (& continued to learn from) my friends.  0 fish for the day for everyone -the fish weren't biting- but we still found success on a beautiful winter day.  Air temp at least 37*, wind up to ~10mph, sunny with a large drop in temperature and heavy winds predicted for the upcoming night and next few days.    
9/8/13:  Fished with Dan & Jeff.  Dan 'guided' me.  Cloudy day & about 80* with decent amount of humidity. Light wind in the valley.  Landed one 11-12" Iowa stream-born brookie on sz 20 parachute Adams with 2wt, 7X tippet.  Lost two.  Crept along bank or stealthily moved upstream in 52* F water, casting in area 2-3.5" wide areas with brush overhanging.  No XXXweed in the stream this year!  Jeff landed one & hooked many others. Dan hooked 3 in the short time he got to fish.  Beaver dams gone or breached.  Wonderful day.      
12/31/11:  Finally made it!  Took the mowed path which heads off to the right and then rims the valley until making its way down to the stream.  Hiked 4.1 miles with exploration.  Cloudy.  Temps in 40's but felt colder with the wind.  Light snow on ground.  No ice.  Clear, not gin clear, water.  Stream runs ~4' to 11' wide aside from areas near beaver dams.  Nice holes with fish present.  Spotted white edging on Brookie fins.  2 consecutive beaver dams near left side of end of state line property. 1 long beaver dam with stream/pond reaching ~50' wide located near what is possibly opp end of state property line.  Explored then fished a few holes & very challenging.  Small Missy D nymph with dropper, & tmabobber most of time.  Crawled to holes.  Did not hook/land any fish.  Put fish down in some holes, but unknown if it was only that or fly choice also, at other holes.  Mowed truck paths in the valley, but this stream shows heavy signs of being highly weed-covered in warm weather with good conditions for fish but challenging for the angler.
2/12/11:  Snowshoed toward S. Pine. Wolf-sighting? Did not reach the stream. Reached bluff with oak tree at a bend in the valley.  Plan return spring/fall before too brushy. Good to fish when other streams have high spring run-off.

Spring Branch
6/11/17:  Fished for a short time (up to 2 hours) on this ~95* day near 2 pm with Dan/Jeff. Dan trying for a big brown near the survey section and I was near for possible pictures so didn't fish "good" water here. Fished downstream of cable bridge too. Midge didn't work. Dan suggested caddis (~sz 18) and got to watch one slowly approach and take! Nice brown ~10 inches. Cast again to its buddy but I mistook other stream litter for my fly when the fish rose to my fly! Duh. Missed it. Time to head home. Hot. Windy. Earlier, we were at Richmond...
7/3/16:  Fished with DP and KL. We all landed fish but a slower day. I think I got about 5, including 2 on the opposite of bridge from hatchery.  First time! Topwater for these 2. Slow fishing day, warm weather. Hard to remove trout from flies with my faulty index finger but I protected the fish and returned them safely.
12/6/15:  I think it was low 40s air temp day. Cloudy.  Shot gun season & some easement, some public land.  No hunters.  1 conventional angler near parking lot at start, then 1 ff angler (Vance) near end of day.  First, I fished upstream of hatchery upstream of pasture to stile where pasture is. A fish rose at hole on opp side of stile and a bull watched me closely. I scared fish along the bank hides. I tried.  Went to "Bankers Hole" and the 2 just upstream of it.  Landed 3 richly-colored browns. 2 small and 1 -15 inches.  1 on 18" blk bead-head, 1 on y. scud, 1 on blk bugger.  The 15 came to my fly as it went under/near the upstream-side of rock at the tail out part of Bankers. Cool!  Otherwise, I had a fish strike 1 fly at the better of the 2 holes upstream and another fish struck a dry fly as I reeled it in at Banker's (always keep the fly in the water is a great tactic!). Fished a little near the lot but it was too dark to see the dry fly I decided to end day with, let alone present it very well.
4/25/15:  We fished after the fish survey.  Cloudy to  partly cloudy day.  I fished the Doctor's Hole.  Had Missy D point & y. scud dropper.  Split shot & no split shot.  Indy.  Mostly landed bows & then some browns.  Landed a beautiful, richly dark-colored, spotted brown. Very happy.  Switched to dry fly (mosquito-type pattern).  At this time, fish started rising more consistently.  Again, mostly bows, at least one brown.  Good fighting.  Fished near hatchery & finally had luck on a different dry.  One brookie.  Trifecta.  Coday landed many fish.  I think we all caught fish.  Left near dark.  Ate at Country Junction, Dyersville.  V. good food.  
3/7/15:  Air temps 32-40*F.  Sunny.  At least 3-4" of snow on ground.  Water clear & low.  Many silted areas.  Fish holding near prkng lot (I did not fish here) & deeper holes.  Fished Missy D with scud dropper than sz 18-20 blk dropper.  Had 3 trout on and landed 2 on the scud.  ~10" brown trout at head of a hole then the slab-like 16" rainbow at the Banker's Hole where I lost the other fish. Scant rises at Banker's Hole only.  Despite awesome bow, recommend trying another stream during this time of year.  Small midge hatch.
5/26/14:  I fished only 1 fly (left vest in CRV).  It was an OC wet fly that I fished like a nymph and like a streamer.  Landed 2 browns with one nicely-sized at the dr pool.  On a day when fish weren't rising anywhere else, they were rising here.  Good stream conditions.  Nice day. I wet-waded.  Late afternoon/early evening fishing. (late entry)  I think Jeff landed fish here.
3/9/14:  Partly cloudy day. Started fishing around 10. Lighter wind than expected throughout the day. Guides freezing during first hour on the water.  Plenty of midge hatches.  Fish rising all day. Still challenging for 4 of us to make the fish eat. I missed a few and ended up with a trifecta!  Every fly I tied on had glue, tippet or some other problem with the hook eye. Strange.  Enjoyed a beer and chili lunch with friends and landed the final brookie in the afternoon on a slow water drift.  Sz 18-22.  It was a dry fly day. Great weather!  First day to fish with my special 7'9" custom-made 3wt - made by a very good and kind friend.
12/1/13:  Sunny, occ light breeze, high 30s-low 40s air temp.  Clear water.  Fished & explored with D & J. Landed 2 small brookies (1st time for fish, this stream!) first on sz 20s griffith's gnat and 2nd on elk mane parachute midge.  Taken on flatter, slower water sections with light current.  Much less fish holding downstream but recommend returning another time.  Casting upstream presentations.  Light success for friends and others on the water.  Noted BWOs (dun wings with light body), midges on water.

Swiss Valley
3/12/11:  1-14" Rainbow, stocker & good fighter. Temps below freezing. Windy & partly sunny. Water running fast/cloudy. ~1-hour of fly fishing.  Fly:  tungsten bead soft hackle nymph with guinea collar.

Trout River
5/17/15:  Water on high side of normal & slighly off-color - nearly perfect for fishing except didn't see any fish except at large (brookie) hole downstream of parking lot & at another hole where I saw a brown feeding that I could not get a good drift to!  That was it for fish sightings!  Landed 2 brookies here to SSSS flies.  Had some follows to blk w. bugger & couple strikes & lost one should have had - maybe did not set hard enough although hook point sharp.  Fished many patterns & had no luck.  One spin fisherman left with 3 brookies on a stringer.
5/25/14:  Jeff, Dan, & LD fished the stream in mid to late afternoon.  We didn't even see any fish.  Dan & I did successfully forage for the evening meal, morning omelettes, and my home meal. (late entry- warm and sunny.  I fished dries and nymphs)  
5/16/14:  (: Didn't fish but the water was running average, healthy flow, very slightly colored - looked like excellent fishing. 82.
4/12/14:  Fished morning until about 1:15.  1st time to fish 2ndary access.  Great holes but saw no sign of fish.  Pasture land.  At main access, saw 3 guys leaving. They got 1 fish.  I saw fish - & 1 rise- but my flies were not visited by any fish.  Cloudy day.  Windy.  50's for air temp. Talked to nice guy. Said he bought Orvis ff rod & he's been practicing.
10/13/13:  Fished from ~3 until 6, after CFR retreat.  Nice day, cool, in the 50's.  Near gin-clear water on the low side of normal.  Fish were visible but tricky/wily.  Took first brown on nymph, no indy, through small deep hole around a rock in fast current.  2nd brown dashed out from bank hide on narrow run for my dry fly.  Other hook-ups, strikes here but no further lands.  Plan is for 6x & longer leader next time. Friend had one tug but no lands. Bi-island beaver dam since spring.  Flood changed large hole with limestone blocking main channel.  Othewise flood sign evident but stream running pretty well.
4/21/13:  Landed one small brown in a small hole located immediately downstream of hole at newly-created island.  Another fish briefly on the line.  1 foul hook at biggest hole and did have follow and fish on at same.  Fish very quiet today. Windy today. Sunny afternoon.  At least 58*.  No gloves needed. Water on high side of normal, slight stain. 
3/9/13:  Air temp about 38* and cooler.  Light rain/off and on drizzle.  Water not as low as last visit but still low. Fairly clear and then turning slightly cloudy.  Light breeze at times.  3 fish landed:  2 bows on gold tung bead Missy D, sz 10, one colorful with thicker belly and the other the usual stocker coloration, both 11-12"; & one brookie on sz 18" dark scud dropper.  Used Bioglow as indy.  No shot needed. Also foul-hooked (!) 3, including a beautiful brown, with the scud.  Not a good thing.  The fish were striking the fly quite well at mostly all holes/runs, but I was not converting the strike as well.  Did hook & lose at least 3 more after a 1-3 sec fight.  Fish fought very aggressively.  In most of these sm-med holes, fish struck at first cast and it was obvious to move on after a few more casts if no action or after a few casts following action of any success level.  Saw no action on water's surface.
10/20/12:  Temp in high 50's-low 60's.  No-low wind & partly cloudy.  Water = very low & gin clear after 2" of rain this week but drought remains.  Challenging!  Fish rising and appeared healthy.  One strike on blk beetle in challenging run, otherwise presentation not good enough c different flies.  Deep hole: lots of trout!  Hits on Missy D, Guelk. Follows & refusals on others when experimenting with other flies/colors. Landed most fish on Missy D.  6 browns/bows total & 1 brown foul-hooked. Most avg'd 12-13".  No shot. Mostly indy unless streamer used.
5/5/12:  Landed 2 brookies with a Missy D.  Fishing was good, just helping others and hunting morels. Found 3.  5 of us.  4 fished and all landed fish. Brookie, Brown, Bow.  5 total morels but of good size. All eaten that night.  We cooked after the rain came through.  Water slightly high but fairly clear(not gin).  It became very humid/warm.  Cloudy. No rain while fishing.
4/23/12:  Fished from lower access mid-morning.  Lightly cloudy day, light wind, and estimate mid-60's. for air temp.  Travelled upstream and downstream to near private property line.  Beautiful hole near the line.  V. pretty stream with grass-lined paths.  Landed 7 brown trout, missed others.  2 in first 10 minutes. Fish rising at times to waves of caddis hatches but I soon removed the EH Caddis and went back to nymphs.  Guelk and Missy D again successful.  Used indy off and on, along with split shot.  Largest fish were 12 & 14". One morel.

Trout Run
10/12/14:  Cloudy day with some sprinkles.  Some wind but not bad.  50's air temp.  Acquainting self with water near hatchery and the big hole at the bridge prior to the upcoming Sunday's CFR few hours of fishing.  Landed 3 bows near the hatchery on wet fly (1) and ~sz 14 Missy D with dark bead (2) & lost one in riffles that I nymphed for in its run.  Hooked for split second a fish on wh wheat Bread's sz ~6 caddis foam pattern.  Other fish followed it then set too soon on same fish with ant pattern then landed it. 4th bow & this was at big hole.  Fish rising in shallows at end of lrg pool to something I could not see but were also checking out or taking my larger offerings.  Better fishy opps downstream of handicapped access points.

Twin Springs
3/10/13:  Rain & drizzle with lots of snow melt from previous day. ~40* & no wind.  High, fast-moving chocolate water.  Fished from upper circle lot & down the hill along the vestiges of old hatchery.  Nymphed the banks with Missy D and with & without Bioglow indy.  No luck.  First time fishing the stream.  Visited it my first year of fly fishing.  Urban trout stream on perimeter of Decorah opening into U. Iowa R.

Waterloo Creek
1/21/17: Water high and off color. Mid-thirties air temp, cloudy, no wind. About 4" of snow on ground and there had been recent rain. Fished mostly the upper stream at a couple holes and runs. Ultimately landed 1 brown and 1 bow. Lost several in a long run while fishing a sz 16 200R soft hackle Pheasant Tail. I lost 2 flies in a row to strikes... and I double-checked the knot the 2nd time. Odd! Switched between wet fly and dropper rig. Caught one at the end of the run at a rock with the Pheasant Tail. Can't remember if I got the other on a scud or if it was the Pheasant Tail. Also fished below Dorchester. Getting late. Not thrilled with water at this access. Large smooth rocks with water cascading over at main water access point. Downstream on my side steep banks/erosion. No fishing access. Upstream was lots of flat water. Fished this and upstream at a run/hole, but no luck. Returned to the TU/DNR campground on Quandahl Rd and instead of returning the next day, opted to try out N.Bear. Couple instances of briefly getting stuck on icy/snowy road. Ultimately opted to camp below the campground on the off chance the soft ice/snow became hard ice on the hilly road up to the campground.
8/14/16:  Here 2-3 hours max. Entry at bridge now v. difficult so we went to another section. No luck for DP. I had a about 4-5 strikes, lost one, and landed a brown. One or two? I think one. I think It was a cricket pattern then something else, and finally a caddis pattern with a foam body is what brought fins to hands. Slow day but fun.
9/28/13:  None for me late am.  Returned with Dan and Jeff in PM.  One of those bad fish days for me but landed one at end. They did very well, each getting at least 18"-19" browns and then others.  Chilly, drizzly day.  Rising to dries & I landed on nymph.
2/6/12:  Temps 32-40*, cloudy progressing to sunny, wind up to 6 mph. Fished mostly downstream near little horse pasture (crossed same stile as last visit, but ventured farther). Also fished ~1hour+ near big bridge Downstream of Dorchester. Had one very feisty Brown on a tandem with Peabody nymph and sz 18 black point fly. Should've landed this but lost it.  Very shy fish.  Very clear water, silt, rock, & lots of moss to continuously clog hooks.  Another 'lots of snags' day, despite my best efforts, which contributed to putting fish down.
12/4/10: 8 degrees. Sunny. Clear, wadeable water, freezing waders to my boots. Landed one Rainbow and another fish threw the hook.  Took great care with fish.  Friend landed more fish & his camera stopped working d/t the temps.  Fly: too cold to remember.

White Pine Hollow
3/11/16: First stop on prospecting trip.  Parked on hill at parking lot. Some of the gravel road here soft or pot holes. Hiked a little downhill. Elected not to hike to this stream - do not know how long the hike would be and wanted to visit other waters. Had a feeling from internet post that it was a bit of a hike. Would like to return. Went on to L. Turkey stream and Fountain Spring.

MINNESOTA WATERS

South Temperance Lake (BWCA)
6/10-13/11:  Slightly stained, very clear water.  Generally sunny with temps in low 60's to mid-50's and 0-10mph winds except last day with gusts up to 20mph.  Bait fish sightings a rare occurance.  Noted a lot of Crayfish near shore at night.  We spotted a few of the Smallie nests.  We generally did not spot Pike(or Smallies) in their typical habitate: along weeds or wood.  During the portage back through other lakes we did hook into pike near wood structure.  Smallies mostly prevalent about 10-15' from shore with the usual rocky-bottomed structure present. Typically top-water action was non-existent except for evening of 6/12.  3 hits (and losses) to a popper up to 10' from shore in under 5 minutes. Smallies were landed mostly in the later afternoon, evening hours.  I suspect early morning would've been good (I landed a ~17" on the last morning), but we generally slept in, which I typically regret.  I landed all Smallies on the fly.  Friend landed Smallies, Pike and a good-sized Walleye on the fly.  He landed same species on spinning gear, too.  Water-temp: very cold to swim in, but not too cold to wash of the stink.

St. Louis River (near Chambersburg Park)
6/9/11: Water level too high to wade and learned I did not use the correct access point to safely wade.
6/15/11:  Water level down.  Used correct access points. Slightly more water clarity but used a wading stick for added stability & glad I did as the water-level dropped while I was wading, causing increased current in a smaller channel! Sand and rock. Sudden drops. Best done with a partner (& PFD?).  Note: a friend said the quick water-level drop was probably due to a 'Seiche'  (http://www.geo.msu.edu/geogmich/seiches.htm) on Lake Superior, which then affected the St. Louis River. Intermittenly drizzly day to constant light rain.  0-10 mph winds.  Estimate temps high 50's to low 60's. Actually, perfect day to fish!  Avg Smallie in this river is 13-14 inches.  Pike, Walleye, Sturgeon and a spattering of Musky are also present.  In ~1.5 hours, landed 3 (17-18") Smallies, but this included time for cautious wading.  Lost 4th one of same size. Excellent fighters on 8wt rod!  Then, when the constant drizzle arrived, the big fish bite was over.  No fish for me after that. Friend arrived ~3:00.  He landed a few Smallies, a small Pike, and an unknown fingerling species.  I landed fish on an Olive Guinea Bugger(sz 2) and a Bard-O Minnow(1/0).  Hooked the 4th Smallie on a Shannon's Fly (1/0).

? River
7/19/11:  A float trip put together by a Minnesota friend who runs a fly shop.  I've been sworn to secrecy at this time on the river location although it is fished and canoed by others. UPDATE:  Friend (the planner) cancelled that morning due to water levels and air temps.  Three remaining anglers who made the trip decided to fish & elected to fish the St. Croix instead.  2 in pontoon, 1 in canoe.  Mid to upper-90's.  Cloudy to partially cloudy.  Two brief, light rains.  No problem with the wind.  Bass lightly hitting on top water and streamers.  Larger fish nipping at musky flies.  Fished ~2-6PM.  No fish landed!  Mosquitoes and horse flies vising us frequently.  A blast? No.  Still fun? Yes!

Whitewater River (Located in SE MN)
8/16-17/11:  Day 1 we fished the North Branch of the river, mid-morning til ~7PM.  Day 2 we fished from the 'group camp' area of the Whitewater State Park, mid-morning til ~430PM.  Sunny with temps in low-80's..  More humid on day 2.  Winds 0-15 mph & v. manageable.  Water temp in shade/sun area was 68* (thermometer held in H2O ~1.5 minutes).  Very comfortable to wet wade.  Long pants due to v.tall prickly weeds when on trails & hiking through woods.  Successful fishing for OC and myself!  Mostly Browns in 10-12" range.  Smallest ~3".  Largest ~15" -taken on orange scud. A couple rainbows were landed.  Single nymphs or nymph with a dropper (often a scud) provided the greatest success.  Wet flies (tandem) fished successfully day 1; downstream then across the current or like nymph-fishing. Olive or black wooly buggers did not land any fish.  Missy D nymph most successful.  Scant fish rising.  Dries used little & no hits. Due to brevity of trip, stayed at White Valley Motel in St. Charles, MN.  Reasonable rates, & clean/well-maintained 'ma-pa' lodging. Would definitely stay there again.

NORTH CAROLINA WATERS

Pigeon River
4/22/15:  Hired guide Jason V through Hunter Banks.  Fished Pigeon River following 1.25 days of rain.  Accomplished mostly all I'd hoped for with him.  Wild (some stockers) fish, honed skills, technical waters & did land 1 larger trout.  Trifecta too.  Mostly bows, & brookies.  Largest 16"+ bow with good girth.  I requested he fish a couple times & he did land a lrger brown at the deep hole.  On the private & public waters of E. Fork, neither of us landed any fish.  I did have single strike to nymph & solidly to dry (parachute Adams) by small brown.  Pocket water & more technical on private water.  Current higher/swifter.  No fish landed at this time & fished here in early PM after lunch.  Went public late PM & 'flat', broad water but still swift current, using dry then nymph.  In AM on the W. Fork landed many fish as outlined above.  Generally, egg was attractor pattern & large blk stone was dropper.  1-2 shot.  Most taken on stone.  Fun water still 6"-12" higher than norm but still clear.  Rock bottom but not silt, algae, etc!  1-2 other anglers during the day.  Ate at restaurant.  Sunny day, estimate upper 50s to low 60s air temp.  Up to ~12 mph wind.  ~8 hrs fishing/lunch/drive.  Guide picked up son after his day.

WISCONSIN WATERS

Chequamegon Bay
6/8/15:  Evening fishing with OC.  I started out very well with the Fluffy Butt. Smallies & rock bass.  Up to 18 inches & lost a large one but it felt weird,maybe foul, & was near OCs line. Did not set hook well. Did not get the annual 19 inch fish this year but it was a short trip out.  OC started more slowly than passed me by.  He also caught a white bass this year!  Other than me getting a perch one year, each year he gets the species other than smb or rocks.  Water was cloudy. There had been a storm later afternoon.
6/6-7/14:  Best weather of the 5 years OC and I have met to fish here in June... aside from constant Saturday morning rain.  Estimate Friday temp in 60s.  I wore shorts.  Mostly sunny to partly cloudy & light wind that was strong enough to challenge my casting - still lots to learn!  On Friday we had a greater than 30 smallie day.  I landed 16 smallies with largest being 19.5 inches + 1 rock bass.  This year I did not make the annual land of a 20" smallie but landed more fish and fished better overall.  We had 1 double on Friday.  OC landed more fish each day (both smallies, rock bass, and 1 small pike) but we each had streaks of landing/catching smallies.  I had more frequency this year of landing smallies on first cast of new fly.  AND, did this with hellegrammite and AC/DC Thunderstruck playing.  Perfect fly for fish to be taken with this song!  I landed 4 smallies on Saturday & we fished from 4 until near dark.  Both days the fishing slowed around 5pm.  On Sat, cloudy then partly cloudy.  Cooler and I wore layers.  Fish hit the most on white (small (sz 6 or 10) & lrg (sz 2) Fluffy Butt.  They also hit on Blk FB and Grey FB, blk bead-eyed leech variant, & ol-or strip leech.  I kept it basic with primarily blk/wh flies.  Debarbed.  OC also landed fish on clouser patterns but also worked water with spinning gear to test other things.  We used each other's rods the whole time.  I enjoyed his floating line with sink tip.  Fluoro leader.  8wt only used.  We netted the fish.  I appreciated being taught more by OC on how to help with the boat.  Thompson's remained the campground.  Super clean showers c hot water & .25 cents for 3 min.  Coco Coffee is great for brkfast, lunch, dessert!  Quartil bar opened later for food and chick sandwich v. good.  Gas station closed at 11.  Chinese closes around 9.
6/8-9/13 (put-in at Thompson's End Campground, Washburn):  Again, OC landed the most smallies and also landed a steelhead!  I may have landed 6-7 smallies in 2 days.  Chilly enough for wind pants and wading jackets.  Either calm or slightly windy -much improved from last year. Definitely not wading weather re: temp.  Day 2 was rough early on & in later afternoon the fish action picked up.  We both ended up with white, weighted flies. Clousers doing well as well.  White Fluffy Butt was my top producing fly this year.  Experimented with 3 rods and floating and sinking lines. Without being one to control boat, do not recommend sinking line as much of water is shallow & snags are greater & occ belly of line snags, not the fly.  Intermediate line would be acceptable.  Perhaps next year I'll try floating line with fluorocarbon leader.  Always seem to be experimenting on the bay.  Some day, hope to just focus on fishing.  Stayed at Thompson's End campground.  Decent, clean place. Pay (25 cent) showers but good force & time.  Outlets in shower house.  Stayed at group/overflow section. No fire rings but more private & quiet!!  Woodfire pizza place had exc pizza, salad, and dessert.  Recommend.
6/8-10/12 (put-in near Ashland):  Targeting smallies.  I landed 3 -I think-on day 1, 1 on day 2, and 3 on day 3.  That included 1 rock bass.  Biggest fish was first smallie at 19.5", although fish landed when wading was sizeable, albet not measured.  Lost a smallish pike, a couple other hook-ups, including a sizeable smallie at a drop-off containing weeds. Sited a couple of very large carp.  Perch follow in Bad River Slough, otherwise no sign of fish.  Buddy landed numerous smallies & 1-2 pike on day 1, did ok on day 2, and better on day 3,  including one non-fish species.  Most fish landed first day but I enjoyed the fishing the best on the warmest windiest final day.  Up to 20mph winds as day progressed but we also wet-waded and both landed smallies.  Great experience!  Water temps in bay ranged ~67-74*.  We wore from shorts to sweatshirt and jackets as temps, and wind speed & direction varied each day.  Clouds, sun and light rain on day 1. Sun, cool & increased wind, day 2. Sun and windy/warm day 3.  Flies -leg biters- loved boat throughout each day and no biting bugs at night.  No real luck fishing at dusk... after 8pm. 3rd of 4 years fishing Cheq on my birthday.  All good but this was the best!  Buddy landed most fish on blk strip leach or another pattern with mostly olive, some orange.  My first fish on Shannon's Fly. Olive one elicited follows but no strikes.  Olive guinea bugger was successful. Either a blk & Bl, or an olive Bass Legs was successful as well.  Last fish landed on chart/olive Guinea Bugger with black body.  More natural shapes and colors worked the best in this clearer body of water, which makes sense.  Still experimenting if a large fly (like big pike or small musky) will elicit more aggression -more strikes vs. just follows from certain bass guarding their nests. One more readily followed. Used bright orange fly. Next time plan large olive/blk fly.

Knapp (& Reedstown) Streams
8/13/12:  Split Fishing with Rich Osthoff. Did we land any browns at Reedstown? He may have & I don't recall if I did.  Pretty stream & not visible from our entrance (use my GPS).  Fish numbers down but visible.  Knapp Creek entered initially on farmer's land.  Rec visiting farmer's property with air vents posted on it for permission.  The stream is unassuming.  Sand bottom & steep banks, but undercut and some rocks present there.  We both landed & missed many browns in the narrow channel of water.  Great wet-wading area.  Some landed with nymph w & w/o micro shot.  Most landed on cricket pattern & often swallowed.  Pinch down barb on this fly!  Later, fished public area which was mostly silted and required bushwhacking.  I'd avoid this area, but downstream of this it improved & also held fish.  I landed the only brookie here!  Cloudy to partly cloudy to sunny day with light to no wind.  Mid-70's to low 80's for temp.  Camped at Sidie Hollow near Viroqua. Recommend. 

 Namekagon River (between Hayward and Cable)
6/4/14:  Fished with friend who I think would prefer to remain anonymous on here.  Learned how to expect when evening caddis hatch might occur.  Neither landed fish or saw much fish sign until dusk.  By then I had torn down rod due to slippery rocks, dark water & still guarding knee I injured & having PT for (& unrelenting mosquitoes!). Yep, 'gave up' for the first time.  If I had not torn down the rod would have gone back to water after I saw rises at dusk.  Friend returned shortly after this & had landed 1 brown.  Reports are that the river fishing is very challenging recently (just like my home streams). Estimate 70s for air temp, sunny to partly cloudy and water recently up but had receded.  Unable to fish Nam 2013 due to very high water.
6/7/12:  Fished -wet-waded- near Seeley, Tagalder, and Larsen's.  Numerous small browns near Seeley, along with creek chubs.  Also came away with two detached ticks.  Landed a sucker at Tagalder.  Had a nice-sized brown on near Larsen's below the last branch at a favorite hole with a downed tree. Lost him.  Couple light tugs, couple fish rises, otherwise very quiet after the morning fun of landing fish.  Got on water around 10 and left about 7:30.  Late in season to fish this water, which warms more than other WI trout streams.  Water temp 70*, air temp in late am/early pm was 82*, light wind, sunny with occasional clouds.
Fish landed on bead head Woolly Bugger, white Guelk Nymph and white PeaBody Nymph (w/ legs cut short).
5/13-15/11:  Canoe float trip.  On Friday, 46-52* when on the water.  Winds ~9mph with ~20mph gusts. Overcast.  Targeting big Browns. Sz 6-sz 2 flies.  I landed one 13" Brown.  Several 'hits'.  OC landed # and missed one 22" when the leader broke. 2 more problems with this leader.  It's been replaced.  We set up camp,  aired the insects out of the open-air vault toilet, & I looked for mushrooms.  Seemed early.  Only False Morels.  Cooked cranberry stuffing/chicken on 1-burner & OC did bacon on the fire.  Noted deer ticks crawling on tent.  On Sat, awoke early to rain and more wind.  Had coffee & OC did egg-n-bacon brkfast.  Tore down camp & hit the water ~1100.  I landed 1 -11" Brown.  Again, several 'hits'.  This day, hits seemed to come more frequently with the smaller sz 10 blk tung bead Wooly Bugger and sz 10 Guinea Collar tung nymph vs. sz 6 and up Wooly and other flies.  OC landed #.  VERY windy.  Both days, fishing was down.  Other anglers experiencing the same.  Late off water & wanting pizza. Stayed at Riverside.  Found deer tick on my backside.  Darn vault toilet!   3rd day, OC did guide trip on Nam and I hit a couple holes solo.  Couple strikes but no takes near Phipps Landing.  Not the best wading holes here for a quick trip.  Fish rising to Hendrickson Hatch (finally!) at the bridge. Prob the best opp for fish but it's too late. I have a 7 hrs of road time ahead of me.

Turtle Flowage:
6-11-15:  JC and I put-in the 12footer via pvc pipes.  We both rowed - row backward & direct the rear! Use the current to your advantage!  Don't dip oars too deeply into the water. He was very patient with me.  Quickly switched from musky to target of smb.  We landed smallies & rock bass. JC got more smb.  Topwater -boogle bug- was the way to go this day. Slow day for fishing but we caught some & had fun fishing together.

MUSKY
6/6,7,10,11,13/15:  Only musky landed was guide trip with JC in MI. Otherwise, no musky at my typical haunts & think higher water was a factor.  Need to expand my water types. On 6/6 visited the dam I found last fall & hooked 2nd solo musky at. No luck or sightings this date. Challenging casting. 6/10 bday, visited spot BB originally introduced me to. 6/11 dabbled for musky then went smallie with JC. 6/13 hit the rest of the haunts. Saw & visited Crowley but did not fish it. Looked like one decent area for fly angler to cast from on bank.  Ate at Loui'es & not bad!  Dogs were fun.  Owner very nice.
6/5/14:  Landed first musky of the year & first musky landed solo on first musky debarbed hook, & first musky on different water system f from where I've landed all my other musky!  First musky landed not during fall.  All kinds of firsts!  Water type is current favorite of mine, esp when solo.  Sunny to partly cloudy day.  Warm & likely in mid 70s.  Had follow first.  Then, musky struck hard and & strip set twice.  Earlier scoped out place to 'bank' any musky and had tools at the ready & told self to tire musky prior to banking it.  'Banked' it in shallow water and it threw hook but did not leave.  I put down camera and grabbed body of tail.  Attempted behind head for more control.  Planned for the belly but considered if it thrashed I would jump and might end up in gill rakers.  Hard to control d/t slime coat.  It did leap back toward my foot.  I gave it it's unrestricted freedom. (;  Unable to get pic of musky head after banked but did get pics in water.  Estimate at 30 inches but healthy girth.  Following the follow and then landing 2nd fish, I was sitting happily on rock and watched another musky cruise by.  Later I had another strike, briefly fought it but it threw the hook.  It struck right when fly at lower edge of rock near the time I was to cast again.  Poor and limited ability to strip set but had been distracted -it was first cast after returning to spot from lunch.  Lost it & lesson learned.  Saw another musky cruising bank.  2 muskies sighted overall or more? I think the former.  Fished this water once last year and did sight a 40"+ plus musky then.  Fished 2 areas.w    

ILLINOIS WATERS

Lake Carlton
5-4-15:  Cody B and I fished for musky.  Hit water around 3pm.  Cody fished around docks & I did toon & mostly fished 1st cove on right heading toward my fave fishing area.  Don't recommend cove.  Large bass just off the dock near main boat ramp.  No fishy takers for me.  Cody had 5 musky follows, mostly at dock.  He had 1 follow near weed bed near my fave spot.  Couple bass landed?  I fished dock later when we switched.  So much forage!!!  No follows, etc.  Did see a musky cruising under and out from dock.  It was great to use the toon this time of year!
8-2013: day I bought license.  Nothing landed. Fished for musky and bass.
7-21-12:  The cloudy day & no wind is what finally got my butt out the door!  So, as usual got there later than earlier.  On water by 945.  Both water and air temps were 84* around 10AM.  I landed a bass and a crappie within 30 minutes. Some other panfish strikes occurred where I purposely avoided a hook-up.  Tried a few other flies including the Shannon's Fly & no luck.  The gray pearl chenille varient of the Shannon's had all the luck. Perhaps it was just the time of day.  I'm guessing the bite is best here early AM and after 3PM, as is often the case. Again, no luck near the lily pads, but did have luck about 20' from one of the docks.
7-8-12:  No Musky sitings, unlike last fall.  Partly cloudy late AM, but sunny in the afternoon with wind in the teens (calmed down around 3pm) and temperature estimate of high 80's to 92* on my toon.  Surface water temp recorded at 90*??!  Slowly made my wat to the west end near my fave musky area.  Boats/anglers hitting the areas of lily pads hard.  I alternated both shores casting toward wood, the beat-up docks & lily pads.  At times 'trolled' while rowing or finning.  Landed first bass this way on the Shannon's Fly. Probably 100' from shore & fly had had time to get water-logged and go deeper.  No definite sign of fish, otherwise.  Last couple hours of trip, landed 3 more bass (# 5 was lost ~3' from the toon, and had a larger one on but threw the hook), a crappie near my musky area, and a small bluegill.  Very pleased with end of day, esp since the wind was no longer nearly-constant. Bass & pesky gills were striking 50-80' from the pads.  I finned, paused, finned, twitched & finned again, into the wind.  Slow or fast strips didn't seem to elicit the strikes.  Rest of fish hit/landed on Shannon's variant with the pearl grey estaz.  Also used  my musky skunk fly (didn't get desired depth), a Durbin pike/musky fly (felt too much flash for this water clarity), & OC's olive/or strip leech.  No hits on these flies.  The latter was still being used closer to the lily pads.  Plan to return and fish for musky in a similar manner.

Lake George
7/30/12:  Temp was mid-80's to 90's and water temp was ~82-84*.  Sunny to cloudy skies with very little wind.  On water 8:30-1:30.  Panfish and carp surface action.  I may have had a nibble, but that was it.  Fished near the banks, away from banks and in deeper water.  Fished streamers, including a musky fly, and a popper. Fished deep/shallow and varied the retrieve. Used different colors, but mostly all natural. Snags were on wood, not on weeds. Herons were getting minnows.  Sadly, a typical day on this lake. It's been a few years since I've landed any fish here and the last one was bluegill in '08 or '09.

MICHIGAN WATERS

15
6-7-15:  Fished with John Coolidge - To a River Guide Service, Bessemer, MI. River all to ourselves this date.  Chainsaw used once to clear deadfall.  Pretty clear, tannin-stained water.  Landed my musky in first 15 minutes on one of John's flies & had flash or two later in day (asked John to fish a hole to see what I was missing there & he showed me! That teaches me so much but we didn't get to land it. Next time) Sprinkled off and on. Musky was mid to upper 30s & had a good but not hefty circumference.  Would enjoy returning to this water that we traveled a nice distance to get to.  We were out morning to late eve & I was a fishing machine!  Great, fun day & excellent, complete guide experience!  Stayed at Traveller's Motel and Alpine Campground, Bessemer, & would certainly return to both. Great people. Traveller's is cleanest I've seen c great rates.  Both have wi-fi available! Rec don't come to either after 8pm without calling first. Ma-Pas. Coffee shot at kayak store was great & art store next door was v.good. Liberty Bell Chalet for pizza in Hurley, WI, was also very good. Otherwise, bring cooler food.
Pere Marquette River
Thu-Sun, 10/10-13/13:  Thursday, license & 2 new reels at BBT.  Thu night, bad fishing night for me. Lost 1st fly in tree, 2nd fly broke off fighting salmon. Hooked a 2nd tree.  I landed 1 fish.  End of night, I hooked a salmon & while I fought it, JB hooked a salmon & landed it while I continued to fight mine.  Of our group, mine was landed with JB helping me net it. Fair hook. He landed his salmon first & won our $1 bet.  Friday tied flies.  Frinight, busy on water but found a 'sleeper' hole opposite bank of where most fished.  Landed 4-5 salmon that night with 2 fair-hooked.  Brian E. helped me land mine, except I was able to fight one and then we switched so I could practice netting & landing one. Great time and hilarious for all! Got my face washed! LOL. Then, me, Brian and Tonio visited another hole where I landed my last salmon that night. Brian got 2 face-washings on that one! Left water about 2 am. Saturday fished the PM in daylight.  Crowded and folks hooking/landing salmon.  Again, found hole on near bank. Targeted brown with egg pattern on dropper.  No luck.  Landed 1 salmon on red guinea bugger.  Fair hook.  Saturnight, crowded again & I was slow to get on water.  No fish that night for me and mist from other nights turned to fog that night and little audible salmon action to help target them.  Great campfire fest for a couple of hours & in bed about 430 am.  Sunday, Kate & I visited Ludington for food and L. MI beach.  Sunnight, me, Kate and Tonio hit the PM.  I landed 2 salmon in 2 different holes.  First we think was fair-hooked (it threw hook when it was netted & I took 2 other flies from it on the body) and 2nd was fair-hooked salmon which was single male behind hen.  Then, visited a log and watched the stars & fished a different hole with less opps.  My salmon were similar sizes to those of last year but they fought much harder and, overall, were fresher. I only had 1 with a sloughing tail.  Great hard fights requiring 3 hard hook sets and sharp hooks.  Crystal bullets with glow-in-dark flash at night.  10wt, intermediate line, 40# butt with loop-to-loop to 20# fluoro leader and simple clinch knot to fly.  Sink tip leader attached to floating line would also be good (maybe best in daylight). Temps at night generally mid-60's to 70*F, except Sunday was likely low 50's.  CNR section only was visited.  Claybanks.  Low wind, no moon & always mist unless foggy.  Cast short, down & across, incrementally add line after 3 reps each time until 'bump' the salmon, then work it! Step upstream at times to allow fly to drop a bit more and give better chance for 'fair' hook-up.  Kate did well, hooking up quickly and often landing her own. Brian landed salmon & often helped net them, and Tonio -who fly fished first time- also landed salmon and is determined to return. Plenty of 'newbies' this year and none remained 'virgins' at camp's end, all landing salmon.