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  1. Default Advice for small streams

    I am new to fly fishing for trout and was just wondering what everybody thought about good fly patterns to use for this time of year fishing small spring creeks. I plan on going out for my first trip on friday and we have had a warm spell here for the past 5-6 days. I live an hour away from the nearest stream but we have had some snow melt and I am guessing the streams are going to be running a fair amount of water and may be somewhat murky.

    My intuition tells me to use larger, brighter patterns and to lean more towards streamers and nymphs, and to lean away from the dries. Perhaps a wolly bugger with some flash added or a bright stimulator pattern may work. I don't know, maybe I'm way off.

    Any advice would be great. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Monroe, Michigan

    Default Re: Advice for small streams

    Barber, it would help if we knew where you were from...Without seeing what the stream conditions are you need to take a good variety of flies to cover what might be happening... The wooly bugger is always a good fly to have with you...


  3. Default Re: Advice for small streams

    Try to find a hatch chart for your area. The chart will tell you what insect activity, if any, is happening on your stream.


  4. Default Re: Advice for small streams

    The streams I will be fishing are in NE Iowa. Most streams either run through, or are adjacent to, crop fields and even though they are spring fed, they are still susceptible to runoff.

    Where would I find a hatch chart for Iowa?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Advice for small streams

    Not sure how to fish small streams out there as I have never done it. Out west (where I live) I pretty much hit the small streams with big bushy flies and some smaller flies. Typically I will throw some different sized (#8, #10, #12) and colored stimmies, Humpys usually #12 or maybe a #14, Royal wulfs #14 or #16, Adams from #14 down to #20, Para Hares ears usually in #14, EHC usually in #14, and I always will try out different terrestrials depending on what the conditions warrant. For example last year on a small creek I landed a brookie and noticed he had a black beetle in his mouth. So I tied on a black foam rubber leg beetle that was about the same size and they just hammered it. Not sure how they would work in small streams out there but they seem to do the trick here. In addition out here I usually grease the flies pretty good with gel then use a powder such as frogs fanny.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Beaumont, Alberta
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Advice for small streams

    Here we are using small pheasant tail nymphs, small stonefly nymphs and a few assorted generic nymph patterns. Are you allowed to fish more than one fly at a time?
    Each smallest act of kindness - even just words of hope when they are needed, the remembrance of a birthday, a compliment that engenders a smile - reverberates across great distances and spans of time, affecting lives unknown to the one whose generous spirit was the source of this good echo, because kindness is passed on and grows each time it's passed, until a simple courtesy becomes an act of selfless courage years later and far away.

  7. Default Re: Advice for small streams

    I'm pretty sure you can fish with more than one at a time. I know you can fish with up to two poles at a time. Iowa is mostly put-and-take streams and it seems the DNR is more concerned about people catching good numbers of fish than creating good fisheries. The majority of Iowa trout fisherman using spinning rods and live bait.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Advice for small streams

    I like Ants and Beetles on Small Stream, and later in the Spring I go with a Dave Hoppers with a Black hares ear Dropper, that kills them!! In the Southwest Semi Seel leaches work real well too they are sort of like a Wolly bugger but with more flash.


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  9. #9

    Default Re: Advice for small streams

    I do 90% of my trout fishing in the driftless area. Right now in Iowa you're gonna definately see some rising fish!! Black caddis should be comming of any day now as well as some BWOs. I would stick to caddis emergers and some dries in the #18-#20 range. also some midge patterns(drys and nymphs) Pheasent tails in #12 (yes 12) work great and on down to about #18-20. Bottom rollers and scuds will be very good too. Have you heard of Pink Squirells? They are the areas killer nymph you gotta have some of those. Also the fish will be hungry so some flashabuggers(in black and brown) can nail some really big fish!! Thats about the entire gambit. The driftless streams can be incredible at times. You're gonna love fly fishing in that area!! good luck!!

    My favorite set up is a cz nymph or bottom roller with a pheasant tail about two feet behind that. DEADLY!!! Stike indicator is a must those fish will hit and be gone before you know what happened...

    this hatch chart will be very close...

    Also here is a site in wisconsin thats reports should be very close to Iowas..

  10. Default Re: Advice for small streams


    Thanks for the great tips. I am definetly going to look up some of the flies I am not familiar with and try to tie my best impersonation of them.

    I fished North Prairie Lake in Cedar Falls this weekend after they stocked it. Only caught two smaller rainbows. Wasn't sure on what to use or how to fish the still water. I kept seeing them rise so I tried about every dry fly in my box with no luck. I wasn't sure if I was just supposed to let it sit there, twitch it, or slowly strip it in. I pretty much tried them all with no luck. The fish I did catch were on the only prince nymph I had dropped off a chernoble ant. Of course I caught those two right away and then I lost my fly and didn't get another bite.

    Oh well, I'm ready to head back to the driftless streams and give it another shot.

    Thanks again

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