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© 2019 by Elliott Donnelley Trout Unlimited

DRIFTLESS AREA, IOWA

Trip Details:

Location: Decorah, IA 

Accommodations:  Lodges north of Decorah

Contact: Dan Postelnik, danpost3@sbcglobal.net

Dates:  See Events Calendar for current year's dates

This trip runs Thursday night through Sunday. It comes at the end of the season, after the Wisconsin trout streams are closed. The cooler weather has produced excellent fishing for us over the years! We stay in cabins near the streams, about 25 minutes from Decorah. We have group dinners in Decorah and at the cabins. Single rooms and shared rooms are available. We set up a service project with the local TU chapter on Saturday morning.

Our experienced flyfishers are happy to pair up with anyone new to fishing, or just new to the area. An excellent and affordable guide service is available, and you can read more here:  http://www.bearcreekanglers.com/

Decorah has several good restaurants, a few interesting shops, and two excellent micro-breweries (Toppling Goliath and Pulpit Rock). Bring an empty growler or buy one there! 

Cost varies each year depending on cabin prices, and whether you have a shared or single room. Ask Dan for details.

The Driftless Streams:

The Driftless Area in Iowa is remarkable for the variety of its streams and their scenic settings. There are at least a dozen streams nearby, and they range from deep and wide to small and narrow. Some are set in cow pastures, and others cut through deep embankments. Some are flies only, while others share space with spin fishers ( the occasional squirrel hunter).

Driftless refers to the unglaciated areas of northeast Iowa, southeast Minnesota, southwest Wisconsin and northwest Illinois. This area was left untouched by the last glacier drift through the northern tier of states and boasts limestone bluffs, rolling hills and spring fed trout streams. 

Here is some local wisdom from peerless guide Kent Kleckner of Bear Creek Anglers: “Be prepared with #18 and smaller BWO (blue wing olives) dries and something that will act as BWO emerger. I’ve been having good luck with small copper Johns and caddis nymphs. (#14,16)  Pretty boring really, lots of spawning beds so keep lookout for those (Don't tromp through them while wading).”

Here is a stream map from the Iowa DNR:  https://www.iowadnr.gov/Fishing/Where-to-Fish/Trout-Streams/Trout-Stream-Map

Also, this article from Fly Fisherman magazine goes into detail about some of the rivers in Northeastern Iowa: http://www.flyfisherman.com/editorial/iowa-spring-creek-paradise/151897#