Iowa Driftless: Trout Run

Friday, August 10, 2012 , , , 3 Comments

We wanted to fish the Driftless on the way back from Lake Vermilion and debated between the Iowa side vs. the Minnesota side: eventually deciding on the Iowa side as we only had a half day and that seemed far too short a time to research and find new waters. That being said, the great thing about the Driftless is the numerous streams you can fish and even with this being our third visit within the past year to the Driftless there remain a multitude of streams on the Iowa side we have yet to fish. Had we had a day or two I would have liked to fish the French, if you remember from my last trip to the Driftless, this river skunked me and yet to date is perhaps the most intriguing and beautiful trout stream I have ever fished, but due to time and ease we settled on Trout Run just outside of Decorah.

Now I have to admit something. I was very hesitant to fish this stream. It is a stocker stream and due to its proximity to Decorah I imagined something along the lines of a Bennet Springs type experience: large crowds and idiot trout only willing to take glow balls. But I will eat my words and pride and admit I was very pleasantly surprised. Yes, the stream does start out at the hatchery like at Bennet but there the similarities quickly dissipate. We did run into a few people on the water, which on my two previous trips to the Driftless had never happened, but it was not crowded and for the majority of the afternoon we were on the water by ourselves. The stream itself is gorgeous, just like you would expect from the Driftless and I would highly recommend the middle segments, absolutely breathtaking. 

The highlight of the trip though was that my father caught his first fish on a fly rod! He has been learning over this past year and has made great improvements but unfortunately has not been able to get a bend in his rod. Finally he was successful though and caught two rainbows, I don't know who was more excited about this him or I. For myself I caught seven Rainbows and surprisingly one nice Brown.  

First trout of the day. Rainbow. Copper John. 

My Father's first fish ever on a fly rod. Size 18 Caddis Borealis. He could look a tad more excited though... 

View of Upper Segment of Trout Run, Near Hatchery. 

Upper Trout Run Rainbow. Copper John. We tried several different small midge and nymph patterns and found that those towards the smaller end, size 16 or less, and with a little flash proved most effective. 

Middle Section of Trout Run. 

New Species for Life List: White Sucker. 

Surprise, Surprise. 2 lb Brown. Put up a decent fight too! 

Great feeling to see this fish swim off! 

Middle segment of Trout Run. Under the bridge the water probably drops to 10-12'. There were some big fish lurking under there. In retrospect I wish I would have thrown a streamer under the bridge a few times to see what I could have picked up. 

Last fish of the trip, Rainbow on a Yellow Stimulator. Also first trout ever on topwater. Lots of fun. 


Three times in one year , man I'm jealous for sure!!
I had to check out this post as soon as I saw it...I'm sitting at work scribbling out a grocery list for a 4 day trip up to Iowa as I type this. Getting off work at noon on Tuesday and headed North!!

Atlas said...

Jeff, I am excited for you. I have yet to find a more enjoyable place to fish. So many streams and endless variety teamed with a wide range of fishing situations. Good luck sir, can't wait to hear how you do.

Queen Quinn said...

Really a greeat blog with amazing adventures fishing.