Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Waterloo Creek Iowa
Waterloo Creek is a beautiful spring fed, trout stream
that flows through both wooded areas and open prairie. it
has a good population of wild brown trout. Some of
the brown trout are very large, especially for such a small
stream. It is part of the Driftless Region of the mid-west. It
is just short of ten miles long and a tributary of the Upper
Iowa River. The stream begins in Minnesota where it's
called Bee Creek. The name changes to Waterloo Creek
when it crosses into the state of Iowa.

Driftless Region:
The Driftless region of the mid-west consist of an area of
the northeast corner of Iowa, the southwest corner of
Wisconsin, and the southeast corner of Minnesota. The
region has a peculiar type of terrain that's the result
being by- passed by the last continental glacier. The
area's limestone ridges were not ground into boulders
and gravel that geologists once called glacial "drift".
Within the Driftless area, there are hundreds of springs
with clear, cold water that are capable of supporting a
diverse aquatic food chain necessary to sustain native
brook trout and wild brown trout.

Probably the best thing going for Waterloo Creek is its
"catch and release" section. These regulations will help
insure it remains a good trout stream. A substantial
amount of restoration work has been done on the creek.
Invasive non-native plants have been removed and
replaced by native plants, and the original meandering of
its spring-fed brooks that feed the creek have been
reestablished. Although it is still recovering from heavy
farming, it is considered one of the best trout streams in

The uppermost part of Waterloo Creek runs along
Waterloo Creek Road upstream of Dorchester. It is much
smaller than middle and lower sections of the creek. It is
narrow with very clear water. There are some well
marked public access points along the road although
some of it runs through private property. This part of the
stream is stocked.

From Dorchester downstream, most of the stream can be
accessed from highway #76. This section isn't stocked
and has some very nice size wild brown trout. It is wider,
more open and easier to fish that the upper part of the

Below the highway #76 bridge downstream to near its
confluence with the Upper Iowa River, a distance of
about two miles, the stream is managed under "catch
and release", artificial flies/lures only regulations. There
is a lot more structure, deeper pools, undercut banks
and more holding places for the wild brown trout in this
section. The special regulations section ends at the
intersection of A-26 and highway #76.

Spring is a good time to fish the creek due to numerous
aquatic insect hatches.
Fly fishing Waterloo Creek gets tougher during the hot
summer months but the water stays cool enough for the
trout to survive and they can still be caught.
Fall is an excellent time for fly fishing Waterloo Creek.
As long as you can get around on the streams and are
willing to brave the cold weather, you can catch trout
throughout the winter months. The water comes out of
the ground at a relatively constant temperature.

Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and Flies
Type of Stream
Spring Creek

Brown Trout (Wild and stocked)
Brook Trout (Native and stocked)
Rainbow Trout (Wild and stocked)

Small, almost 10 miles long

Northeaster Iowa

Nearest Towns

Open year-round

Good with ample public and some
private sections

Non-Resident License
State of Iowa

National Weather Service Link

Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and Flies
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