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.


schnitzerPHOTO said...

Just plain beautiful, Josh. Thanks for the post.

Sanders said...

Really nice post. The driftless is where I first learned to fly fish...it's a special place.

Trout MaGee said...

Great Pics and fish. Really like that "sexy" bottom pic. I fish down near Decorah and frequent the Bear Creeks. It really is beautiful down there. The rest of Iowa is flat with cornfields but when you get near Decorah or Waukon it starts looking like your in small mountains. I have seen some huge 30" trout come from some of the rivers down there. Beautiful peaceful area. Tight Lines.

HighPlainsFlyFisher said...

Nice post , I love that Driftless Region of Iowa. Some pretty little streams that don't see much pressure can make for a great trip.

Blake said...

the driftless area rocks and unlike wiconsin, iowa has a year round trout season

Josh Bergan said...

Thanks, thanks, thanks and thanks. Magee - I've heard of these monsters. Are they brood stock?

Fly Waters Edge - Kevin said...

Nice Post
I hope to make it to the Driftless reigon this Augustfor the first time.

Will Jordan said...

Very nice, Josh. Glad you had the opportunity to reconnect.

BP said...

Me thinks the two of us should take a trip to the Driftless while runoff is still raging.

Josh Bergan said...

Seriously. Maybe next runoff.