A few weeks ago, we had a chance to take a trip with some friends to a couple of wonderful streams in NE Iowa. One member of the party was a new fly fisherwoman who was ready to jump into it. We were all excited and It was a beautiful day for a trip as we left town, bound for the streams. Along the way we passed corn fields that were starting to show harvest colors, quiet farmyards, and hog lots. Before arriving at the stream, we traveled through small towns where the locals were having their coffee outside. I got to thinking- when a visitor arrives, sometimes they get exactly what they think they are going to see- quintessential (perhaps stereotypical) Iowa. And yet, I think one of the things that’s wonderful about fishing the driftless region: it’s not what you’d typically expect for a fly fishing destination with opportunities to catch incredible fish.
My thoughts go back to a guide trip this summer with Bill and Brendan. Bill remarked several times as to how “quiet, beautiful, and peaceful” fishing was in Iowa. Perhaps lost in the pursuit of fish or maybe just ignorance, I realized that I sometimes take it for granted. Iowa can be a place to fish, get lost, and just relax. No pressures, just a great walk through the woods or the grasses, casting a rod.
We had a great day on the stream. We fished, laughed, and had a great time. On the way back, we walked through a small herd of cattle who were grazing near the bank. A memorable day fishing in the driftless.