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backwatergallery
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Posts: 1115

Seems like I hardly got out - didn't fish the driftless, or either of the border rivers.  The NAMR rivers stayed high all summer, haven't caught a carp on fly since June - the worst year in the decade and a half I've been fly fishing for them.

 

It started out promisingly with good ice-out to prespawn crappie in local ponds and some decent fish (white bass, smallmouth, carp) from large eddy pools below rocky creek mouth deltas in the Boone area - bait anglers also taking white bass, drum, catfish, pike, and walleye from the same pools.

 

The carp spawn gave up some decent fish at Blue Heron and Spring lakes and, of course the buffalo on that awful food poisoning day on Red Rock's WBCA.

 

 The gar spawn started, paused, then started again, but some decent fish were caught.  Leading into the first shad runs, water levels were still fairly normal, plants were well up all over the upper Red Rock/Des Moines River flood plain and then the rain began falling leading to vast expanses of flooded grass full of spawning shad and baby carp - a long stretch of great gar fishing began.

During that time the Big Creek drum break-through came on a colorful carp fly (vs. the small, naturally colored insect patterns I'd previously tried) kept on the bottom by low surface area "rubber" legs instead of marabou.

 

Then I was out for knee surgery, but recovered soon enough to get some trips to the Boone, Des Moines, and Iowa with water still higher than normal, but definite signs of fish populations in rebound after the 2012 drought.

 

The wet weather also led to a nice Fall mushroom season and no shortage of Asian carp below Red Rock.  We got one good drum and catfish trip in a rocky bay of Lake Red Rock during peak bait.  I guess I can't complain, but...

 

November 13, 2015 at 1:32 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Dale S
Member
Posts: 13

Looks like you have had a really good season!  Some nice looking fish there AND its not over yet 

Dale

November 13, 2015 at 5:35 PM Flag Quote & Reply

FishnDave
Member
Posts: 1144

That sounds like a GREAT year, Mark!  I really like all those gar you caught!

I've been thinking about calling it a year too.  Although I will still fish if I get the chance, (I caught 62 fish on Saturday, one of my top 5 days this year!) I've got a couple outdoor projects at home that came up rather suddenly and a bit late in the year for my comfort.

But as of now...I caught just one carp on the fly this year, definitely my worst year for carp since I first started flyfishing for them.  I typically catch them at Saylorville, and for most of the year they just weren't visible along the shorelines, which is unusual.  And although I caught white bass and wipers, none were on flies this year.  Horrible year for Saylorville White Bass.

Other than that, it has been a pretty good year for me.  I've caught 2,394 fish so far, which is better than my 9-year average of 2,326.  I've caught 23 species this year, 21 on flies.  I caught 5 new fly rod species this year, and new flyrod Personal Bests for 5 other species. I fished 32 different waters, including 6 new-to-me streams in NE Iowa.

Here's some of my better fish:


November 16, 2015 at 11:07 AM Flag Quote & Reply

backwatergallery
Administrator
Posts: 1115

2,394 - incredible!  and that you know your 9 yr. average is also crazy  - in a good way.  That huge grass carp and the giant bass are great catches and of course, anything from the Driftless is automatically cool.  There were some quality trout caught by yourself and several others this year.  Hopefully I'll squeeze in a winter trip sometime.

November 16, 2015 at 1:16 PM Flag Quote & Reply

FishnDave
Member
Posts: 1144

Mark, I've probably mentioned before that I've been keeping an MS Excel spreadsheet-based Fishing Log each year.  This year marks the 10th consecutive year.  Its been a great way to compare year-to-year trends to figure out what I should be fishing for, when, and where.  Its also been a great place to organize my fishing pictures.

I don't know yet if I will continue keeping one after this year or not.  10 years of data is a pretty solid piece of work.  For example, in the past 10 years (and this year may still be adding to this data), I've made 1,726 fishing trips, and fished for 3,111 hours, and caught 23,327 fish.  If my math is correct, over these 10 years I've averaged 1 fish every 8 minutes of fishing.  Its just a number....is it good, bad?  How does it compare to anyone else?  I have no idea.  Using 365 days in a year, I've fished 38.6% of the possible days for the past 10 years.   Not bad, considering I don't fish for a living, have a full-time job, and a wife and 2 kids.  I actually DO spend a lot of time with my family....my average fishing trip duration is only 1.8 hours.  Or, to crunch the numbers another way, I've only  spent 3.55% of my time fishing over the past 10 years.  Thats hardly anything, right?  ;o)

November 16, 2015 at 1:58 PM Flag Quote & Reply

FishnDave
Member
Posts: 1144

I should clarify I'm not trying to compare to others.  We each have our own favorite ways to fish, favorite waters to fish, times to fish, and favorite species to fish for which offer widely varying levels of challenge.

I do enjoy crunching the numbers, though, to see what I am capable of, and how each year is different from the next.  For example, I average 213 White Bass/year, but I only caught 22 this year!

November 16, 2015 at 5:44 PM Flag Quote & Reply

backwatergallery
Administrator
Posts: 1115

23,327 fish! - amazing!  There's certainly a healthy contrast in how different personalities view the sport.  I think you should continue keeping a fishing log.  Undoubtedly the information is useful, you enjoy crunching the numbers, and it probably helps complete the experience for you.

November 17, 2015 at 1:29 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Huntnpack
Member
Posts: 150
Averaging a fish every 8 minutes is a great day of fishing anytime in my book. Let alone across a year. I did start a log of my own this September. It's a combined fishing log/nature journal. So it doesn't focus on fishing exclusively, but on weather and natural phenomena as well. I don't think I would have gotten around to it without people referring to theirs so regularly. So, thanks again, Dave ;). I have yet to check a car, red ear, or northern off my list, and I think those are going to have to be at the top here in the future.
--


November 18, 2015 at 12:31 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Huntnpack
Member
Posts: 150
*gar oops
November 18, 2015 at 12:47 PM Flag Quote & Reply

FishnDave
Member
Posts: 1144

I just did a 2015 Fishing Summary on my blog.  Its only slightly different than above....but if you are interested:

http://www.fishndave.blogspot.com/2015/11/2015-fishing-summary.html

November 24, 2015 at 5:15 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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