Fish a day fish a week just fish

Trout Fishing

Trout Fishing


Trout fishing is for the $1000.00 fly rod or the $10.00 Zebco with a Hills Brother's coffee can full of nightcrawlers. The technique is up to you, the information needed to be successful is listed below. The links will allow you to gather as much information as possible in order to have a successful outing.


Stocking Information

Trout stream Information

Fishing Information

Iowa Fishing Photo's

Winneshiek County Stocking Info

N.E. IA Trout Information

Iowa DNR Fishing Page

Photo-Look or submit


The Iowa Driftless Chapter of Trout Unlimited is located in Decorah, Iowa. "Driftless" refers to the unglaciated region of Northeast Iowa, Southeast Minnesota, and Southwest Wisconsin. These special areas feature Karst topography. Some unique characteristics of this driftless area are disappearing streams (streams that disappear into the ground), sinkholes, springs, and algific slopes. All of these features provide us with our wonderful trout streams. This system is fragile and one that can easily be altered by human impact. See our Stewardship link for methods you can follow to help provide sustainability of our scenic area.

2008 Trout Stocking Schedule:  Decorah, Elkader, Manchester

Trout Stream Management Information

Fisheries Biologist Bill Kalishek provided the following data regarding Iowa Trout Streams.  


Iowa Trout Stream Basics


  • Iowa has 112 designated coldwater trout streams.
  • Those streams hosted an estimated 372,000 fishing trips during 2001.
  • The annual estimated economic impact is $16 Million.
  • Due to available cold spring water, trout are geographically restricted to ten counties in northeast Iowa.



Iowa’s Changing Trout Streams


  • The water quality of Iowa’s trout streams has greatly improved in recent years.
  • In 1980, only 5 streams supported trout populations solely from natural spawning.
  • By 2006, 33 streams supported trout populations solely from natural spawning.
  • The voluntary placement of conservation practices in the watersheds of trout streams by private landowners has been the biggest factor influencing this change.
  • Conservation practices targeting stream back erosion have also been successful in reducing sediment in trout streams.
  • Reduced sediment load in trout streams results in more places for trout to spawn and more aquatic insects for trout to eat.
  • Watershed and in-stream practices are funded by a variety of agencies, including Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources, Iowa Dept. of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, The Environmental Protection Agency, and private organizations such as Trout Unlimited and the Hawkeye Fly Fishing Association.




Trout Guide/Online Info

You can reach those lesser-known streams with a copy of Iowa’s Trout Guide in your fishing vest. It gives locations of all trout streams, as well rules for fishing private property, tips for catching trout, artificial lure-only streams, catch-and-release stretches or other special regulations and other information. The Trout Guide is being updated and reprinted this year. Guides are available at DNR locations in northeast Iowa, as well as retail fishing outlets in or near the area, too. Most of the trout information, including a Manchester stocking schedule are also available on line at, click on Fishing, then Trout Stocking.





Bank Hide Construction in a Nutshell

It's really kind of simple, get a lot of volunteers, a pile of rough sawn oak from the state saw mill at Yellow River Forest (picture above), a generator, couple of drills, some expensive screws and the guidance of Bill Kalishek and you can make a Bank Hide.  Bank hides form habitat that is covered overhead by rock and earth but open in the front for trout to slide in and out of at their leisure.  You can not see the hide when the work is complete.  You know they are present when rock is placed down to the waters edge and into the water on a bank that has been sloped to perfection.  When you stand at edge of the stream you are standing on top of rock, on top of wood, on top of water.  Kind of cool.  The finished bank hide and a completely installed and revegitated stretch of water are shown in the pictures below.  The finished bank hide is upside down and you are looking at the front edge where trout can move into and out of on a regular basis.