Photo Album





Fishing for smallmouth bass in Northeast Iowa this season was a real challenge. The heaviest snowfall in several years blanketed the surrounding countryside with eighty inches of snow and the spring snow melt raised stream and river levels to the point that fishing in May was almost impossible.

In June the region received ten to fifteen inches of rain over a two-day period causing the worst flood in decades. Several thousand people in the Cedar Rapids area, located on the banks of the Cedar River, were forced from their homes. Major smallmouth streams and rivers rose to bridge levels.

Smallmouth rivers including the Maquokata and the Turkey were not fishable during the summer and fall because of high water levels. Only the streams with smaller watersheds were fishable from mid-july until the end of the season. But all was not lost. The Volga, a favorite "smallie" stream was fishable as were some of the tributaries to the major rivers. Fishing wasn't as good as last year but we were still able to take fish in reasonable numbers.


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Here is an example of a good sized "Smallie" taken on a Red-Faced Wobbler on the Volga.


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A nice bass taken by my fishing buddy Mike Jacobs on a small feeder stream. The lure that took the fish was Mike's Leech.


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And another nice bass taken by Mike on his Bronze Goddess.


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Whops! How did that bucketmouth get in here. You have to admit that this was a nice Largemouth Bass taken by Mike Jacobs on one of his favorite ponds.


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Your's truly about to bring a "Smallie" to hand.


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A beautiful little pool below a small waterfall on one of our favorite creeks.


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At least one Smallmouth Bass lived in that pool.


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He had beautiful bronze coloring.


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Another nice bass taken by Mike Jacobs.


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This fish was taken either on a Bronze Goddess or a Red-Faced Wobbler. Those two flies along with a Shenandoah Popper were the lures of choice this season.


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Here is a closer view of the same fish taken on the beautiful Volga River.


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Another nice Volga River Smallie. Notice the beautiful markings.


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Pat Donavan and his sons Zack and Shae from Peosta spent a day with Mike Jacobs on the Volga. Here is Pat with a nice "Smallie" taken on a Red-Faced Wobbler.


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This is Pat's youngest son Shae with a nice Bronzeback.


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This is Pat and his oldest son Zack with a double. Pat and the boys used a canoe to float the Volga and Mike was in his Hobbie Kick-Boat.


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Shea Donavan with another nice "Smallie". The boys proved that smallmouth bass are no match for young fly-rodders.


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Mike took this great shot of a smallmouth bass with Mike's Bronze Goddess. Mike is writing an article about the Goddess for Fly Tyer Magazine. I can't begin to count the number of bass and other gamefish that have fallen for the Bronze Goddess.


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A great shot of a "Smallie" with a Red-Faced Wobbler in his lip.


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Anoother great photo taken by Mike Jacobs of a smallmouth bass that was taken with the Red-Faced Wobbler.


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Good friend Doug Nauman into a bass connected to a popper.


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It was a typical Northeast Iowa Smallmouth Bass.


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Mike Jacobs with a good fish taken on a Rabbit Strip Crawfish pattern that Mike had developed for Pike.


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A good shot of the fish with the Rabbit Strip Crawfish in his lip. The pattern was about six inches long proving the theory that big flies take big fish. Click on the photo for a better view.


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Our good friend Steve Vesey from Ames, Iowa with his biggest "Smallie" of the day on the Volga River. Steve has been very active in the Hawkeye Fly Fishing Association over the years.


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Mike's friend Michael Beal from Anamosa, Iowa with a good looking "Smallie".


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The ideal way to fish NE Iowa Smallie streams is with a kick-boat.


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The fish in this photo would never have been taken without the kick-boat because the water was on private land and inaccesable by foot.


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This is the bass that I'm attached too in the previous photos.


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The advantage of the kick-boat is that you can fish from it as you slowly float down stream and you can park it to fish promising pools and runs on foot. This fish was taken from a tree that had recently fallen into the stream.


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I let a blue Shenandoah Popper sweep by the tree and this was the result.


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There are times when poppers are the best choice. Here is another bass that fell for a white Shenandoah Popper.


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There is the fish that took the popper. Topwater fishing for smallmouth bass is great fun.


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Bringing to hand another bass that hit the popper.


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The bass was taken on a Red-Faced Wobbler. It's a great little streamer that was featured in a recent issue of Fly Tyer Magazine.


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This fish was taken on a new streamer that I created last winter but didn't have a chance to fish much. It's called Beaner's Baitfish and I believe that it holds great promise as a smallmouth streamer in seasons to come.


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This was the last "smallie" taken by me this season. Taken on a white Beaner's Batifish. A great way to end the season.


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Releasing the last fish of the season. Hundreds of fish brought to hand and all released to be taken again another day.


Copyright 2017 Ward Bean, Council Bluffs, IA, All rights reserved.