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Thread: Iowa Driftless in December

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Posts
    907

    Default Iowa Driftless in December

    I recently moved to North Carolina, but I'm heading back to Minnesota for the holidays. I'm planning on fishing with the guy who taught me how to fly fish for a day. Since both Wisconsin (where he lives) and Minnesota are closed, we're planning on meeting around Decorah, Iowa for a day around Christmas. We have fished some really gnarly weather and don't mind the cold. But we need a stream that we can fish from shore. I don't know the first thing about the Iowa Driftless region, so I'm hoping someone can give some direction on where to go.

    I'm not looking for any secret spots. We need a place we can fish from shore, and we both prefer fishing for wild trout.

    Also, I'm figuring midge nymphs and orange or natural scuds below and maybe black midges and stoneflies up top. Swinging size 6 olive wooly buggers seems like a good idea also. This is what works for me up in Minnesota. Should I change it up for Iowa?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Northern WI
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    1,003

    Default Re: Iowa Driftless in December

    The flies are right on par with what I'd fish, but I'd probably add BH Hares Ears and Brassies to that fly list.

    I'd probably start with the Bear Creek system near Decorah. It's a mix of both wild and stocked bows, but the wild brown population is good. It is about 90% public land, so finding a place to get away from people shouldn't be an issue either.
    Last edited by ted4887; 12-17-2012 at 07:03 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Iowa Driftless in December

    This will also help you out..

    Trout Stream Map

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  5. #4

    Default Re: Iowa Driftless in December

    Quote Originally Posted by ted4887 View Post
    I'd probably add BH Hares Ears and Brassies to that fly list.
    I did very well last winter in Iowa throwing brassies, simple yet ultra effective

    ted4887 has laid you out a very solid game plan from both the water and the fly choice

    "When the river is high, the fish eat the ants; when the river is low, the ants eat the fish."

    Illinois Wisconsin Fishing

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  7. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Posts
    907

    Default Re: Iowa Driftless in December

    Thanks for the advice!

  8. Default Re: Iowa Driftless in December

    After the Bears you might try the Waterloo Creek, where you can fish from the bank too.

  9. Default Re: Iowa Driftless in December

    You have gotten a lot of good advice here. I myself love the Iowa driftless as that is where I grew up. A lot of fond memories there and some great fishing. The strategies and flies mentioned are spot on with what I would do. Winter can be productive.

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  11. #8

    Default Re: Iowa Driftless in December

    French creek is a great little stream and can be fished from the bank. Nice wild browns.

  12. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Posts
    907

    Default Re: Iowa Driftless in December

    Turns out my buddy had a spot in mind that he'd fished a few years back closer to the Wisconsin side of things:









    He caught 8, I caught 2. Even mix of wild browns and stocked bows. They were on the rise to the ubiquitous black midges. Small dry midges picked up a couple, but most fish were taken sub-surface on orange scuds. Great trip all around.

  13. #10

    Default Re: Iowa Driftless in December

    None of your images work

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