The Iowa River
I35 to Hwy. 30

bottom composition - begins w/ mud and sand, changing to limestone, sandstone and boulder rock. then to gravel, sand and marl

best level for fly fishing = below 6.25 ft. at Steamboat Rock. Click here for current level at; Rowan, Steamboat Rock, Marshalltown

primary fly species = common carp (crayfish, hellgrammites, Hexagenia mayfly and other insect larvae, etc.), smallmouth bass (shad, shiners, crayfish), northern pike (suckers, stonecats) channel catfish (crayfish, minnows, leeches, etc.)

long-shot secondary species = redhorse suckers, walleye
Oakland Iowa River Access - canoe access Oakland Dr. between I35 and Oakland
Mostly mud banks w/ logjams in the bends - these areas above Alden suffered in the drought and heat of 2012.
Popejoy Conservation Park - camping, canoe access CR S21 immediately southwest of Popejoy, Iowa
Bigelow Park - canoe access Ee Ave. - the only road bridge crossing the river between Popejoy and Alden, Iowa wide, shallow sand bottom with some drop-offs in bend pools, logjams.
Above Bessman - Kemp park tthe river is wide and shallow, the bottom becomes solid, or fist-sized broken limestone bank to bank. The river flows atop the limestone rather than cutting through it, as happens further downstream. Once a good fly fishing place for carp. Click here for an instructional video made in this area.
Bessman-Kemp Park - camping, canoe access Ee Ave. immediately northwest of Alden The river deepens and slows, backed up by the Alden dam.
Alden City Park, Ilco Park, Alden Canoe Launch boat ramps off Main St. (S27-S25) in Alden - above and below the dam Below the dam is best in spring and early summer when high water, and/or spawning draws fish upstream.
Excellent fly water. Between Alden and Iowa Falls limestone walls line the river and rock covers the river bed. There are many riffles, eddies, pockets etc. Small pike and carp, and some smallmouth. The short distance between the two dams favors omnivores like carp. Unlike the Alden dam the area between Alden and Iowa Falls is best during late summer or fall when float tubers leave the river. Near Iowa Falls the river deepens and slows due to water backed up behind the Iowa Falls dam. Rock walls still line the river, along with houses and docks, but the bottom turns to mud and sight fishing for carp declines, pike also become difficult due to increasing depth. Fish move from this deep water in Iowa Falls to the dam in Alden in a few hours so spawning migrations are not necessarily epic events.
Weaver Park, Dougan's Landing - boat ramps above the dam D15 (River Road) in Iowa Falls, Iowa There are several other parks in Iowa Falls above the dam. Below the dam access is not so good, better to launch from the Hardin County Conservation Access.
Hardin County Conservation Access - boat ramp first road going south off D15 east of Iowa Falls There is broken limestone along the river bottom and lining the banks here and through many of the areas downstream. These areas attract carp in summer.
Gravel bottom makes the river wide, shallow and swift. A few limestone outcrops create off-current pockets, but not very deep. Good for suckers, carp, small pike.
Cross' Ford - camping, canoe access Where Oo Ave. crosses the river north of Owasa , IA There is a small, sharp bend right in the park with deep pools and logjams on its outside. Another nice bend pool is a short distance downstream. Larger pike sometimes ambush suckers from these areas.
Some gravel, and low riffles dropping off into deeper soft-bottomed runs through here. A popular section (Cross' Ford to Eagle City Access) with float tubers during summer.
Eagle City Access - camping, canoe access Off 160th St. near Eagle City, IA.

Eagle City apparently consists of two farm houses and some abandoned out-buildings. Perhaps the site of an abandoned town?

N 42o 28' 16"
W 93o 08' 43"

Eagles often sit in trees around gravel runs where suckers abound.
Some low, long gravel riffles, others create deep eddies, as do some rocky creek mouth deltas. Further down the river straightens and becomes shallow and sandy before making another turn below a marl bluff. A few sparsely scattered large pike (by Iowa standards) lurk around logjams and fallen trees, carp and bass fishing is mediocre.
Hardin City Access - canoe access At the 170th St. bridge there is a very small parking area by a farm house. A hair pin bend loops around the abandoned town of Hardin City. The straights are shallow, sand bottomed with strong current (my largest pike to date came from a small pocket surrounding a fallen tree on the north straight), the bend has low riffles and pockets holding carp and suckers.
Low riffles and deepish runs surround the hwy. 20 bridge. Above the Steamboat Rock dam the water deepens and slows. Silt accumulates on the bottom and fish seemingly use the area only in last resort.
Steamboat Rock dam- major impasse - Camping and canoe access above the dam at Pine Ridge Recreation Area. Canoe access below the dam at Iowa River Canoe Launch D35 (Main St.) in Steamboat Rock, Iowa Below the dam sandstone cliffs border the river, riffles, rock outcrops, and eddies become prominent, smallmouth bass, small pike, and carp fishing is usually good. During high water migration from Coralville lake is possible The onset of cold weather drives fish out of the area. Early to mid summer the river fills with noisy float tubers between Steamboat Rock and Eldora.
Tower Rock Park S56 East off S56 immediately south of Steamboat Rock is Tower Rock Park. Tall sandstone cliffs, a small camping area, a canoe or kayak could be carried down here as well. Steamboat Rock itself overlooks a deep bend pool.
Falling Rock Access - carry down canoe access Turn north on Uu Ave. where 215th St. crosses the river between Steamboat Rock and Eldora Above this access are more sandstone cliffs, riffles and eddies, below here the rock slowly gives way to gravel, then sand and marl.
Pine Lakes State Park - boat ramp, several camping options, bike trail, 2 lakes. S56 at 175 on the eastern edge of Eldora, Iowa
Below Eldora the river is generally shallow and sand bottomed with few current breaks. The South Fork of the Iowa joins here flowing quickly over shallow sand, adding turbidity.
David Bates Memorial Park - camping, canoe access Take D65 west from Whitten, Iowa where the pavement turns south continue west on the gravel road. Few fish-holding features.
Daisy Long Memorial Park - camping, boat ramp D67 between Union, IA and Whitten Deep slow moving pool above a major riffle. Fish congregate in the pool during late Fall if low water level makes the riffle a significant obstacle.
Between Union and Marshalltown the river speeds through a straight, man-made channel. Few fish-holding features.
Riverview Park borders the river on the north edge of Marshalltown. Marshalltown, IA Many sharp bends with logjams in this area.
Furrow Access - boat ramp E35 east of Marshalltown
3 Bridges County Park - boat ramp 3 Bridges Road north off Quarry Road Mud and sand bottom now, but scattered gravel riffles attract walleye. Catfish hang out in the backwaters and logjams. Shiners abound through here.
T37 bridge The Mag Holland public hunting area is a somewhat interesting area near a rock quarry. Haven't explored it, just driven past.
Mc Coy Landing - boat ramp C Ave. just northwest of the Hwy. 30 bridge
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