Are you looking for somewhere to go fly fishing in 2013 but not too far away? Spring fever and the colder temps this week have me dreaming a little and I will share some ideas you may not have thought about. Maybe you will find some of my ideas interesting.
March 1 and it’s musky time in Indiana! Yes I said muskies, on the fly! If you have an urge to hang on to one of these awesome fish then you need a good heavy fly rod, a few 6+ inch flies and a good casting arm. Traditionally it is said that muskies are the fish of 10,000 casts and some days that is true but if just one of these brutes slashes at your fly right at your feet it makes all 10,000 casts worth it. Muskies are hungry right now and it’s a good time to hit the lakes before fishing pressure pushes the fish down deeper. Northern Indiana has some of the best musky lakes in the mid-west and there are guides that specialize in fly casting for them. Central Indiana has a few places that have been stocked with muskies like Plover Pit and Sandpiper Pit at Driftwood FWA, The Dugger Unit of Greene Sullivan State Forest and Lakes Waveland and Glenn FLint. The IDNR states that Lake Webster in Northern Indiana is the best bet for size and numbers of muskies caught in Indiana.
Now through April if you are into fly fishing for trout locally you might check out some of Indiana’s Southern waters now through April. Brookville Lake Tailwater located in east central Indiana offers really good brown trout fishing. Brown trout are stocked annually with help from Central Indiana Trout Unlimited. Their website has some good information on fishing there. I know a lot of the guys have been planning on going soon. There are other creeks and lakes stocked with trout in the lower half of Indiana. Here are a few links of local interest I found for trout.
- Trout Stocking Locations in Indiana
- Trout Stocking Plans in Indiana 2013
- Trout Stocking Information
- Whitewater River Guage at Brookville
- Hatch Chart for Brookville
- Brookville Tailwater Map
- Big Raccoon Creek Guage at Ferndale, Indiana
- Airline Pit Greene Sullivan State Forest
- Island Pit Minnehaha FWA
In Early Spring you might want to check out some tailwater fishing. There are several Corps of Engineers Lakes that offer public tailwater fishing. Traditionally spring brings increased flow rates from the lakes and increased flows wake fish up in the early spring. Hitting the tailwaters for spring runs of fish can be very exciting and most properties are fly fishing friendly with plenty of room for casting. Unfortunately some do not allow wading so check before you go. Some of the reservoirs are stocked with white bass and hybrid striped bass and they usually have good early spring runs when the flow rates are high. Check Hardin Lake tailwaters for crappies, white bass, and put and take rainbow trout, Eagle Creek has white bass,walleye and wipers, Lieber has white bass and crappies, Brookville has white bass, trout, smallmouth bass, striped bass, and walleye, rumor has it that there are no worthy fish below the dam at Lake Monroe.
Late Spring and Early Summer you might want to consider hitting the smaller creeks and strip pits in the area. It’s a good way to get away from the crowds of people. Indiana has several rivers and small creeks that are public and wadable. Traditionally we chase smallmouth bass at Sugar Creek and Big Walnut Creek in the central part of Indiana but there are several small creeks and rivers that have ample fly fishing opportunities close to home. To name a few south of Interstate 70, Driftwood River, Little Blue River, Little Sugar Creek, Eel River South, Salt Creek, Mill Creek, East and West forks of White River, Patoka River, Whitewater River, and the list of public waters goes on. A list of navigable waters for Indiana by county is available here: http://www.in.gov/nrc/2393.htm
Southern Indiana is dotted with hundreds of old coal mine strip pits. The IDNR manages several of the properties where fishing is allowed. Strip pits normally have very clean water and provide great fishing year round but especially good fishing in Spring. Target species on a fly would be trout, crappies, one pound bluegills, largemouth bass, redear sunfish, and even muskies. A good way to explore strip pits would be with a float tube and a 6wt fly rod. Some of the IDNR properties that offer strip pit fishing are Greene Sullivan State Forest, Chinook FWA, Minnehaha FWA, Sugar Ridge FWA, Bluegrass FWA, and Hillenbrand FWA. You can find more detailed information on these properties on the IDNR website.
Summer offers warmer temperatures and I especially enjoy getting out and wet wading some of the local streams and smaller rivers. Something you might not have thought about is lake flats or river wading for Indiana bonefish. Yeah OK, carp but when was the last time you saw the last few wraps of backing on your old Battenkill Mid Arbor? These fish can give you a battle and they are not easily fooled into taking a fly. Flats fishing for carp can be a good way to cool off, catch some quality fish, and avoid the crowds of people on the lakes in the summer. When its hot out and other fish get lazy, check out the flats for some good fly action on a 6 to 8 wt rod. Rumor has it that a few HFF members are tying flies now for the hot days of summer. Try it, you won’t be disappointed.