Trout Fishing, Bear Creeks, NE Iowa


It was a picture perfect day as I made my way up to NE Iowa to do some trout fishing for a few days. The weather greeted my with some morning rain as well as fog and cool temps. By the time I had arrived at my first destination the rain had all but subsided and the fog was beginning to lift. The high temp for the day was to be in the lower 70’s. I pulled into the parking lot at Manchester fish hatchery and took a peak at the Spring Brook creek feet away. Crystal clear water, and some very nice, but wary trout swimming around. I spent several hours there in the area, primarily fishing with a tan bead head emerger pattern. I had quite a few hungry trout willing to take my offering. The brown trout were by far the hungriest that first day. The colors were great and I managed to land a very nice 14 inch brown trout. What a blast he was on my 7 ft 4W rod.

Spent the night in Elkader Iowa…and the following morning made my way up to Highlandville, which is about twenty five min or so from Decatur. What a fantastic drive into this area and then down into the valley that is the home to Highlandville. The south bear creek runs right through this little town and is frequented by many of the campers and residents of the area. I spoke with a local store owner as well as my host for the next two nights, both suggesting the north bear to start off. I also enjoyed checking several of the pictures of some very nice fish that were caught on the north bear…many of which were released. Made my way up to the first spot I decided to fish on the north bear and found a nice open meadow, easy stream access and nothing but me and the fish. Tied on my trusty bead head emerger and started probing the stream for active and hungry fish. Wasn’t too long before I started hooking fish.

I found a nice part of the stream that had some depth and running water to it.. I was able to cast my fly up into the current and follow it down with my strike indicator. There were several hookups followed by some very quick releases..LOL.. If you know what I mean..You could quickly tell when you had a wild trout on your line…wow what a show they would put on. I wandered up to the next pool.. made several casts and again had success. Most of the trout I caught in that area were brown trout, all were taken on the bead head emerger. I was suprised at the fact that I had two flies tied on, but only one was being hit consistently. I did hook a few stocker trout, and one actually hit the red emerger that I had tied on first.

The following morning I was greeted by low hanging fog. It was kinda neat to wander out into the woods so early in the foggy morning. Again I had the stream all to myself, and as I made my way to my first stop for the day I heard only birds, and nature all around me. I stopped at a place recommended by my host, two miles up stream on the south bear creek. I found some very nice water there and some very cooperative fish. Wasn’t long and once again I was battling some very feisty fish. I remember at one point setting the hook on a very nice bow. Once he knew he was hooked…game over. I had to lift my rod as far up as I could and he shot down stream like a bullet, fortunately for me I managed to keep my leader and my bead head. All in all it was a great fishing trip. The weather was great, the scenery breathtaking, and the people very hospitable. I would recommend a trip up to NE Iowa to anyone needing a breath of fresh air. Till next time…Tight Lines All!!


I'm an avid fisherman with a new boat, so will be out on the lake ALOT this year. I also love to flyfish, cold and warm water species. This year I tried ice fishing for the first time,I'm hooked. Tight Full Bio ›


  1. great report… I to was on bear creek and french, and pine, i love the pre-spawn colors on the browns this time of year!!!!! I didn’t bring a camera today, but geez…. these trout are totaly on on their early fall feed bag… goin again tomorrow, hope I can match your report!!!!

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