The Rev T. and I were very excited to try this stream as a part of our fall 2016 trout trip to Decorah, as Waterloo Creek gets a lot of ink in the world of Iowa trout fishing. First, it’s important to understand this is a long stream with many different accesses. The Allamakee Country Trout Guide gives a very detailed map and describes the various sections. We arrived in the Decorah area shortly after record flooding hit the area streams. Our logic was that the further upstream we could go, the clearer the water we would find and the better the fishing.
We followed the directions on the trout guide and also google maps, which took us across the border up into Minnesota. We followed Waterloo Creek Road south as it meandered along the stream, looking for a good access point. We decided to stop at the bridge over Bee Road, as areas upstream from that looked either very muddy or overgrown. This was pretty, but there seemed to be few fish here. There were also a lot of people here- it almost appeared to be a commercial group or bachelor party or something- lots of bro’s with matching clothes. We pressed downstream.
Our next stop was where Highway 76 meets “Farm Drive” (I don’t know if that’s actually the name of the road, or that’s just how it’s written). This part of the stream was very different from upstream – much flatter topography, and the stream itself was not nearly as pretty (possibly because this stretch seemed to take severe damage from the floods). The surrounding scenery was still quite nice, however. More importantly, there were fish here- big, and lots of them. As per usual, T rapidly outfished me, catching 4-5 good browns right away. The stream gets large as it goes under Highway 76, looking more like a river. Having caught a number of fish, and being hungry, we headed back to Decorah without checking further accesses. Side note: I don’t think the “Knotty Pine Tavern / Wings” place noted on the trout guide in Dorchester is really a thing. The buildings we saw there appeared more abandoned than anything.
I would visit Waterloo Creek again to fish, though preferably not after a flood. The trout guide says it has the highest density of trout for any stream in Iowa, and that alone makes it worth a look. This might be a stream that deserves a whole day of careful exploration. Bring a lunch, and your camera.
-September 24, 2016
Near Bee Road
|Park or Wildlife Area:||Waterloo Creek WMA and various private land accesses|
|Access:||Various accesses from county roads. Stream begins in Minnesota.|
|Pros:||Nice scenery, long stream with multiple accesses, fun drive along small villages, lots of room to fly fish.|
|Cons:||Quite far north, bit of a drive from Decorah. Did seem to be a lot of people fishing here.|
|Additional Information:||Allamakee Country Trout Guide: http://www.lansingiowa.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/AC_Trout_Fishing_Guide-1.pdf|
Ratings: (out of 10)
|Fish Quantity:||6 (but see report above, may have been affected by flooding)|
|Water Clarity:||NA (high and flooded when we visited)|
Bridge at Bee Road
Trying out the bamboo fly rod and antique reel