T ro u t L i n e s

President’s Message
In 1972 I was in eighth grade at Whiteman Junior High School in Goshen Indiana and an avid trout fisherman. I was lucky, since my father loved trout fishing I was able to tag along almost every weekend in the spring and early summer to the Little Elkhart River. Looking back at it now as an adult, I think my mom permitted my dad to go fishing provided he took me along to give her a break. My school was having a “Field Day Event” the last Friday in April, the day prior to the greatest day on earth, the opening of trout season. All the classes split into teams for a series of relay races and other contests, no classes were held. I was able to somehow convince my dad that I needed to skip school that day, go out to the Little Elkhart River and spend the entire day setting up my camp site in anticipation of the midnight opener. I was going to camp out with several of my buddies that night, most of who were not fishermen but were up for a little adventure. My dad was pretty cool about the whole thing and let me off school, something he never did unless fishing was involved. I remember him telling my mom that if I wasn’t out there early someone else might take the best spot. What a “snow job” that was. My dad knew it was not necessary to be out there the entire day but played along on my behalf. Dad dropped me off on the County Road 43 Bridge at 6:30 in the morning before he went to work with a semi huge pile of camping supplies. I spent all day setting up the tent, rolling out my sleeping bag, arranging a fire pit and gathering firewood. I waded up and down the stream scouting the holes where I would skillfully pluck my daily limit Winter, 2009 of trout the next morning. I rigged my rod and set it in a forked stick ready for action. It was a glorious day. I was fourteen years old, on my own and in my element. I thought about my buddies stuck in school and waited for them to arrive that evening. All the mothers of my buddies thought I was a bad influence! About sundown my companions started to show up. One of the guys mother wanted to know where my dad was and when I told her that he was not staying with us she made her son go back home with her. What a mommy’s boy, we never let him off the hook for that one. About dark the last of my friends got dropped off. He stood on the bridge and yelled to the campsite to see if it was us. I yelled back “You had better get down here quick I’m catching all the trout already”. Little did I know but my friend wasn’t the only one listening. We had a fire going and roasted some hot dogs. I couldn’t stand it any longer and rigged a fat night crawler on my waiting rod and tossed it out into the stream. I told the guys that if I caught anything I would just throw it back since it was not yet midnight when legal fishing time starts. We were horsing around the fire and did not notice a man approaching our camp. He walked right up to our fire holding a fishing rod and all decked out in trout fishing gear. He said hello and then proceeded to say he was going to toss his line in. Being fourteen and somewhat of a smart-ass I told him he had better not or the Game Warden would get him. All my buddies got a chuckle out of that. That’s when he reached into his pocket and pulled out his badge and said “Son I am the Game Page1

Spring 2009
Presidents Message............... 1 Annual Spring Outing ............ 2 Arrington Presents................. 3 Fishing Report ........................ 3 Feature Fly……………………..4 Project Healing Waters………4 LECTU Presents………………4 Adopt A Trout ......................... 5 LECTU Officers Directory...... 6

Warden. Now why don’t you show me all these trout you been catching”. I was scared to death. I had to do some fast-talking. I included all the yes sirs and no sirs in as polite a way as I could to convince him that I really did not have any trout and had not caught any trout (yet) even though I had my line was in the water. He looked all around the camp inspecting the stream where I might hide a stringer and looking through every cooler. He chewed me out for fishing prior to the season opening and really dogged me for what seemed to be an eternity. He wrote down my name and address and wanted to know who my parents were. I thought I was going to jail. He finally left without carting me away in handcuffs. It took an hour or so before we returned to being a bunch of kids. We caught trout that night, after midnight, and more the next day. “Son I am the game warden” was repeated about every hour or so between us to roars of laughter. What an opener that was! Michael L Beachy President LECTU

Annual Spring Outing
Saturday May 9 will mark the fourth annual “Spring Outing” for the Little Elkhart Chapter of Trout Unlimited. The outing will be held at Riverbend Park in Middlebury, Indiana on the banks of the Little Elkhart River. Riverbend Park is located on the north end of the catch and release artificial lure only section of stream. Back again this year will be the stream access tours and the guided fishing demonstrations. The stream access tours will run at 9:00 am and again at 10:30, as will the guided fishing demonstrations allowing folks to take part in both activities. During the “Stream Access Tour” you will be chauffeured along the Little Elkhart River and shown the major access sites. Your driver will be available to answer questions about the river and what kind of water to expect in each section. This tour is a great way to become familiar with the river and the lay of the land especially for someone from out of town and a first timer to this area. During the “Fishing Demonstrations” we will act as your guide to assist you, the angler, in some of the techniques that we use to catch trout on the Little Elkhart River. This mini session is designed to provide you with information and answer any questions you may have on what works. There is no substitute for experience and we would like to give the beginning angler a place to start. This year we want to include both spin fishermen and fly fishermen in on these demonstrations. If you want to take part you will need to bring your trout fishing gear with you. Waders, rod/reel and tackle along with an Indiana fishing license including trout stamp are required. Winter, 2009

We are going to have a fly tier present to show fly tying enthusiasts a variety of patterns and techniques to create flies pertinent to the Little Elkhart River system. We will be presenting a computer slide show of some of our projects and photographs of the river and it’s trout. We will entertain questions about the chapter and our home waters. A fly casting instructor will be available to help you refine your casting skills in the park’s fishpond. After a day surrounded by fishermen and the Little Elkhart River it will be difficult to resist the temptation of trying it out, so bring your fishing gear along and after the outing try out your luck A lunch will be served at noon for a nominal $5 donation followed by a pick of the table raffle. This years raffle will include a custom made 7.5 foot 4 weight fly rod coupled with an Orvis Battenkill mid-arbor reel, an L. L. Bean fly fishing outfit, an ultra light rod and reel, several L.L. Bean fishing vests along with a selection of other fine prizes. We will be holding the Adopt-ATrout drawing for the custom made Orvis Zero Gravity 9 foot 6 weight with an Orvis Battenkill mid-arbor reel valued at over $700. We will be on hand to accept orders for our new LECTU apparel line and will have samples available for you to look over to aid in your selection. We will have a sampling of our LECTU hats for sale in limited quantities on a first come first sold basis. The Little Elkhart Chapter of T.U. has opted for a Spring Outing as our yearly fund raising campaign as opposed to the more conventional banquet. It is felt that this type of gathering is more in tune with the membership and what a true fisherman would enjoy.

Our goal is to be as informative as possible to our membership on what our goals are and how we are attempting to make this a reality. We want to get as many members involved as possible and the best way to do this is by showing off our biggest asset the Little Elkhart River. We encourage you to attend this outing to learn about the Little Elkhart River and your chapter of Trout Unlimited. A social event like this is a great way to get to know others with like interests. It is fine, if you wish, to bring along a nonmember fishing buddy. We will have T.U. applications available and perhaps once they see the river and hear our goals we can encourage them to join us in our efforts.

Tentative Schedule of Events
8:30 am Registration & Welcome Raffle ticket sales begin Lunch ticket sales begin Sign-up for River Access Tour Sign-up for Fishing Technique, guided fishing 9:00 am First River Access Tour First Guided Fishing Technique 10:00am Fly Tying Demonstration 2008 LECTU slide show question / answers 10:30 am Second River Access Tour Second Guided Fishing Technique 11:30am Fly casting instructions begin 12:00 noon Lunch 1:00 pm President’s Address Pick of the Table Raffle Drawing Adopt-A-Trout Raffle Drawing After Drawing Fish the Little Elkhart River if you wish Page2

Dave Arrington Presents to LECTU May 13th
Dave Arrington Ph. D. is the president of LGL Natural Resources Associates and a senior wildlife ecologist. LGL Natural Resources has been contracted through La Grange County Soil and Water Conservation District to formulate and implement a Watershed Management Plan for the Little Elkhart River drainage system. Dave’s study and focus is on water quality. He and his team are now in the implementation stage of “best management practices” in an effort to protect the river from contaminates such as siltation and pollution. Large amounts of grant monies have been utilized to protect the Little Elkhart River and a lot of data has been gathered and processed in this effort. Point sources of contaminants have been identified and are being addressed. Correction of these issues has lead to cleaner water in the Little Elkhart River and it’s feeder streams. These improvements will equate to better habitat for our trout. Dave is going to address our th chapter at our May 13 Wednesday evening LECTU meeting. Dave will present his latest findings and outline the project’s future as they work their way down stream from the headwaters. Dave’s presentation is always interesting and informative. His work is crucial to our chapter’s mission and goals. This is a meeting you do not want to miss if you want to know what is going on in the Little Elkhart River and what improvements are being made in the water quality of our home waters. The chapter meets at 7:00pm the second Wednesday of each month at the Middlebury Library.

Ice Out Lake Fishing For Trout
Fishing Report: by Mike Beachy Several of the LECTU members have reported trout success on Northern Indiana Lakes that have recently de-iced. The trick to catching trout in early ice off lakes is to wade shore lines where a drop off is within casting distance then slowly work your lure along the edge of the drop off. Trout in lakes are generally cruising along the drop off looking for minnows. It is a matter of being at the right place at the right time to intercept one of these cruising trout. Being near a point is sometimes better then a long straight area but it doesn’t always hold true.

can be the coldest place on earth this time of year. I like to check the wind direction then fish the lea side of the lake so the wind is at my back if possible.

Spin fishermen generally float bait under a bobber or cast small spoons and spinners. Corn and wax worms seem to have the highest success rate early on although as the lake water temperatures rise small gold hammered finish spoons do well too. For the fly fishermen this early trout action can be trying due to windy spring conditions. I prefer to use streamers stripped in very slowly giving the fly time to sink between strips. Trout seem to take the fly on the sink. An olive woolly bugger with a little flash has become my standard go to fly however at times small nymphs and conventional hair streamers do very well. The action is generally slow even on the best days but it gets you out of the house and puts a rod in your hand. The fish fight hard in these lakes despite the cold water temperatures so make sure your knots are tied well and your leaders are free of wind knots. About the time you get cold and lax is when the big one takes and breaks you off. Area lakes worthy of exploring are Oliver-OlinMartin chain in LaGrange County, Clear Lake and Lake Gage in Steuben County and Cedar Lake in Whitley County.

Trout often times congregate around the mouth of creek inlets where a fresh supply of food is being washed into the lake. These feeder streams are generally warmer then the lake water just after ice out and attract the trout similar to a warm water discharge in the Great Lakes on a smaller scale. The trout will cruise the shore line then hold in an area where a feeder creek enters for a while before going back on the prowl. I generally target these areas as I work a shoreline. A good lake map and a little homework can be advantageous for this type of lake fishing. Ice out trout fishing in lakes is not for the faint at heart. The water is cold and so can be your feet, hands and face. I generally figure what I need to wear to stay warm then put on another layer. Lakes

Winter, 2009


Feature Fly “Sparkle Dun” by Brandon Rasler
A Sparkle Dun imitates the hatching mayfly. This fly is similar to a Comparadun with a Zelon tail to imitate the shuck from which a dun had just emerged. This can be tied in any color to match the hatch. To fish this pattern, use a classic dry fly technique. Fish a dead drift with a floating line. Cast upstream and across the current. Make a quick mend of your line and allow the fly to float along with the current.

spearhead a fly “tie-a-thon” where members tie flies to be donated for a worthy cause. This year Project Healing Waters was the benefit recipient. Project Healing Waters is dedicated to rehabilitation of physical and emotional disabled, active duty military personnel and veterans through fly fishing outings and fly tying education. On March 15th several members of the Little Elkhart Chapter of Trout Unlimited took part in this year’s event. The end result was a donation of 6,200 flies for our soldiers. This was a great event for a very worthy cause. To learn more about Project Healing Waters visit www.projecthealingwaters.org.

Stack the Wing hair and point the tips toward eye of the hook. Make a couple wraps before tightening to flair the wing. Hold the wing on top of the hook to keep the hair from rolling around the hook. Make a few wraps in front of the wing to help it stand up. Trim the butts of the wing hair in a taper to help form the body of the fly.

Hook: Dry Fly Hook Sizes 28 – 4 Thread: 50- 70 denier Body: Dry Fly Dubbing Tail: Zelon Fibers Wing: Deer or Elk Hair

Lightly dub a tapered body forward to the wing. Make a few turns of dubbing in front of the wing to complete the head. Don’t crowd the eye. Finish the fly with a half hitch tool.

2009 Tie-a-thon Back to front: Lee Troyer, Brandon Rasler, Scott Lehman and Mike Beachy work on flies for Project Healing Waters

Little Elkhart Chapter Presents
On April 16th President Mike Beachy and Webmaster Brandon Rasler will be presenting “Trout Fishing the Little Elkhart” to Fort Wayne’s Three Rivers Fly Fishers at Turners Club at 7:00pm. The presentation will highlight the Little Elkhart River and LECTU’s efforts to establish a year round trout fishery. The slide show and talk is aimed towards the first time trout fishermen to these waters. Anyone interested in hearing this presentation is encouraged to visit the Three Rivers Fly Fishers web site for details on meeting site and dates, www.3rff.org. Three Rivers Fly Fishers is affiliated with the Federation of Fly Fishers. Page4

Attach thread and wrap to the hook barb.

Attach tail material from just behind the hook eye. Cut the length of tail equal to the length of the hook shank.

LECTU Contributes to Project Healing Waters Benefit
St. Joe River Valley Fly Fishers, a South Bend based Federation of Fly Fishers Chapter in cooperation with Kalamazoo Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited annually

Winter, 2009

The Little Elkhart Chapter of Trout Unlimited has been working diligently to establish a year round trout fishery on the Little Elkhart River. A late season fishery is dependent upon a resident population of brown trout. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources does not stock brown trout in the Little Elkhart River therefore all brown trout have to be stocked from private sources The Elkhart Conservation Club has been stocking fingerling brown trout for years in the Little Elkhart River and we appreciate their efforts. The results of their stockings have been evident however the river still needs more browns to sustain a consistent brown trout fishery. Now, the Little Elkhart has an area of catch and release protected waters. This protects these fingerling browns and allows then the chance to grow and if caught returned to the river. The Little Elkhart Chapter of Trout Unlimited has begun to stock larger brown trout in an effort to jump- start a resident population of brown trout within the catch and release area. Last year LECTU put in 500 browns 8 to 10 inches in size. Our stocking proved to provide a start to the necessary brown trout required to realize our dream of a year round trout fishery. The best part of this program is that those trout are still there protected by catch and release/ no bait. Again this year LECTU is planning to stock another 500 brown trout into the catch and release protected stretch. We need your help to establish this resident population of required brown trout. We are holding a raffle to raise the funds necessary to purchase and transport these brown trout. The Adopt-A-Trout raffle tickets are 10 dollars each with an impressive grand prize of a Custom Built Orvis Zero Gravity 9foot 6-weight fly rod coupled with an Orvis Battenkill mid Arbor fly reel. A prize valued at over $700! As an added bonus for each person purchasing raffle tickets you will receive our newly revised “Guide to Trout Fishing the Little Elkhart”. This guide highlights the river access points complete with color maps in a tri fold pamphlet (one per person). The deadline for Adopt-A-Trout raffle ticket sales will be May 9th. The drawing for the fly rod will be held at our Spring Outing on that day. Please allow mailing time when sending in raffle tickets to be eligible for the drawing or you can purchase your raffle tickets at the outing prior to the drawing. We encourage pre- outing ticket sales so we know where we stand with this fund-raiser. We understand that in these tough economic times extra money is sometimes difficult to come up with. This program shows great promise that will result in years of pleasure for all those involved and future generations of conservation minded trout fishermen. The drawing and prize is the “icing on the cake” the real prize will be catching brown trout long after the state stocked rainbows have vanished due to the warming waters of summer for years to come. 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 m ay send you the fishing guide. Mail the form and SASE along with $10.00 for each trout to: LECTU Adopt A Trout 17585 Ireland Road South Bend, IN 46614

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

Full sheets of Adopt a Trout forms available online at http://www.lectu.org/adopt.pdf.

Winter, 2009


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............................ Don Fiwek .................. dfiwek@comcast.net..........................574-291-7566 Newsletter Editor ................ Brandon Rasler .......... rasler@qmail.com ..............................574-333-3349

Little Elkhart Chapter of Trout Unlimited Website
LECTU.org is the place to go to find out what is going on in the chapter. Brandon Rasler our Communication Chairman and Web Master has been doing a fine job updating our LECTU web site. Find past newsletters, meeting minutes and updates on projects on the web site. You can find order forms for LECTU apparel and fishing guides. There are contacts listed for the chapter officers that you can contact if you have a question or want to get a fishing update or stream conditions.

Little Elkhart Chapter of Trout Unlimited Annual Elections
To stay on top of all things going on in our chapter please attend any of our monthly meetings. Meetings are held at 7:00 pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the Middlebury Public Library. Our Annual Meeting is slated for September 9th, Elections will be held at this time so please mark this important date on your calendar. Winter, 2009 Page6