Enjoy the spectacular colors and cool weather this fall fishing in northeast Iowa’s hundreds of miles of trout streams. From easily accessible streams in state or county parks, to those found in Iowa’s most wild and remote natural spaces, there are plenty of places to catch rainbow, brown and brook trout.
Northeast Iowa draws thousands of anglers from across Iowa to its coldwater streams and excellent trout fishing.
“It’s a busy place this time of year,” said Mike Steuck, Iowa DNR fisheries supervisor for interior streams. “Anglers can test their skills with lots of wild fish in these streams.”
View some of the best fall colors in the narrow valley of Little Paint, west of Harpers Ferry. Look for trout behind larger boulders and under rock ledges. Let your lure or bait drift around the boulders and just in front of the ledges.
Catch stream-reared brown trout up to 16 inches and 10- to 12-inch stocked rainbow trout in the Maquoketa River. Miles of public access spots line the river in Clayton and Delaware counties. Find rainbow trout in pools and runs while brown trout will be near wood habitat.
The best chance to catch all three trout species in one trip is at Spring Branch Creek, southeast of Manchester. There is great public access to more than 1.5 miles of coldwater stream.
Learn more about Iowa’s trout streams, including maps and amenities, and tips and tricks to catch trout on the Iowa DNR’s website at www.iowadnr.gov/trout.