I had a great time the past few days in Highlandville, IA. My wife and I decided for Christmas this year we would rather have a mini vacation than things we don't need. Friday morning we left Des Moines around 9AM. We arrived in Decorah about 12:30 for lunch at a little spot called La Rana. It's a cozy little cafe that uses locally grown meat and produce. For being a small town, Decorah has a number of good restaurants and shops.
After picking up a few groceries we made the drive up to Highlandville and checked into Bear Creek Cabins. I usually stay at The Sportsmen Motel near Dorchester, but having the wife along called for something a bit nicer. Our cabin was perfect. Bear Creek Cabins and Highland General Store and Camping
We stayed in the Turkey Roost.
I went out fishing for a couple hours that afternoon. I hit 3 spots, and landed one rainbow and one brown. Using a two nymph rig, they both hit the midge on bottom.
The next morning I hit the same 3 spots again with no luck. After lunch back at the cabin, french toast made by my wife, I headed back out in the afternoon to try some new water. I found some slow, deep water under a bridge. The water between the pilings was frozen so that I could step out onto it. Slipping behind one of them I was able to make roll casts upstream, and drift my rig down. I fooled two fish there, and decided to walk upstream where it looked very fishy. I fished a nice deep run, and a couple holes with no luck. After walking back, I fished the other side of the spot under the bridge and managed one more trout. With some time left in the day I decided to run to another stream where I had fished several times previous.
The next spot was also at a bridge. It may be the biggest, deepest pool in the stream. I had fished it on three separate occasions without catching a trout, though I did catch a pike once. The big fish hid there, I had seen them. With the overcast sky my odds seemed better. Regardless, I was again left without a fish.
We left Highlandville the next morning. My wife explored Decorah while I hit Trout Run for an hour. I caught one fish from a big pool, and three more in a smaller hole.
From there we found our way to Elkader. The wife shopped at the antique stores in town, and I drove up to Big Spring for a short stop. In less than an hour I caught five fish. Most were pretty small, but I did have one decent fish that tugged back a little.
It was a great trip. I'm glad that we're able to fish year round in Iowa. My thumb is still a little frost bit, but it was worth it. I'm excited for warmer weather, and my next trip to The Driftless Area.