Ice-out in Iowa
A few of the larger lakes in the area still have a fair bit of ice on them, but the smaller waters are finally ice-free.
I got out Saturday (March 29, 2014) to flyfish for trout at a nearby lake. It was REALLY slow, but I ended up landing 13, up to 14" long.
Sunday was warmer, but much windier. I waited until 4pm before I finally decided to head for water. I wanted to try out my new 12' 5wt Allen Olympic Switch Rod. I've never really tried to cast properly with a 2-handed rod before, and I have to admit it was intimidating. I watched a couple YouTube videos before I left the house. In practice, it wasn't so difficult. I need a LOT more practice, but actually it was rather fun, and I got some pretty good distance on my casts. Next, I decided I should see what it felt like to actually hook/fight/land a fish on this rod. The water is cold...I didn't have much expectation of actually catching much...but ended up having one of the best days EVER on this pond! If you know of a crappie pond near you, GO FISH IT ASAP!
I used a chartreuse 1/80th oz microjig set 18" beneath an indicator. The wind would push the indicator slowly along, and the waves imparted a really nice vertical jigging motion. I ended up catching 33 healthy crappies up to 13" long, and at least 13 bluegills up to 9".