Note: To read another entry about Brushy Creek in 2012, click here.
I have been wanting to explore Brushy Creek Recreation Area for some time now, but since hubby works full-time six days a week with only Sundays off, it just hasn’t happened. So this past weekend since it was forecasted beautiful fall weather, we finally said “Screw it, let’s just go a night and see what we think!” So when it was all said and done, of course, what we thought was we did not have enough time!
Sat. night we got there around 6:45 pm and by the time we got the tent set up, beds made, and a fire laid in the grate for when we got back, we had about a half hour to fish so we did not put the boat in and just went to the fishing pier area. This is one of the few places in Iowa that allow campers to bring horses and camp with them. However, since we don’t have any, we stayed at the non-equestrian campground. As you can see, the campground itself is very nice, roomy and flat, but there are not a lot of trees. Also, all sites have at least electricity whether you want it or not.
From that campground it is a short walk to the most incredible beach. I did not get a chance to go swimming but managed to take a picture of it while out on the lake. It really has a big area of sand.
Now, the first time you see Brushy Creek Lake you realize how it got its name because there are just the top stumps of many many trees sticking out of the lake everywhere you look. You will see what I mean in many of the photos. At the fishing pier there are signs explaining how this used to be a valley and it was flooded to create this watershed lake. Also, this is a fishing lake so it is a no-wake lake keeping away the skiers and jet skis. However, someone needs to explain to all those fancy fishing boats what no wake means because basically they think if they go slower than full out that their wakes don’t matter.
The temperatures Sat. were very hot when we got there, in the 80s. However, when the sun set, it got cold fast. I was very glad I had the fire all waiting for us when we got back and took one match to get it going. Rock caught all small fish fishing on the rocks so there were no fish to clean, but we were looking forward to the next day out on the boat. The mosquitos were horrible on the fishing pier so bring bug spray if you plan to be around the lake at night. What gorgeous views, though, as we fished!
When we left the lake and came up onto the prairie portion, I had to make hubby stop so I could snap this shot.
We had a nice time around the fire keeping warm and having a hot dog cooked over the fire along with a s’more. However, it was COLD in the tent. I have a mummy sleeping bag made for a woman but not a woman with big hips, so in the past I had never been able to zip it up over them and it never mattered since it wasn’t really cold out. I’m proud to say that it finally zipped around me! That’s the good news. The bad news is that hubby has to do it, and it’s quite hilarious because I lay on my side and hubby has to keep the two ends together and shake me silly and basically shoves me in. Then, of course, I had to go to the bathroom in the night, and we had to do the whole routine again. I was giggling the whole time. A mummy sack is not for anyone with claustrophobic tendencies. However, it is super warm. The full moon was so bright that inside the tent I would swear that we had a yard light right outside our tent. Hubby spent the night sleeping away like a baby while I woke up from strange noises or my one arm was cold after I pulled it out of my sleeping bag to hold my pillow etc.
We woke up a bit later than we would have liked and decided to go to the local convenience store that was about 5 to 10 miles away to get some minnows and I could get coffee. What a cute little store. They even had ice fishing tackle for sale which hubby was very happy about. They gave us an awsome scoop of minnows at a good price, I got two cups of coffee to go and we were off to fishing. Very disappointing to us, however, was that the fish were not biting. We caught small stuff, except for one crappie and one bluegill that were barely keepers. We ended up throwing them back in when at 1:00 pm we gave up trying because they weren’t worth cleaning.
This lake is deep and there really aren’t many places that are shallow. It drops off quickly from the bank, and the fish are just everywhere on the graph. We overheard two others talking about how they weren’t biting and how they had fished yesterday without a bite, so we are hopeful that it was just a bad day, and when we go again, it will be a different story. It was, again, a very hot day so around 1 we packed up and headed home.
Overall, I was disappointed I didn’t get to try the beach out, and, from what I hear, there are really nice trails to hike on around the lake that I want to try next time. It was too hot at 1 pm for me to get too excited about checking them out. Many of the trails are horse trails since they allow horse camping so I’m thinking they may allow mountain biking also. I saw a lot of bikes at the campgrounds so those are all things to check out on a next visit. There is a lot of prairie terrain so not a lot of trees until you get down by the lake. We definitely left wishing this lake was much closer to us!