Waterloo Creek


Waterloo Creek is my trout fishing “home water.” There are streams closer, but the four hour drive is worth it to me for the opportunity to catch wild brown trout. I made the drive north of Waukon with a friend last Monday evening after work. In order to get the most out of the short trip we went night fishing. Fishing after dark is a completely different experience. I freaked out on my fishing buddy when I hooked a 14 inch fish. It was embarrassing when I put the fish in the net to find out it was nowhere near the 18 inches I had imagined.

After four hours of sleep Monday night, Dave and I rolled out of bed in The Sportsmen Motel at 6 AM. A breakfast of ham and cheese omelets, hash browns, toast, and crappy coffee got things going. After a late night and a full day ahead of us it hit the spot. Most of the morning was spent throwing streamers and buggers on the catch and release section. Dead drifting through deeper holes produced the best results, though I had a few missed fish stripping them along the bank. In the afternoon I switched to a two nymph rig, and continued with it for the remainder of the day. I picked up several fish in shallow riffles, then started hitting the bigger pools with a copper john and beaded psycho nymph 3.5′ under an indicator.

In the evening we fished a spot near the MN border. It’s very clear water up there, and the bright sun overhead made it tough conditions. I switched out the psycho nymph for a scud tied to 6x fluorocarbon tippet, and it worked as I netted a rainbow, brook, and brown within 10 minutes of each other.

Naturally reproducing trout are rare in Iowa, but both brown and brook trout reproduce in Waterloo Creek. For this reason, I catch and release all browns and brooks caught from the stream, and encourage you to do the same.

Brown Trout caught after dark in Iowa.

Brown Trout caught on Waterloo Creek in the Driftless Area of northeast Iowa.

Brown trout caught on a streamer at night in Iowa.

Brown Trout caught on a streamer tied by Rich Strolis of Catching Shadows

Wild brown trout caught on Waterloo Creek in northeast Iowa.

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