Deer Hunting Season Advisory

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.

Trout Fishing the Little Elkhart 101

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 beach@bnin.net or call (574)596-4929.

Meeting Minutes – July 10, 2013

Meeting Attendees
Mike Beachy, Wayne Andrews, Leonard Gustin, Jim Phillips, Tom Cripe, Lee Troyer, Bill Myers, Penny Myers, Brandon Rasler, Bob Roth

Meeting Minutes
The minutes from the June meeting were approved.

Fishing Reports
Mike reported catching 3 browns and 1 rainbow on July 7th.  He also caught a 17” rainbow at Tornado Bend.  There are some indications of lampreys that have affected some trout.

Treasurer’s Report
There was no Treasurer’s report as Don was not in attendance.


  • Brandon will publish the newsletter this week.

  • Mike was contacted by Carla Gull of Woodlawn Nature Center for their July 13th Celebrate Water event.  She was asking if LECTU would participate with our display and demonstrations.  Mike declined due to the short notice and our stream work schedule.

  • Dan Burris from Huntington wants a guided tour of the Little E.

  • We had previously supplied our river guide to the local KOA with the agreement that they would sell the guides and keep a sellers fee.  We have found out they are giving them away.  This will be addressed.

Trout Fishing 101
The meeting attendees felt that a fishing 101 on the Little E is something that should take place in May or early June as the fishing is friendlier during that time.  This is something we should plan for next year and promote it at the spring outing.  We also discussed limiting the number of participants as there would only be a limited number of guides.

Schwartz Property Signs
Mike will try and contact John Schwartz to determine what they want on the signs.

Middlebury Parks Project Assistance
The Youth Fishing Contest coordinator is Court Walker and will take place at the Essenhaus ponds on August 10.  Brandon, Tom C and Penny will assist as judges.

The coordinator for the Riverfest at Riverbend Park is Leonard Gustin.  Lee will assist Leonard.  This is scheduled for August 17.  Leonard has the display materials from Mike and will contact Chris for a canopy.

Stream Works Dates
June 22 – The trail was cut by Bob Roth, Mike Beachy and Tom VanderPutten.

July 13 – The plan is to work above Wilbur’s meadow and into the woods to cut some trees, cable them to the bank, open log jams, and survey the meadow for a future project.

Additional work dates are July 27 and August 24.

Chestnut Lamprey Project
We are asking club members to keep track as to what percentage of fish caught have lampreys attached or lamprey marks.

 LECTU Fishing Trip
A fishing trip for local LECTU members was discussed for late August or September.  Leonard will check on lodging in Grayling.

Fly Tying Clinic
We failed to report this at the meeting but want to include this as a part of the minutes.  We met on Sunday June 28th at Keith Loutzenhiser’s house for a fly tying clinic.  In attendance were Keith, Brandon, Lee and Cameron.  There were 4 – 5 ties demonstrated and it was enjoyed by all.  Thanks to Keith for initiating this and hosting this at his home.

Next Meeting –September 11, 2013 at 7:00 PM at the Middlebury Library.  NOTE: There will be no August meeting.

Lee Troyer – Secretary

Meeting Minutes – May 8, 2013

Meeting Attendees
Mike Beachy, Don Fiwek, Leonard Gustin, Bob Roth, Jim Phillips, Pete Lehman, Lee Troyer, Court Walker, Chris Miller, Wayne Andrews, Cameron

Meeting Minutes
The minutes from the April meeting were approved.

Fishing Reports
There are lots of fish being caught. The rainbows that the state stocked this year are exceptionally large.

Treasurer’s Report
Don reported a balance of $10,300. The spring outing netted $2,400 – $2,800.

Spring Outing Wrap-up
This year’s event was attended by more than 70 individuals. The access tour and the fly casting were extremely popular. There was a mention that the raffle drawing tended to drag toward the end. It was suggested that some of the smaller items could be bundled in zip locks in order to speed up the process.

The fly tyer from Montana was not able to make it due to an accident. Andy Kitson filled in for him.

The silent auction netted approximately $1,000.

The Adopt-A-Trout raffle netted $1,283.

The table raffle netted $920.

Mike reported that the KOA will be selling our river access guide. They will reimburse us $3 per each.

Middlebury Riverfest
Mike stated that we donated 3 T-shirts and an LL Bean outfit to the Riverfest.

Schwartz Property
There was some confusion as to whether we needed passes for the Schwartz property this year. Lee stated that he had spoken with Phillip who said that they are considering putting up signs instead. Lee offered LECTU to take the lead on getting the signs in place. Lee will check with both Phillip and John Schwartz.

Beginner Fly Fishing Class
There are 9 signed up with 1 maybe.  Charlie prefers to hold two separate 2-hour classes with a 15 minute break between the 2 classes.  The class will be June 8 at Riverbend Park and the first class will start at 8:30 or 9:00.

August 10th Activities
On August 10th, there will be a spey and switch rod casting clinic at Shamrock Park on the St. Joe in Berrien Springs. They would like LECTU to participate with a booth. Since this conflicts with the Middlebury Youth Fishing day, we will have a couple of members at Shamrock Park but not have a booth.

Brown Trout Stocking
Lee reported that the trout will be here Friday morning, May 10th. The hatchery truck will meet us at McDonalds at 8:00 AM. The stocking plan is to stock at 4 locations including CR 43, Wilbur’s meadow, Hoover’s farm and the well field.  Each location will get 100 trout except Wilbur’s meadow will get 200. Volunteers to help with the stocking are to bring clean 5 gallon buckets.

Jim Phillips suggested that we tail punch approximately 50 fish so that we can see if they hang around. There was concern that this would stress the trout as they had just bounced down the road for several hours and are being dumped into a new environment.

Chestnut Lamprey Project
Trevor Nunamaker is taking water temps for Dar Deegan.

Riverbend Habitat Project
Joe Mitchell had stated that he wanted to start work on the project mid-May but had not set any firm dates yet.

Stream Wrok Dates
Our work dates this year are June 22, July 13, July 27 and August 24. Meet at Riverbend Park at 8:00 AM with old waders and gloves and prepare to get dirty.

New Business
Next Meeting –June 12, 2013 at 7:00 PM at the Middlebury Library.

Lee Troyer – Secretary


SJRVFF Offers Fly Tying Class

The Saint Joseph River Valley Fly Fishers are hosting a flytying class in Elkhart, and have openings available.


9:00 a.m – 4:00 p.m.

Glenn Weisner

Glenn hails from Toledo, Ohio and is the owner of Glenn River Fly Co. He was the speaker at our March 2012 meeting and his program was on Terrestrial insects for the fly fisher. We will be tying 5 – 7 terrestrial patterns that you will be able to use in our area for trout, bass, and panfish.

Class participants are expected to have basic tying skills as this will be an intermediate skill level class. You will need to bring heavy and light tying threads in several colors, vise, tying tools and a light. The tying materials will be provided.
The class size will be limited to 20 fly tyers. If you are interested in taking the class please email Eric Wroblewski or call 574-850-5441.
If you would like more info about Glenn please visit his website.

SJRVFF Terrestrial Fly worskop FAQs

LECTU Welcomes Neil Ledet

LECTU is pleased to announce that Neil Ledet will be a featured speaker at the November 10th meeting. Neil Ledet, a Fisheries Biologist for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, will be on hand to discuss Indiana trout and the Little Elkhart River. Please join us on November 10 at the Middlebury Public Library at 7:00pm.

Meeting Minutes – September 8, 2010

Meeting Minutes
The minutes from the August meeting were approved.

Fishing Reports
Mike Beachy reported that he caught one brown and one rainbow in the meadow.  He stated that the rainbow looked really stressed.  The water level is very low, which will contribute to warmer water during the 90+ degree weather we suffered this summer.  The browns seem to be surviving okay but time will tell about the rainbows.

Treasurer’s Report
Don Fiwek reported net income for the fiscal year at $570.58.  Balance of funds is $7,973.46.

There was some discussion as to when the Trout Unlimited report is due for the year.  Last year, we filed the report on November 4.

C&R Signs for Solomon Creek
Nothing new to report.

Indiana Fly Casters
Mike Beachy will do a presentation at their meeting on October 13.  The meeting starts at 6:00 PM with a social hour.  Lee will get the PowerPoint presentation from Brandon and Mike will get the projector from Chris Miller.

As this is the same night as the LECTU meeting, it was decided to cancel our October meeting.

Indiana on the Fly
Nothing new to report.

Up Coming Meetings
Neil Ledet will be at out November 10 meeting.

Dave Arrington will be at our December 8 meeting.

Summer newsletter – Brandon will be emailing the newsletter soon.

Middlebury Fishing Derby Report
Mike and Larry Beachy along with Brandon Rasler & Lee Troyer were volunteers to help the Middlebury Park Dept with their youth fishing derby.  A lot of youngsters showed up, a lot of fish were caught, and everyone had fun.  Mike suggested that maybe we could put on a fly casting demo next year as part of the event.

Cabela’s Membership Drive
Leonard manned the booth at the Cabela’s Hammond store on August 28 for their family weekend event.  Cabela’s donated some merchandise which Leonard sold raffle tickets.  The proceeds netted our chapter $74.00.

Youth Education
Our meeting with the 4-H fishing club will be October 5 at 7:00 PM.  The 4-H Fishing club has approximately 48 members.  Charlie Ray will provide a syllabus and handbook.  We will do a casting demo and a presentation.

River Clean-up
While our clean-up projects are complete for this year, there are two projects that we need to keep on our agendas.  One is where Bob Roth was approached by a Little Elkhart river landowner.  Bob was going to get some clarification of project details.  The other is from a landowner on Solomon Creek that wants some help with a tree.

Election of Officers
The following slate was presented for the officers for the coming fiscal year:

President                            Mike Beachy

Vice President                   Leonard Gustin

Secretary                             Lee Troyer

Treasurer                            Don Fiwek

3 Yr. Board Member       Bob Roth

A motion was made and passed to accept the proposed slate for the officer positions for the coming year.

New Business
Adopt-A-Trout rules tabled until raffle begins.

Next Meeting – November 10, 2010 at 7:00 PM at the Middlebury Library

Note: No meeting in October!

Lee Troyer – Secretary

30 Species in 30 Hours

A fishing marathon to raise money and awareness to fight the threat of asian carp in The Great Lakes. Two anglers are going to attempt to catch thirty species of fish in thirty hours. http://www.michiganoutofdoors.com/thirty_thirty

Tired of the Shack Nasties

This isn’t going to help. Here is a great video of trout takes. It’s a clip from “Off the Grid” by Beattie Outdoor Productions, the makers of the film, “Nervous Waters.”

chasing hatches from RA Beattie on Vimeo.

Snowstorm May Affect February Meeting

If the Middlebury Library is open we will have the meeting as scheduled, their phone number is 574-825-5601. If library is closed Wednesday night the supplemental feeding dialogue will be postponed until the March meeting.

Meeting Notice
The Little Elkhart Chapter of Trout Unlimited
Wednesday, February 10
at 7:00 P.M. at the Middlebury Public Library
Map: http://tinyurl.com/2tygvg