October marks the opening of the whitetail deer-hunting season, and with that the majority of the “Catch and Release” section is deemed “OFF LIMITS” to fisherman access. It is unfortunate for trout fishermen however it is what it is.
The Little Elkhart River runs through private property for the most part. Fishermen are at the mercy of the property owners for fishing access to the river. Property owners who either hunt deer or grant hunting privileges to others do not want fishermen on their property during hunting season. A fisherman sharing the property with hunters puts deer hunting success and themselves at risk.
It is very important that during this time of year that you secure permission prior to fishing the Little Elkhart River anywhere along it’s length. We as fishermen need to respect the property owners’ wishes. We do not want to do anything to inflame relations with private property owners or put our life in danger by being somewhere we should not be. A fisherman trespassing has the potential to risk future access to the river outside of the hunting season.
Deer hunters hunt the majority of the properties along the catch and release section of stream. The only portion that remains open to fishermen, without the need to secure permission, is the city owned property near the town of Middlebury next to Riverbend Park.
Wearing a blaze orange hat, while fishing the river, is highly recommended. You do not want to be mistaken for a big buck creeping along the river bank. Please be extremely careful.