Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Decorah, 52101

I never had the opportunity to fly fish with my dad, but being that I found an old St. Croix fiberglass rod in the basement, I have to believe he put it to work around his home town of Decorah, Iowa. This past weekend, I had the opportunity to fish some of Decorah's spring creeks, and in doing so, reconnect with my father - if only in spirit - over a stream, some P-tails, and a few cookie-cutter stockers.
North Bear Creek
A good chunk of my family on both sides has connections to Decorah. My dad grew up there, he met my mother there, my aunt and uncle have an apartment there, my recently passed-on great aunt lived there, and I have many other roots and branches amongst the bluffs and hills.
Uncle Vince hooked up on a Decorah trout. He showed me around the area.
It's within an area in the Midwest called the driftless area - a region that was spared by the most recent glaciers, thus leaving beautiful limestone, rattlesnakes, and spring creeks full of (mostly stocked) trout.
About the biggest trout I caught, but it matters not.
Decorah is a far cry from the trout towns of Montana like Livingston, Ennis, or Twin Bridges. Fishing licenses are bought at the hardware store, flies are hard to come by, and guides are few and far between. But it's got its share of elbow room and trout, and they are no less fun to whack there than here. Beyond the fishing, Decorah is hip college town with lots of Nordic charm.
Upstream of the first photo - sexy.
Visiting Decorah offers me a terrific opportunity for me to reconnect with my family - both living and otherwise - by wetting a line that drifts through my patrimony.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Edges

Runoff? More like fun-off. Apparently, you just have to know where to go. My buddy Ben, his lady friend Christine and I hammered trout on a beautiful June day in running water.
Ben playing one of about 30 trout he pulled from that hole. No jive.
Foxee Red.
Just pound the soft water. I even caught my first chub on a fly, and Ben randomly caught a grayling. Zonkers, Clousers, worms, Hare's Ears, Princes, and P-tails.
There were about 32 other fishermen - including two other fly anglers - and many stringers of big fish.