Paint Creek Valley

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The opening of Paint Creek Valley adds 2.1 additional miles of publicly accessible trout water in Iowa. The property was purchased by the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation a decade after the project was initially pursued, and now has been transferred to the Iowa DNR. It totals 368 acres of land in Allamakee County, just southeast of the town of Waterville along White Pine Rd and adjacent to the Yellow River State Forest.

Many conservation groups were involved in funding the project, including Trout Unlimited North Bear. I’m pumped to get out and explore this new stretch. I’ve fished upstream, and immediately downstream with success. There are some deep pools that likely hold big fish in those areas, and I imagine this new portion between them is similar.

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Fish Local

Here’s a cool little project I helped out with. Locally Grown Clothing Company is making a shirt to benefit Trout Unlimited’s Driftless Area Restoration Effort (TUDARE).  They’re American Apparel blanks, made in USA.


Order on our online shop and $12 from the sale will go to TUDARE.

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Woolly Bugger IPA

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Trout Unlimited North Bear Chapter (TUNB) is teaming up with Madhouse Brewing in Des Moines, IA to make a limited edition beer called Woolly Bugger Citra Session IPA. A portion of profits will go to TUNB to further their coldwater conservation efforts in the region. The beer will be released May 29th at Madhouse’s brewing facility in Des Moines. All are invited to attend the event. More information on the Facebook event page:

Trout Unlimited Art Show

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As the Vice President of the North Bear Chapter of Trout Unlimited, I’d like to invite you to our annual fundraiser this Saturday at Jasper Winery in Des Moines from 6:30-8:30PM.

We’ll have 25-30 pieces of fishing and outdoor related art on display. We’re giving away a bamboo fly rod as a door prize again. Silent and live auctions, hors d’oeuvres, and cash bar. Tickets are $25. Send us a message if you’d like a ticket, but can’t make the event. Last year we had 100 people attend, and raised $5000. That money went toward purchasing a permanent public easement at Patterson Creek, and new water adjacent to Yellow River State Forest. Help us make our goal of 150 people and $10,000 this year.

Facebook Event Page

Confirmed artists: Badaxedesign, justinsalemmeyer, MetalScapes by S.W. Huffman, Josh Udesen – Tightline Studio, Ron Dinsdale, Bill Eursland, and Tom Murphy.

Auction vendors:
Sage, Outcast, Rep Your Water, Filson, Driftless on the Fly, and more!

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Winter Scouting and Fishing

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Winter trout fishing in Iowa is a unique experience. While Iowa trout streams typically aren’t overcrowded, they’re even less pressured when the mercury falls and deer season begins. I enjoy the quiet and the beauty of fishing this time of year. With this in mind, I made a recent trek to the NE corner of the state.

Iowa has a system of streams called “put and grow.” These special streams are on private land. They have been stocked with fingerling trout. Some receive yearly stockings, but I’m under the impression that some rely solely on natural reproduction. I caught wind of one such stream, and decided to give it a shot. Through lots of research I was able to track down several landowners to obtain permission to fish, though there were questions as to which sections actually held trout. It ended up being a gorgeous stream with decent sized water. I saw several fish, but didn’t stay long as there were deer hunters close by. Can’t wait to spend some more time here!

Most of this trip was spent fishing streams right along the Mississippi. The trout certainly were less active, but I found a few that were hungry. Dragging a small midge along the bottom of deep pools was the most productive tactic. The next method was slowly stripping or dead drifting a black woolly bugger. Fish were concentrated in the deepest pools.

It was fun to check out some new streams that I hadn’t seen before, and new portions of streams I had fished. With unseasonably warm temperatures it was a great time to be outside and enjoy the year round trout fishing that Iowa has to offer.

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