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Driftless Region Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin

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Old 12-15-2012, 11:03 AM
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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!
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:13 PM
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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 06:03 PM.
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Old 12-16-2012, 11:51 PM
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Default Re: Iowa Driftless in December

This will also help you out..

Trout Stream Map
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:22 AM
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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

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Old 12-17-2012, 07:51 AM
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Default Re: Iowa Driftless in December

Thanks for the advice!
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:22 PM
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Default Re: Iowa Driftless in December

After the Bears you might try the Waterloo Creek, where you can fish from the bank too.
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:34 PM
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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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Old 12-22-2012, 07:25 PM
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Default Re: Iowa Driftless in December

French creek is a great little stream and can be fished from the bank. Nice wild browns.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:43 AM
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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:

Click the image to open in full size.

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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.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:29 AM
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Default Re: Iowa Driftless in December

None of your images work
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