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Iowa Driftless (Part 1)

October 18, 2017

October 16, 2017

The trout fishing season closed a couple weeks ago in Minnesota.  Closed October 15, 2017, in Wisconsin. Where to fish for trout, being that I have a couple days off?

Years ago I was in Decorah, IA, for a wedding andtried one of the streams there, so I did a little research on fly fishing in the Iowa Driftless.  Turns out the Iowa trout season is continuous. Better yet, the Iowa DNR has a stellar website identifying where to fish for trout.   Two hours and forty-five minutes from home, a continuous trout season and an abundance of streams to fish?  Count me in. I booked a hotel room and bought my license on line and headed for Decorah, IA, late Monday morning, via the Amish Trail near Harmony, MN.

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Pine Spring Creek

First stop on the Iowa swing: Pine Spring Creek.  I wouldn’t say that I have a green thumb, but I do enjoy gardening and have bought seeds from Seed Savers Exchange .  Seed Savers is dedicated to saving, growing and sharing heirloom seeds and plants, has a herd of Ancient White Park Cattle and; a restored trout steam in Pine Spring Creek.  Pine Spring Creek is catch and release only for brook trout as it boasts a naturally reproducing strain of South Pine strain Brook Trout.  Bought some seeds, walked around a bit and headed for the creek.

Pine is tight and challenging to fish.  I was unsuccessful in my efforts, but did see several schools of a dozen or so large brook trout cruising two of the deeper pools.  A more patient and delicate angler may be rewarded for their efforts.

What a great setting.  Hat’s off to Seed Savers Exchange for their passion and dedication.

Some of the sights:

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Downstream from the walking bridge. Don’t get discouraged. It gets bigger and is open for fishing.

Twin Springs

Located on the western side of Decorah, IA, Twin Springs is a tiny, spring fed stream, with a enough depth and cool water to support a population of brown trout.  Right away I spooked several fish in the shallow, clear water.  Caught a little one on a Pheasant Tail nymph and two on a BWO.  Missed three other fish.  Worth a shot for novelty’s sake.  Difficult to work a fly rod in confines as tight as these.

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Twin Springs source

Trout Run

With only about half an hour of remaining daylight, I made a few casts at Trout Run.  Larger and more akin to what one would find on the Kinni or Rush, I was rewarded when a spunky brown trout crashed my BWO right off the bat.  Bummer that a small section of my fly line snagged on an over hanging tree, which allowed said trout to splash and thrash itself free before I could net it.

Trout Run is  bigger water, with deep holes, and some wood that offers the promise of larger fish.  It is where I will start day two.

Pulpit Rock Brewing

I had a hockey coach that used to say nothing good happens after midnight.  Well, in Decorah, nothing good happens after nine p.m.  Seemed like most of the downtown shuts down at 9.  I suppose it was a Monday.  Fortunately, Pulpit Rock Brewing was open and I headed there for a refreshing brew, in this case a pint of Festwork, Pulpit’s take on Munich based lager.

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-Hats

 

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