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Shannon and Dylan showing off a nice one that slurped a dry

Just returned from a trip to my hometown in Northwest Montana. We were able to put a variety of species in the net, and of course had a great time catching up with friends and family.

Peter with a pretty brown

We fished a variety of waters, ranging from small, meadow streams to larger, faster freestones and even a few stillwater lakes and ponds. The species count seemed to grow after each outing. Much of our success was due to a year of plenty of water in western Montana, a welcome reprieve after a few drier summers. We were greeted by cold, clear streams everywhere we went, and some streams still experiencing some snowmelt runoff that were too dirty to fish.

A largemouth bass that inhaled a popper

Many fish were caught on woolly bugger variations, some were caught on nymphs, and some of the nicer fish on the trip were caught on top water presentations, either small mayfly or caddisfly imitations or on poppers.

Phil and Jess showing off some vehicle-damaging hail from summer Montana storms

Whenever we make a trip back to my hometown, I am always blown away by two things:

  1. The size of the mountains

  2. The water quality

These things are naturally going to be in huge contrast to the Iowa landscape. However, thinking about water quality: it would be great if we could see that even in Iowa, good water quality is possible with some effort and some sacrifices (do I really need to apply enough fertilizer to have the greenest lawn in town?).

At Fly Fish Iowa, we want to help people have a great experience fly fishing in Iowa. Oftentimes, a great way to prepare for a fly fishing vacation is to get dialed in before you go. Book a trip with us today so that you are prepared when that beautiful cutthroat trout comes and eats your Elk Hair Caddis off the surface of that beautiful Montana mid-stream riffle!

Native westslope cutthroat trout

Fishing Report

Click here for the Iowa DNR's Fishing Report (07/07/2022)

Saylorville/Big Creek: Mornings will be best as water temperatures begin to climb.

Local Ponds: Find shaded ponds or shady areas of ponds, and you will have good chances of finding some fish.

Des Moines River: Plenty of Shad around below the dams; flatheads are beginning to be caught with more regularity on bait.

-Flow (below Saylorville): 2990 cfs

-Flow (below Red Rock): 6490 cfs

**work being done on the Des Moines river may drop flows significantly between Saylorville and Red Rock. Check USGS river gauges before you hit the river.

Get in touch with us to book a fly fishing trip in Iowa!


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