There is something peaceful about being on an Iowa lake.
My dad is a skilled fisherman. He has participated in catfishing tournaments all over the state of Iowa and in bordering states. I, on the other hand, have no such skill, but I grabbed my poles and headed out with him one weekend to West Lake in Osceola, Iowa.
We are from that area so it didn’t take long to get there and Dad was set up with his poles right away. He had already taken several casts before I even looked up from my phone. I had come to terms with the fact that I was probably not going to catch any fish that night, so I instead tried to catch some photos of the beautiful sunset over the tree-lined lake. The way the lights reflected off of the still water looked like something out of a picture book.
Since all of the poles were in the water, I took the time to explore. I headed down to our old fishing spot. A few years ago, our spot by the bridge was all dried up, but on this night the water was at perfect height. I could see boat lights out on the water. The area was so still you could hear the frogs jumping in the still pool below. You couldn’t even hear the hustle and bustle from Lakeside Hotel Casino, which floated on the water nearby.
The docs were filled with fishermen sharing stories (including my father) and people were pulling boats in and out of the paved boat ramp. It was in that moment walking back up to the doc that I realized that not all Iowa lakes are big and bustling with swimmers and speed boats. There was nobody on water skis, no people jogging around on trails, only the men and the fish, well and me of course, but all completely content.
We didn’t catch a single fish that night-- only one very large snapping turtle, but it was an experience on the lake I will never forget. I won’t forget seeing a community of fishermen come together on a lake they have been coming to for years to test their luck, and I won’t forget the perfect summer night that my hometown and a lake I have come to know and love.
To find a fishing spot like ours or one that is similar, visit TravelIowa.com