New Fall Pictures

1_ Spook Cave CampgroundGood evening and welcome to the blog!  Last week’s fishing trip left me a bit disappointed in terms of scenery.  The leaves had not yet reached their peak beauty.  As of today, they still have not reached full color but the forecast is for a less vivid transition this fall.

The picture you see is Spook Cave Campground near Marquette, Iowa.  Spook Cave has a stream passing through it and emptying into Bloody Run Creek – a favorite trout stream where I fish in various segments.  The area is hilly, scenic, and very tranquil.  The campground you see at the left is a private facility and very well maintained… and well out of my price range!

For some reason, I didn’t want to fish at Bloody Run today.  Sometimes you need a change of pace.   Even with fishing, a person can get in a rut!


3_One of the Smaller OnesNear Pikes Peak State Park (last week’s destination) is the Sny Magill trout stream.  Sny Magill is a very slow running creek in many places as it gently meanders downhill and empties into the Mississippi.  The waters are stocked by the Elkader hatchery and Sny Magill is one of the most popular trout streams in Iowa.

Sny Magill was named after a Scotsman, Donald Magill, who was an Indian trader.  In 1814 Magill built a trading house near the Mississippi and carried on commerce with the Sac and Fox native Americans.  French visitors called this channel or slough by the name “Chinaille Magill” (I’m guessing it sounded like “Shi-nigh”) and later Spaniards called it “Sny”.  To this day the stream retains the name “Sny Magill.”

4_Clayton County

Near Clayton, Iowa just west of the Mississippi River

I’ve only fished in this area a few times in the last couple of years.  Due to its popularity and handicap access, the stream sees a large number of anglers – many of them coming in groups from neighboring Illinois.  With three or four guys slapping metal “spinners” into fishing holes, the trout action comes to a halt.  But like most streams, there are places that are often better than others and if a person is willing to walk a ways, there are plenty of aggressive, hungry fish.

It also helps to fish during the week while most are in school or working.  😀

Sadly, the drone videos that were made today did not come out well.  The winds were over 20 MPH and it was difficult to record anything without risking losing the quadcopter in a cornfield. There’s always next time.  The pictures you see today were taken with the manual camera on what was a pretty grey day.  Otherwise, the photos would have been more vivid.  Still, it was a fun outing and the angling action was pretty darned fun.

Before closing, let me share a picture of last night’s little excursion to nearby Wapsipinicon State Park – just two miles from home.   Using the little propane cooking stove, I made a video of how to cook fried pears – a wonderful camping dessert.  Please check it out.  Just click the pic or HERE. More videos will be coming along soon.

For now, take care and enjoy the autumn season.  Happy and safe travels!

Brad, Jesse James, and Jennifer
Jones County, Iowa

About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"
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2 Responses to New Fall Pictures

  1. Jo says:

    Thanks for sharing the Fall leaves and the wonderful video

    • VanTrekker says:

      Thanks! I’m already planning to do a short little trip early next week and make another cooking video of an Iowa favorite… The weather has been great!