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Nymphs and Poppers, But Not Whopper Ploppers

It finally seems as if summer is here to stay in central Iowa. Many people were able to get outside today and bring some fish to hand.




I recently received a newsletter from a fly shop in the west. One of the featured article was titled "Ditch the Nymphs: We're Going Bass Fishing!" I found this funny, because while bass are usually targeted with streamers, great success can be had for bass while fishing nymphs, as well. At Fly Fish Iowa, we love fishing a variety of different methods for a variety of species. Believe it or not, the bluegill pictured above was caught today on a size 8 fly pattern while the bass below was caught on a much smaller size 16!


This largemouth chose to eat a size 16 Copper John (2020 photo).

With that being said, bass are usually caught with larger imitations like baitfish patterns or bugger-style variations or poppers. A guy who was fishing with Brennan and I today caught a handful of bass on a Whopper Plopper, but we don't have the luxury of creating such a mesmerizing retrieve with flies as that fancy lure can.

I covered a lot of water today. My day started at Big Creek and Saylorville, where I found quite the species variety.

A white bass from Big Creek

A small walleye from Big Creek

Can you guess what species is on the line in the above video?


After that, my attention turned to some ponds. I joined up with a few friends and we caught some fish in both private and public ponds in Ankeny.


A fabulously dark sunfish, possibly a hybrid green sunfish/bluegill? Maybe some pumpkinseed genetics?

First bass on the fly for Zack! (Private pond)

Brennan with a monster bluegill from public waters

This pumpkinseed crushed a popper. She was so girthy that she reminded me of a pink salmon!

Fishing Report (5/14/2022)


Saylorville: Boat traffic picked up significantly today and will likely continue to be busy on the weekends. Find crappie around points and focus on mornings and evenings to stay away from the crowds, especially on the weekends.

Big Creek: Cleared up after last week's rain. Crappie bite has been getting better and better as they move to shallower water. Walleye bite has been steady as well. Look for structure.

Local Ponds: Fishing great; shoreline weeds/algae will start to accumulate in many ponds in the next month, so now is the time to fish them!

Des Moines River: Some wipers, walleye, crappie, and catfish being caught below Saylorville and Red Rock.

-Flow (below Saylorville): 5580 cfs

-Flow (below Red Rock): 10900 cfs

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