T r o u t L i ne s

The Little Elkhart Chapter of Trout Unlimited

President’s Message
The opening day of Indiana’s trout season will soon be upon us. This by far is one of the most meaningful events in my life. As a youngster this rated in my top three favorite days of the year, along with a birthday and Christmas. My father, brother, grandfather and I would camp along the banks of Rowe Eden Ditch and await the stroke of midnight with great anticipation. Around the campfire stories of opening days passed would be told and retold. The lore of a big brown trout lost at the net, the night my uncle Jack fell in the creek and jokes that made your sides ache with laughter where all part of the evening festivities. Hot dogs roasted on a cut willow branch never tasted so good. I remember my grandpa taking a nip on a bottle when he thought no one was looking to “keep off the night’s chill” he would say. At midnight we would all grab our rods and start fishing a pool below an old dam that has long since been removed. In those days we used the standard night crawler, hook and sinker rig drifted along the bottom. Some guys would use canned corn but my dad always said it wasn’t natural so it was forbidden in our family. The Coleman lanterns illuminated the stream and attracted small clouds of bugs that would burn to the glass globe. We all wanted to be the one to land the first trout and I cannot remember a year that the honor didn’t go to my grandpa. It was a big joke that my grandpa would always get the first trout! I think now it was because he was “keeping off the night chill”. One of the best memories I have was the year my grandfather didn’t make Volume 2, Issue 2 - April, 2008 the opening night camp out. He was being treated for cancer in Chicago and my dad was there with him. Dad was expected at the camp sometime that night, when he got back in town, but didn’t make it by midnight. I was camped out with Harold Hartzler, one of my dads fishing buddies. Harold didn’t want me to fish until dad arrived but I wasn’t going to wait. I may have only been seven years old but my dad had taught me how to rig my own rod and I didn’t need him to baby sit. All the good spots were taken so I had to fish off the cement wall of the three-foot high dam. I dangled my night crawler beside a cement ledge right next to the spillway and the current would pull the bait under the ledge. “You’re not going to catch anything in there but suckers, it’s too shallow” Harold said. The words no sooner came out of his mouth than I felt a solid tap signaling a bite. I jerked and the fight was on. The trout darted out into the swift current then around the pool. The sound of my drag told the other fisherman to reel in. I was suddenly the center of attention when moment’s prior everyone around the pool viewed me as the orphan kid that was going to screw up their fishing. The brown jumped. In the dim lantern light the trout looked huge. I remember Harold’s squeaky voice trying to coach me on the finer points of landing a fish but I wasn’t listening. Someone eventually netted the fish and I put it on my stringer and tied it off to a root. I had finally done it. For the first time I was the guy to catch the first trout of the season and a nice brown to boot. I proceeded to go to bed. It was way past my bedtime; I was tired and had nothing more to prove. In later years I

Inside This Issue: Volume 2, Issue 2 April 2008
Presidents Message............... 1 Spring Outing ......................... 2 March Fishing Report ............ 3 Report Your Success In the Catch and Release Section ... 3 Fly of the Month From Justin Phillips ......................... 3 Adopt-A-Trout......................... 4 Adopt a Trout Fundraiser............................... 5 Meeting Minutes.................................... 6

would get razzed for catching the first trout then going straight to bed. My father didn’t arrive until sun-up. Even though my grandpa was in bad shape and my dad had a lot on his mind he managed a smile when he saw my midnight catch. “Too bad Gramp wasn’t here to see this” my dad said and I could tell he was a little shaken up. My grandfather never made another opening day outing. He passed away later that year but not before I was able to tell him my embellished tale about my midnight brown brute and how I was the one to take the first trout of the season. May you all have a great season! Michael L. Beachy President Little Elkhart Chapter


Little Elkhart Chapter’s Spring Outing 2008
May 10th will mark the third annual spring outing for the Little Elkhart Chapter of Trout Unlimited. The outing will be held a Riverbend Park in Middlebury, Indiana on the banks of the Little Elkhart River and within walking distance from the “Catch and Release” section of the river. This year we plan to hold special events for first time visitors to the Little Elkhart River. We realize that many of our members live a ways for this little gem of a trout stream. We would like to introduce it to you, in two ways. We will be giving stream tours to show you access points and giving a short explanation on what to expect at each access point. We will also be giving fishing demonstrations on how to catch trout on the Little Elkhart. The Little Elkhart River is a small stream with a lot of woody habitat. Fly fishermen expecting to see a blue ribbon type trout stream will be disappointed however there are still ways to take trout in this stream with fly gear. You just need to know how to do it and we plan on doing a little coaching. We will be taking fishermen wanting to learn fishing techniques for the Little Elkhart out in small groups and giving demonstrations. Bring your fishing gear because there will be plenty of time to try out your skills. We are going to have a lunch and fly casting instructions around noon and possibly a fly casting contest for those wishing to show off in front of a crowd. The festivities will end with the Adopt-A-Trout raffle drawing. Our chapter has decided to sponsor this spring outing as opposed to the normal banquet type fund-raiser seen by most T.U. organizations. We feel that as outdoorsmen most of us are “banqueted out” through other organizations and this outing is a good way to get our members together and learn what the Little Elkhart Chapter is all about. Feel free to bring a guest along, even if they are not a member of T.U. We will have membership applications available and we would be happy to invite them to join at the outing. We encourage you to attend this outing to learn about the Little Elkhart River and the T.U. chapter.

Schedule of events:
9:00 am River Access Tours and Fishing Technique Demonstrations 11:00 am - 2:00 pm Lunch, Fly Casting Instruction and Contest 2:00 pm Adopt-A-Trout raffle drawing 2:00pm-? Fish the river if you wish

From St. Road 20 go north on St. Road 13 to stoplight (only one) in downtown Middlebury. Turn right (east) at stoplight on C.R. 16. One block , Riverbend Park is on the right (south). From St. Road 120 or Toll Road take St Road 13 south to stoplight (only one) in downtown Middlebury. Turn left (east) at stoplight on C.R.16. One block, Riverbend Park is on the right (south).

What to bring:
Fly fishing or ultra-light spinning gear. (no live bait in Catch and Release) Indiana fishing license with trout stamp, and $5.00 lunch donation.

Recommend fly gear:
7-71/2 foot 3 or 4 weight fly rod Waders, net, assortment of nymphs and streamers.

Volume 2, Issue 2 - April, 2008


March Fishing Report
Late winter fishing is not for the faintof-heart. The intense cold can limit your time on the water. But area streams and lakes can provide memorable hook-ups at a time when less adventurous anglers remain housebound, as you can see by the rainbows taken recently by Mike Beachy, top, and Justin Phillips, bottom.

Report Fishing Success on Catch and Release Section:
We need detailed reports from you on your success or failure this year on the catch-and-release section of the Little Elkhart River. This information is essential for our reports to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. The data allows the IDNR to assess the continued viability of the program. The Little Elkhart River is only one of three streams with designated stretches of catch-and-release fishing. We need the following information from you for each outing this season: 1. Date of outing. 2. Number of hours fished. 3. Number of rainbows caught and released 4. Number of brown trout caught and released. 5. Number of brown trout with a clipped right pectoral fin. 6. Fishing satisfaction: (poor, okay, completely satisfied). Please send your response by e-mail to Jim Phillips at JAHOPH@aol.com

Fly of the Month Justin Time
I originally designed this streamer as a smelt pattern for Atlantic salmon but have been experimenting with smaller sizes for trout. So far the results have greatly exceeded my expectations. The fly has produced a lot of tight lines over the past year. In addition to Atlantic salmon, it has taken brown trout (including an 18pound brown on Torch Lake in Michigan), rainbow trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie and even a catfish. I will soon be putting the Justin Time to work on our spring run of steelhead. It is fairly easy to tie and looks alive in the water.

The action is never fast or furious but success sometimes happens making you hopeful for warmer days of spring. For diehard trout fly fishermen it is “the only game in town” in late February and early March.

HOOK: Daiichi 1870 Swimming Larvae Hook, size 4-6 for salmon and steelhead, size 8-10 for smaller species. I use these hooks because they swim with the hook point down even with the lead eyes tied on top. EYES: Small lead bar-bell eyes tied on top of the hook a bit behind the eye THREAD: 6/0 clear mono BODY: White cross cut rabbit strips wrapped from just above the hook point to behind the eyes. WING: A small layer of white bucktail extending just past the rabbit. Add small amount of Flashabou on top of the bucktail. Add another layer of white bucktail. Top off with peacock herls tied from just behind the hook eye. These should extend just past the bucktail. HEAD: Wrap mono thread into a head shape, whip finish and cement the entire head area. -- Justin H. Phillips

Volume 2, Issue 2 - April, 2008


Adopt-A-Trout Raffle
As you should all know by now the Little Elkhart Chapter of Trout Unlimited is now in the midst of a fund raiser to finance our brown trout stocking of the catch and release section of the Little Elkhart River. It has become evident that in order for us to establish a quality year round trout fishery on the Little Elkhart River we require a greater population of brown trout. The state-stocked rainbow trout do provide an outstanding fishery for the first several months after the April stocking. Our studies have shown that the warmer water temperatures in July and August cause a rapid reduction in the number of rainbows brought to net during the summer heat. No one seems to know exactly what happens to the rainbows but theories are they perish in the warmer water or migrate down stream searching for cooler habitat. Brown trout, in contrast, are able to withstand the warmer waters of July and August and attribute to the bulk of trout brought to net by fishermen after the summer heat. The Little Elkhart Chapter has plans to stock 500, eight to ten inch brown trout each year for the next three years. This is an effort to “jump start” the brown trout population in the catch and release protected area of the Little Elkhart River. This stocking comes with a price tag of nearly $1,400.00. That includes fish, transportation and fin clip tagging. The fin tag is required by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and will provide data on migration patterns and growth rate of these brown trout. We need your help in raising these required funds. Please purchase one or several raffle tickets in our Adopt-A-Trout fund raising campaign. The prizes are only a secondary reason to purchase a raffle ticket. Your primary goal should be to help sponsor this important effort by your chapter. As an added bonus each raffle ticket purchaser will receive a copy of “Fishing Guide to the Little Elkhart River”. This guide contains information essential to any person wishing to trout fish the Little Elkhart River and was written by local trout fishermen in this chapter.


Volume 2, Issue 2 - April, 2008


Adopt–A–Trout Fundraiser
Sponsored by the Little Elkhart Chapter of Trout Unlimited
LECTU received approval from the IDNR to stock 500 eight-to-ten inch browns each year in the Little Elkhart catch-andrelease section for the next three years. This program study is designed to “jumpstart” the number of quality size trout in the Little Elkhart River. In each of the three years, the 500 tout will be fin clipped so that each year is represented. The left pectoral fin in 2008, right pectoral in 2009 and the left ventral in 2010. This will give IDNR fisheries biologist critical information regarding survival rates and migration during shocking studies. Creel survey by anglers will be very helpful. In order to fund this program, LECTU is asking each member to “Adopt” at least one trout for stocking. The Cost is $10.00 for each Trout. As an added incentive to this exciting opportunity, LECTU will be offering the following: 1. Each contributor will receive a copy of our “Fishing Guide to The Little Elkhart River”. This guide gives detailed descriptions to all of the fishable sections as well as access points. 2. Each Contribution will be entered into a raffle drawing for the following prizes: st a. 1 Prize = 8’ 6” 3 wt. Orvis Frequent Flyer Rod with an Orvis Battenkill Mid Arbor II reel nd b. 2 Prize = Cabela’s 4’ 6” Trout Series Spin Rod with Cabela’s Prestige PT1500 Spinning Rod. Instructions: Please complete the form below for each Trout you would like to “Adopt”. Photocopies are o.k. If you do not provide an e-mail address, please enclose an S.A.S.E. so that we may send you the fishing guide. Mail the form and SASE along with $10.00 for each trout to: Adopt A Trout 13777 C.R. 8 Middlebury, IN 46540 The Drawing for the Rods will be held at the spring outing May 10 at 2:00 pm. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adopt A Trout Fundraiser
Name Phone E-Mail
$10 for EACH trout you would like to adopt

Adopt A Trout Fundraiser
Name Phone E-Mail
$10 for EACH trout you would like to adopt

Adopt A Trout Fundraiser
Name Phone E-Mail
$10 for EACH trout you would like to adopt
Volume 2, Issue 2 - April, 2008 Page5

March Minutes
The following subjects were discussed at the March 12, 2008 meeting of the Little Elkhart Chapter of Trout Unlimited: -- SPRING OUTING. The club will hold its spring outing May 10 at Riverbend Park in Middlebury. Lunch ($5) will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. A new feature has been added that should be especially attractive to beginning trout fishermen or out-oftowners unfamiliar with the area. Beginning at 9 a.m., local members will offer guided tours of the Little Elkhart River to individuals who want to familiarize themselves with the stream. This is designed for those who want to accelerate the learning process. In addition, fly casting and fishing lessons will be offered. -- BROWN TROUT STOCKING. Saturday, April 12, is the date for planting 500 brown trout (8-10 inches in length) in the catch-and-release section of the Little Elkhart River. Volunteers will be needed to help with this effort. -- ROWE-EDEN DITCH. Chapter president Mike Beachy has volunteered our chapter to increase the flow of Rowe-Eden Ditch by snagging, dragging and anchoring downed timber to the bank – a stream-improvement project that will take place this summer. Some local residents had complained the timber slowed the current and caused basements to flood. The state blocked efforts to have all timber removed from the ditch, which then would be dredged, resulting in considerable loss of trout habitat. Our effort should help both the landowners by accelerating the current and the trout by maintaining critical habitat. -- RAFFLE. Approximately $400 has been raised through the sale of raffle tickets to pay for the brown trout to be stocked in the catch-and-release section of the Little Elkhart River. The cost of this stocking will be around $1,350. An anonymous corporate sponsor has generously agreed to match our fund-raising raffle effort dollar for dollar, up to a maximum of $650. First prize in the raffle is a nifty 7-piece Orvis travel fly rod and reel. The drawing will be held during our Spring Outing on May 10. If you haven’t purchased a raffle ticket(s), now is the time to do so. -- COMMUNICATION. Continued progress is being made on our efforts to e-mail meeting notices, chapter newsletters and establish an easily accessible website. As all of us know, computers have failed to live up to their promise of simplifying our lives. Glitches are commonplace – and frustrating. It now appears we have triumphed over numerous glitches, routed them from our electronic landscape, and can see “the light at the end of the tunnel.” -- James H. Phillips

Little Elkhart Chapter Officers Directory
President ............................ Michael Beachy.......... beach@npcc.net ................................574-534-1123 V. President........................ Leonard Gustin........... gusnlg@embarqmail.com ..................260-463-5020 Secretary............................ Lee Troyer.................. lst100@maplenet.net .........................574-875-5432 Treasurer............................ Chris Miller ................. miller327@verizon.net .......................574-825-4467 Newsletter Editor ................ Brandon Rasler .......... rasler@qmail.com ..............................574-522-5066

The Little Elkhart Chapter of Trout Unlimited 13777 C.R. 8 Middlebury, IN 46540 Editor Email: rasler@gmail.com

Meeting Notice
Second Wednesday of every Month at the Middlebury Public Library Next Meeting: Wednesday, April 9 7:00 P.M.
Archives online at: http://groups.google.com/group/little-elkhart-tu Volume 2, Issue 2 - April, 2008 Page6