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Feb 1-3 Highlandville

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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.


  1. Ard's Avatar
    That sounded like a fine way to finish up 2012. Here there will be no fishing for awhile yet and I'm writing on April 7th.........

    Good report,

  2. mbchilton's Avatar
    Thanks Ard. It sure was.

    I hope you're out fishing before long.