A Trip up North With Jesse

Buck Creek 2
Lower Buck Creek – Garnavillo, Iowa

Hello and welcome to the blog!  I got back a little early from a trip that went much differently than planned…but was still a lot of fun!

On Monday, kitty Jesse and I took off in the van in order to do some trout fishing and camping.  It did not go so well – at least not at first.

South Cedar
South Cedar Creek, west of Garnavillo, Iowa
Our first stop was at South Cedar, a tiny trout stream in Clayton County.  I’d never fished here before but sure liked the layout of the stream. Sadly, nothing would bite.  The second destination was nearby Lower Buck Creek, just east of Garnavillo (pictured at the top).  Again, there were no bites… and not even the tire tracks of a stocking truck in recent history.  Jesse was happy though.  He got to play at both streams and loved the terrain.
Our next stop was at the trout hatchery upstream from Elkader.  I watched Gary stock the Turkey River with fish but the water flow was very high and I was lucky to catch just one brook trout.  The fishing was becoming frustrating.
After having lunch at a local bar and grill, I decided to head back toward Upper Buck Creek.  Just before arriving, a DNR truck was spotted leaving the area.  Score!  Buck is one of the creeks that is occasionally stocked but on an unannounced basis. Within an hour, I’d caught the other four of the Monday possession limit.  They were nice ones!
Jesse Camping
Jesse sleeping on the bed in the van after playing at 4 parks in one day.
A bit later Jesse and I visited yet another familiar stream, Bloody Run creek.  I didn’t do any fishing but filleted the fish already caught using water from the park’s well.  Jesse rolled around in the gravel dust until his fur was caked with dirt a.k.a “dust bathing”.  A day after he does this, his fur becomes softer as oils are released.
Later we headed over to Cabella’s on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River.  I had needed some trout bait.  While there, I’d thought about buying some forceps (for removing hooks) but was too cheap to spend the money.  This trip I got tired of pulling hooks out of fish only to embed them in my fingers!
Camping Dinner2
Strip steak and corn/ asparagus blended soup
Monday night’s dinner was simple.  I was too tired to cook anything fancy but did want to pass along this tip which worked very well.  A day before cooking a steak, squeeze the juice of a lemon over the meat and put it in a bag.  The acid of the lemon tenderizes the steak and the results are amazingly tender and flavorful.  I think it is also healthier than using M.S.G. or other chemicals!
The campground of choice was Pike’s Peak, just a dozen or so miles from the trout stream.  At this time of the year it is still $11 (half price for off season).  Jesse and I were both pooped out (poop being the operative word) and we went to bed around 7:00 PM.  The kitty had crapped on the comforter so the blanket ended up getting shoved under the bed… and is currently in the washing machine at home.
Pikes Peak
6:00 AM — Time to go fishing!


In the morning, we went to back to lower Buck Creek (first picture) and grabbed five more beautiful fish.   Someone had fished my favorite hole the night before and as fate would have it, dropped a nearly new pair of forceps!  They are the good ones like you see at Bass Pro or Cabella’s.  What a lucky find considering I’d wanted a pair the day before and did not want to spend the money!
Jesse played to his heart’s content.  As I held the fish stringer in front of him, he sniffed the trout and licked his lips.  He’s going to have a treat on Wednesday as some are cooked.
Taste the Rainbow
Sorry but I don’t think of Skittles candy when someone says “Taste the Rainbow!”
Though fun, it was a crazy and short trip.  We never got in a second day of camping.  Little went as planned – even the meals.  (Breakfast was cold steak and Oreos)  I never got to Decorah… or even out of Clayton County.  But a lot of spontaneous fun was had.  Jesse had a blast and that made it more enjoyable for me. There’s always a next time!  The lesson learned was not to schedule things too closely… or very much at all!
What’s coming up?  In early May my sister is visiting and we’re going to visit Decorah and do some sight seeing and fishing, of course!  Between now and then there might be a little unplanned camping here and there.
Take care and thanks for dropping in.  Happy and safe travels!
Brad, Jesse James, and Jennifer
Jones County, Iowa


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