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Old 07-25-2015, 11:50 AM
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Default Bear Creek, "Driftless"? Region, Iowa: Opinions Wanted

Hi all. My wife is the world's greatest planner. She's now planning our vacation for a year and a half from now. Most often for vacation we go stay in a cabin for a week in a place where she can relax and I can fly-fish. It's always over the week of Thanksgiving as that's what works out best for my work schedule. I'd probably rather, just for the sake of the weather/time of year, go in October, but Thanksgiving week it is and shall be.

So this time (a year and a half!) she's brought to my perusal "Bear Creek Cabins" on, I think, South Bear Creek, close to Decorah, Iowa. It seems this is in the "Driftless" region of Iowa, a highland area known for its spring creeks. From what I can gather so far, these are all pretty good trout waters with both stocked and native trout.

I want to ask does anyone have experience or knowledge of the area and of Bear Creek in particular? Is it a pretty good stream to spend a few days fishing on? Is there a better small river in the area (There would have to be cabins to stay in.) or are we looking at a good one? It's not typically just TOO cold and snowy around Thanksgiving is it? Disclaimer: I do my main trout fishing in Arkansas in the dead of winter. Sometimes it's around 19 degrees and I have to constantly clean the ice from the rod-eyes. I don't mind it at all, so if it's not too cold for ANYONE to successfully fly-fish, I probably can handle it.

Thanks for any help! jonbo.
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Old 07-25-2015, 11:59 AM
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Default Re: Bear Creek, "Driftless"? Region, Iowa: Opinions Wanted

Itchmesir stayed in those cabins last winter. He'll have some advice for you. I intend to go there this fall as well. Bear Creek is good, but you will have additional options as a number of streams are within a fairly short drive. Not a bad time to go. Temps could be in the 60s or 20s. Low 40s are more likely. It's generally not frigid cold quite that early.
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Old 07-25-2015, 12:59 PM
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Default Re: Bear Creek, "Driftless"? Region, Iowa: Opinions Wanted

Thanks, Mr Trouter! I'll bet that's where we end up settling on. I'm anxious to see Iowa and the upper Midwest. If the weather's ok we'll probably drive into Minnesota or Wisconsin and poke around.
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Old 07-25-2015, 01:21 PM
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Default Re: Bear Creek, "Driftless"? Region, Iowa: Opinions Wanted

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonbo View Post
Thanks, Mr Trouter! I'll bet that's where we end up settling on. I'm anxious to see Iowa and the upper Midwest. If the weather's ok we'll probably drive into Minnesota or Wisconsin and poke around.
MN and WI have closed dates and they have been changing lately so be aware of that. Iowa is the Las Vegas of the Driftless. We never close

OK, WI is better when they are open.
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Old 07-25-2015, 04:28 PM
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Default Re: Bear Creek, "Driftless"? Region, Iowa: Opinions Wanted

Hi Jonbo
i just discovered the Driftless region this year and its awesome. Its amazing how many of those tiny streams running through cow pastures have big ole brown trout in them
As ia trouter said there may be closed areas in Wi, Mn but i hear Iowa has some nice places to fish. i hope to get to Iowa this fall
Good luck

kevin
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Old 07-25-2015, 05:48 PM
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Default Re: Bear Creek, "Driftless"? Region, Iowa: Opinions Wanted

North and South Bear are loaded with fish and lots of trails to walk and lots of wading that can be done. There are other streams in the area to visit as well but there is plenty of good water at your finger tips.
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Old 07-25-2015, 06:49 PM
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Default Re: Bear Creek, "Driftless"? Region, Iowa: Opinions Wanted

Thanks. From all y'all have told me, I'll probably be more than satisfied to spend the week at Bear Creek. I'm a little intrigued about Wisconsin, though.... Hmmm.
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Old 07-25-2015, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: Bear Creek, "Driftless"? Region, Iowa: Opinions Wanted

Wisconsin season closes SEP 30th. Don't second guess yourself too much. You chose a very nice stream. One of the best in the state in the opinion of most. There are some vids on youtube if you want to check it out. The Iowa DNR site also has some maps and info on our streams. There is a trout fishing section in addition to the regular fishing info.

http://www.iowadnr.gov/Fishing.aspx
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Old 07-25-2015, 08:57 PM
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Default Re: Bear Creek, "Driftless"? Region, Iowa: Opinions Wanted

Doh! You're right, iatrouter. Wisconsin's out of the question after September. Iowa it is then, and it looks like the Bear Creek cabins will be our destination. I'll be glad to visit your fair state! Thanks for your help. jonbo
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Old 07-25-2015, 10:18 PM
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Default Re: Bear Creek, "Driftless"? Region, Iowa: Opinions Wanted

Don't forget to look at Waterloo creek as well... It's very close to the Bear Creek system... Imho Bear and it's branches can keep you busy for quite some time... No shortage of fishable stream miles... But Waterloo is nice

You can email the Iowa dnr and they'll send you their trout stream map in the mail no charge.
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