A warm spring day promises peaceful trout fishing.  Anglers with fly rods and those using ultra-light spinning tackle, ply the cold-water streams of rural “Little Switzerland” in search of rainbow, brook and brown trout.  And we find them.

Water quality is a problem with trout stocking programs.  Particularly in streams where a disturbance in the watershed adds sediment and flooding reduces the steam bank over story.  Flooding also affects the food supply.

Some areas are “walk-in” types because they are accessible only by foot.  Others are near campgrounds that are open to the public with both “primitive” and pack-in camping.  Each area is marked with a large yellow and brown sign that acts as a guide.  The sign marks areas where the Iowa DNR has negotiated public fishing access with local landowners.

All catchable trout steams are on a “put-and-take” basis.  The fish are catchable size of 10 to 13 inches and a weight of about a half pound before placing into the streams.  They added on a quota basis.  Most of the fish are rainbow trout but some are brown trout.

Between three times per week and monthly the fish go into the streams.  Frequency is dependent upon water levels and temperatures.  Hot summers are hard on trout due to low water conditions and warm water temperature.  Trout do best in water that is below 70 degrees.

Tackle for trout comes in a variety of sizes and shapes.  Of course there is the ever present fly rod and a limitless variety of flies.  In recent years longer rods and thinner lines have become the preference for trout angling.

Ultra light spinning outfits are popular.  The light line coupled with small ice fishing spoons and little in-line spinners or casting spoons work well.

Natural baits like trout eggs, salmon eggs, cheese, worms, night crawlers and spikes of course are the choice of some anglers.  Velveeta cheese is a favorite because it molds well to the hook and trout love it.  The presented below a small float and allowed to drift into fishy areas, almost anything catches these hungry trout.

Areas such as lay downs, brush piles, weeds, rocks and boulders will hold fish.  Trout can be an opportunity feeder, holding in slack water awaiting some tasty morsel that might drift past.

As we catch and release a number of “bows” the other sub-species evade us.  There will be another day.  For today we are done and have to get back on the road.

For the angler seeking more information about trout, the Hatchery at Manchester, Iowa is a good place to visit.  Located three miles east of Manchester and just a little south of Route 20, the hatchery produces most of the trout used in the trout program.  Other information about trout fishing in Iowa is available on Iowa Department of Natural Resources website.


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