Fall Trout Trip to NE Iowa


Spotted in Guttenberg, Iowa on the way north…  I’ve enjoyed Beer Nuts but never the other…


Hello and welcome to the blog.  It’s been a while since I’d been trout fishing due to very hot weather this summer.. followed by lots of rain during the last month or so.  Now the weather is getting colder rapidly and they are saying the “s word” (snow) for Thursday.  This weekend was the perfect time to go.  Both kitties stayed home this trip due to the longer mileage and duration.


Pine and maple trees… The yellows are gorgeous and the pine scent is intoxicating.


Before telling about the trip, here’s something cool.  Right in the midst of the Monday lunch rush at work, a young man ordered a $2.13 iced coffee beverage.  He paid with a $20 bill and told me to keep the change.  I thought he meant just the coins but when I offered him the bills he told me to keep it all!  That $17.87 tip made my day!  The kind young guy may have been a blog reader or just a random nice person but the result was the same.  I told him of the upcoming fishing trip and how much enjoyment will be had.   🙂


A time of contrasts. Heavy rains brought green grass. Cold fall weather makes the leaves drop.


I left on Friday afternoon right after work, opting to camp at Pike’s Peak State Park, fish Saturday, and repeat.  To my surprise the campground was nearly full, this being the last weekend before the water would be shut off for the season.  The rate was just $11 and I signed up for a two night stay.



Normally I’m not a fan of busy campgrounds but Pike’s Peak was pretty quiet overall.  There was only one loud group – right behind me, of course!  No biggie.  The sleep was peaceful and for $11 / night who could ask for anything more?



Little Paint Creek, Yellow River Forest. (Allamakee County, Iowa)


Saturday morning I headed 20 minutes further north to the Yellow River Forest and Little Paint Creek.  I’ve fished there many times in the last couple of decades, usually visiting the primitive “walk in” fishing area which extends far beyond the parking lot.  Recently that portion was severely damaged by torrential floods.  After walking back in there for almost a mile, it looked like most of the fishing holes (and paths) were torn up pretty badly.  Even the beaver dam was destroyed.  The places I so treasured for a retreat are all but gone.  Nature happens though.  Animals adapt and do it without complaining.  The stream still gurgled and sparkled; hoof marks indicated deer had been enjoying the clear water.


Fog over the stream (near the top of the picture)


After hiking back to the van, I decided to try a “drive-up” portion of the creek just a couple few hundred feet away from where the Express Van was parked by the walk in area.  Usually I don’t have much luck there because people drive up to the hole and fish it out.  As it turns out, the action was frantic and in about 20 minutes there were five fat rainbows on the stringer.


I wish old tomcat Jesse James was still around.  He used to share a catch like this with Daddy!


After fishing, I crossed over into Wisconsin to run a couple errands including stocking up on bait and liquor shots.   🙂  The Halloween house in the picture was pretty cool.  Note the cat eyes in the front top windows.


Prairie DuChien, Wisconsin


By this time I was not feeling well, perhaps from being outside in the cold for too long and cleaning the fish in ice cold water.  The bones were a little chilled.  After a long, hot nap, it was time to cook up some of the catch.


Fresh is good!  These two filling fillets came from just ONE trout!   🙂


Supper was prepared with the wok again, using it to deep fry the trout in beer batter.  Underneath the fish are curly fries.  That spicy catsup is Wal-Mart brand and contains a bit of red jalapeno;  I love the stuff.  The fresh fish sure hit the spot!  Sometimes simple tastes the best!  Leave it to Sis… I sent her this pic and she spotted the caramel apple with sprinkles in the background.  Unhealthy treats taste the best!

Signs at Bloody Run Park. The top left looks okay – it’s been there forever. The bottom-right [yellow] sign advises no trespassing for any reason…

It was cool in the valley by Sunday morning – about 28 degrees.  The crisp air hit the lungs and felt great!  I stopped by another familiar trout stream – Bloody Run Creek – and saw the signs depicted in the photo above.  I’ve fished this portion of the creek for 20+ years.  Uncertain whether or not it was considered trespassing, I quickly pulled in a limit of trout and got the heck out of there… I’m waiting to hear back from the DNR about if the landowner will still permit fishing.  It used to be a favorite place to go.  Time will tell.


Old “Pumpkin Butt” in Anamosa, Iowa.


Upon returning to town, old “Pumpkin Butt” was out for Halloween.  It was a fun little trip with beautiful things to see and smell (the pine!) and tasty food to enjoy.  Even in the event of a disaster like the severe flooding, there is still beauty outdoors and I learned a lesson from nature.  Even in adversity, life goes on!

Take care and thanks for visiting today.  Happy Halloween!  Stay safe!

Brad and Jenny and Mister Duke
Jones County, Iowa


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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"

6 Responses to Fall Trout Trip to NE Iowa

  1. Jo Harmon says:

    Great trip, look at those great fish. Glad you got to go before the snow arrives. The houses that are decorated look like fun for the trick or treaters.
    I also spied the apple shame shame. But the meal looks quite good.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo! We did get some snow today – about 3 inches. I’m already tired of it. LOL… But the cold snap has really helped the asthma get better.. We had to kill off the mold. I hope it’s nice down that way. 🙂

  2. my_vantasy says:

    That beer nuts/deer nuts sign is hilarious! And that big tipper at your job inspires me to go out and do the same. Problem is, I always pay with my card. I guess it’s time to bless someone behind me in a drive thru. Your beer battered fish sounds and looks good. I don’t miss beef, chicken or pork, but sometimes I do miss not eating fish. Sunday night used to be pan seared tilapia and I made your Tasty Smoked Catfish recipe every other week. I hear flexitarian a lot, so maybe I could indulge in fish occasionally. Good luck with your first snow. We have not heard that word yet, thank goodness!

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi! We do have people bless others in the drive-thru lane quite often at the fast food place where I work. If I catch the retired Baptist preacher, I’ll occasionally pay for his. 🙂 One of our bosses at work is a pescatarian (vegetarian that eats fish). I took him some fried trout fillets this noon and he really liked them. When the boss told me he’s a pescatarian, I told him “I’m a Baptist”. 🙂 🙂 I like the comment about being a flexitarian. It’s surely good for you. I just eat everything. 🙂 Take good care! — VT

  3. 混球网 says:


    • VanTrekker says:

      Translates to:
      The weather is getting colder and colder, and it’s good to hide the blog at home!

      Very true! I still like to get fresh air in all seasons. 🙂