Iowa Fly Fisher

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Forum Home > General Discussion > 5/27/17 weekend forecast

Posts: 1115
Driftless area; Judging by DNR report and river gauges some trout streams and upper river sections may be at least fishable.

Lake Red Rock; The level is rising about a foot per day. I haven't been out lately to see what impact this cold weather had on spawning progress. The spawning season is a good time to find the largest gar, although getting them to bite isn't always easy. As the weather warms over this weekend this,-93.0337015,123m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en would be a prime place to check if the road is open.

Secondary options include,-93.1475871,123m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en launching a kayak here and paddling up into either Calhoun or Prairie creek arm where you should find at least some flooded grass and clearer water with potential for large gar. Turning east on Dubuque rd. or parking along here,-93.1137681,123m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en you should find a fair amount of flooded grass with some cleaner water and again potential for large fish, it may require walking a short distance to reach the edge of the water.

Tertiary options include Teter creek area just south of G40 and west of hwy 14, should have some flooded grass

The Swan area,-93.2733735,350m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en doubtlessly has a fair amount of flooded grass and potential for large fish, but the open topography and proximity to the flowing water of the river makes it likely the water would be quite muddy and the situation generally less predictable.

Walnut creek - where I snagged that grass carp last year, but the water isn't high enough yet for this to be a prime area again due to openness and proximity to the river channel,-93.228206,169m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en

Bright sun high overhead with no wind is prime for sightfishing.
May 26, 2017 at 1:48 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 1115

Saturday, I knew the launch from Dubuque Rd. into Prairie or Calhoun creeks was a sure thing and there was only a short time before rain was forecast to arrive.  In Prairie creek arm, lots of woody debris, some nice gar spawning in the thick of it, but either not biting or too deep in cover. Then where thick debris formed a kind of corner I saw clouds of tiny fry and crappie hitting them on the surface continually - caught a few smaller ones but kept trying for a big one while thunder sounded in the distance.  When a dark frontal cloud appeared over the trees, I considered getting off the water immediately and waiting the storm out up the nearby forested hill under the kayak (wouldn't have been the first time).   Instead I decided to try out running it.  This is about the point I looked back, saw lightning coming down inside that wall of rain and realized what a foolish mistake I'd made.  

Sunday; After giving thanks for being spared electrocution, I was back on the water this time I went up Calhoun creek arm hoping for less debris.  At first it looked much the same, but I caught a few gar and the further up the creek arm, the bigger the fish I began seeing.

I also caught several yellow colored ones like this

Way up the creek where the winding, muddy channel emerged out of the still water of the lake, large gar were spawning, but not biting.  Beside the channel was a still shallow area where I found the unholy grail - a large flat area of plants about 6 -10 inches below the surface and clear water.  By this time thew wind was blowing such that i had to paddle almost continually to stay in one place, the angle of the light was lowering, and intermittent clouds began blocking the sun, so i spooked a lot of nice fish.

The one pictured above was large, probably close to 3 ft. long.  But it saw me thrashing about in the wind and refused to bite, another was even bigger possibly over 3 ft. and very broad at the shoulders it was also quite dark, not fully melanistic, but close.  Again it spotted me and spooked off a little ways and refused to strike.  But I did hook a few inspite of the conditions the larger ones tangling in the plants and shaking free, but it was great just finding that clear water gem and being out there in the sunshine.

May 29, 2017 at 1:29 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 1115

PS. There were many common carp and buffalo, and I saw another grass carp.  It was smaller than the giant one I snagged last year.  I saw it in the clear area very deliberately popping a leaf off a plant.  Didn't try for it  - too much boat control difficulty, no leaf flies.  Also since the water is rising many spiders, inchworms and beetles are stranded on plants that stick above the water and eagerly board the kayak - if the wind blew me into emergent plants while fighting a fish I'd have to brush the kayak down before casting to another one. It is wild and fun with all that jumping and thrashing, but probably not for everyone.

May 29, 2017 at 2:04 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 1144

Those are some really nice gar!  That first and second one you can't even get your hand around!  :)

May 30, 2017 at 10:50 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 92

Excellent work!

May 31, 2017 at 10:51 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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