Fly Fishing Adventures

Epic Afternoon on Waterloo Creek

Epic Afternoon on Waterloo Creek


Waterloo Creek, located just outside of Dorchester, IA is one of the most surprising gems in the Iowa Driftless region.  There are several miles of fishable waters.  There is great access due to several parking areas with easy walking to the stream.  Landowners are kind to share the access to the creek, which makes this one of my favorite spots.  I took the afternoon off on a Wednesday, and stayed in Dorchester at a Motel called Sportsman’s.  You can book this via AirBNB.  It’s absolutely perfect for the angler that just wants a place to rest before heading back out to the river.  I made it to Waterloo Creek around 2:00 and began rigging up El Jefe.  I was excited to fish our 4 weight set up.  I’ve fished the 5/6 weight several times, fished the 7/8 weight several times recently for smallmouth bass, now was the time to fish a perfect set up for The Driftless Region.  



I wasn’t sure what the condition of the water would be given many recent storms across the state.  The water appeared to be clear, but would oddly turn cloudy as my fishing day continued.  I started out tossing a streamer, a size 10 olive bead head woolly bugger.  I had several browns swipe at the fly, but didn’t quite inhale it.  I decided to start nymphing, and that turned out to produce a few fish.  As I hiked up the river, stalking small pools, I noticed that Waterloo Creek was running low.  Very low in spots actually.  Some of my favorite runs where virtually unfishable.  



After trying my luck for around three quarters of a mile on what is normally my favorite stretch of the creek, I decided to head back to the Jeep for a beverage and a little rest from the heat of the day.  I did have to compete for water with the locals, which had me out numbered.  I quickly conceeded the unproductive section of the river and head back.  



I landed around six trout on the first part of my adventure, not as many as past trips, but definitely not skunked.  Unfortunitly, my GoPro battery had died, and the future of my YouTube video was dead.  Looks like I took a ton of video filming what felt like epic casts and presentations, turns out I was wrong.  It was now after 5pm, and I wanted to go explore the other direction of Waterloo Creek a bit, you never know right?

I headed back down to Waterloo Creek, armed with El Jefe, and immediately began to see rising trout.  Was it time for a dry and dropper presentation, my favorite presentation, absolutely.  I killed my nymphing rig, and retied everything.  I started with a size 14 stimulator up top and a red zebra midge below.  The stimulator wasn’t cutting it after several casts, and I swapped out to a size 14 parachute adams, and kept the red zebra midge below.  This was the ticket.  







From that moment on, fishing was on fire.  I’m not sure I’ve ever caught a brown, a rainbow, and a brook trout in the same day all on a dry fly, but now I have.  Fish were hitting the dry fly 10 to 1 vs the dropper.  Simply amazing and what a blast.  All in all, 25-30 fish were landed that evening, all released.  Until next time my friends, tight lines.





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