Fly Fishing McCloud Run

The Iowa DNR recently decided to do some experimental stockings in a small stream that flows in the north side of Cedar Rapids. They stocked fingerling brook, brown, and rainbow trout a couple of years ago and have had very promising results. I read an article in Iowa Game and Fish that said they were hoping for a 20 to 30 percent survival rate and got closer to 60 or 70. The first fish stocked are now a fishable size and provide an opportunity closer to home for those of us in the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids areas.

Let me start by saying that if you are closer to the streams of northeast Iowa, don’t bother coming down to Cedar Rapids… yet. The stream is pretty small, and with only a couple of year classes of fish, the fishing isn’t what you will find in other places. It does, however, provide a viable option for those of us faced with driving more than an hour to get to the southern most trout streams. It gives us the option of just spending a morning or afternoon, rather than a whole day, on the water. With the recent weather, my pheasant hunting season has ended prematurely, and I’m once again focusing on our aquatic resources. This past weekend found me at McLoud Run for a couple of afternoons of fishing.

The first day, I didn’t have much luck. A few follows, and one hooked fish. I was unable to land it because the anti-reverse on the new reel I got for Christmas decided it was too cold to work. It did appear to be a fairly nice fish though. Before shaking my hook while I was inadvertently reeling backwards, it broke the surface. It was a fat little brown that probably was between eleven and thirteen inches. The second day went a little better. I managed to land a little rainbow (actually looked like a rainbow – not all silvery) out of the first hole I stopped at. I had a couple more follows but no fish. I moved up and fished a couple of long runs landing a ten inch brown and another six inch rainbow. You have to be extremely careful not to spook the fish while walking beside the stream, even the sound of my feet sinking into the snow from quite a ways away made them swim about nervously. I’d recommend walking downstream from the parking lot to the furthest spot you think you’ll fish then working back upstream. I did this the second day and think it is the reason my offerings received more interest.

I’m looking forward to the next couple of years, seeing how the fish respond to the environment as they get bigger. I hope the DNR continues to stock all three species of fish too, assuming they all have acceptable survival rates. I really enjoy fishing the put and grows in Iowa, but the ones I’ve fished only have browns. It would be cool to have the opportunity to catch stream reared rainbows, brooks, and browns all from the same stream.

Finally, it is an odd feeling to be standing there trout fishing with cars whizzing by on the interstate less than 100 yards away. Despite the noise pollution and urban setting, McLoud Run is a very scenic little stream. I took a couple of pictures with a disposable camera that I will put up once I get it developed. That’s about it for now. Hopefully next time I can persuade someone to go with me and with a little luck we’ll be able to photograph a fish or two for this page.

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