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.
Are you new to fly fishing trout on the Little Elkhart River? Have you had less success on the Little E than you would have liked? Did you arrive at the river clueless as to what to use or how to fish it? I think that has happened to all of us at some point however LECTU is about to change all that. We are going to hold our first ever Trout Fishing 101 Clinic on Saturday June 21 starting at 9:00am for all those who want to know how to fish for Amish trout. We have taken the most experienced Little Elkhart trout fishermen and asked them to serve as instructors. Each instructor will be teaching a different technique for taking trout on the Little Elkhart River. The Little E fly fishes different than most rivers. We have water level fluctuations, water clarity considerations and trout cover that are mainly woody. To be successful you need to be able to change techniques depending on the conditions and the time of year. We want our members to be successful in their adventures to the Little Elkhart River so let us help you get a jump on the learning curve.
The Clinic will run like this. The “students” will divided into smaller groups. Each group will go with an instructor to the river for education on a particular technique. Your instructor will advise you as to the type of water to look for when fishing this technique, the best time of year to use it and a list of flies to use with this technique. The instructor will then demonstrate the technique and answer any questions you have about it. After a designated time the “student group” will then move to another instructor for another educational demonstration until all techniques have been gone through.
Techniques covered will include streamers, nymphing, swinging soft hackles, jig fishing log jams and dries and dry/ droppers. We will provide written handouts with diagrams, fly selection and information on each technique and space for you to take notes for future reference. There is no fee for this clinic however we would like to know who and how many will attend so you will need to reserve a spot. This clinic will be a rain or shine event so dress appropriately.
The clinic should take about two hours so there will be plenty of time to try out all that you have learned the rest of the afternoon. You might as well bring your fishing gear and make a day of it while all the info is fresh in your mind.
To reserve a spot in LECTU’s inaugural Little Elkhart Trout Fishing 101 Clinic contact Mike Beachy at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (574)596-4929.