T ro u t L i n e s

President’s Message
Several years ago a good friend and trout fisherman, talked me into night fly fishing for big browns on the Pere Marquette River. The theory being that big brown trout are nocturnal and feed mainly at night. We geared up with heavy weight rods and short stout leaders and tippets. In the light of the moon we gingerly waded the river slinging a deer hair mouse. The large flies would smack the surface and through off a wake as they would swing across the flow of the river. It was certainly a foreign feeling being on a river in the dark of night. Sounds seemed to be amplified. The snap of a twig, the calls from the night birds and the occasional rise of a trout left your ears ringing. The Pere Marquette outing proved unsuccessful for me that night however the outing was very intriguing. That was the situation I found myself in on an early June Friday night standing on the bank of the Little Elkhart River. It was 10:00 and the night was dark and the sky was clear. The moon was just starting to rise from behind the trees and it was really quite. It was an eerie feeling standing next to the stream in the dark of night. Even though this was a section of stream I was very familiar with I felt out of my element. My mind kept drifting to a skunk I had smelled recently and I hoped he was no where near. I carefully stepped into the river and worked my way into casting position. I opted to work a large hex dry pattern that had a lot of buoyancy. I wanted something that would stay on top and drag in the current and have a large silhouette against the moon lit sky. Summer, 2009 After about 6 casts and drifts I began to fall into a rhythm. The moon was now high and bright. Even though my fly would disappear into the shadows once on the water I could see well enough to cast where I wanted. I would allow my fly to drift as drag free as possible along the deep side of the run and they swing away at the tail out making a distinct “V” on the surface as it would be dragged by the current into the shallows. Just at the tail end of the drift and just before the fly started to get dragged I heard a “gulp” and felt my line twitch. I set the hook and the battle was on.

Summer 2009
Presidents Message............... 1 Annual Spring Outing ............ 2 Arrington Presents................. 2 Brown Trout Stocking............ 2 Feature Fly .............................. 3 Log Jam Clean Up .................. 4 Catch and Release Guide ...... 4 LECTU Board & Elections ..... 5 LECTU Officers Directory...... 5

down the barb on my fly to aid in future removals. I took several more browns that night. With each trout caught and with every cast I begin to feel more accustom to night fishing. The fishing was not fast but intriguing. Two hours flew by so fast I had to check my watch twice. I will most definitely do more night fishing however the conditions have to be right for it. The moonlight is required if you are to have a chance of seeing what you are doing. You also have to be familiar with the waters that you are fishing. Where are the holes, where are snags and where it is clear to back-cast is information that is difficult to read at night. You want to use your flashlight next to never since it will put feeding trout down like a spotlight on an escaped convict.

Fighting a fish in the darkness in a river full of snags was interesting. I could not see my leader so I had no idea where the trout was taking me other then the pull against the rod. Fly rods are soft so it was difficult to feel the direction of the fish. The trout came to the net and I clicked on my headlamp to examine my catch. It was a stout 16-inch brown. The trout had inhaled my size 6 hex spinner and it was difficult to retrieve the fly especially in the darkness. I revived the trout and watched it dart away into the dark water. I promptly pinched

Night fly-fishing adds another dimension to trout fishing and everything gets more difficult and frustrating as if fly-fishing wasn’t frustrating enough. Some of the browns I caught were only in 12 inches of water way outside the main flow of current. That was a surprise for me to find quality trout in shallow water. Michael L Beachy President LECTU


Annual Spring Outing
The annual spring outing was met with great success this past May at Riverbend Park Middlebury. Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate as planned turning overcast and cold after what looked like a promising sunrise. The guided fishing trips and stream access tours were popular again this year with many members taking advantage.

David Arrington Addresses Chapter
Dave Arrington Ph.D. presented an update on his water quality improvement project for the Little Elkhart River. Dave highlighted an over view of the project and where they are at now in the implementing of the best management practices. Dave showed a power point presentation showing the problem hot spots. The problems that are of greatest concern are livestock that have free range into the river especially barnyards that are too close to the river. High water events cause the manure to run off directly into the river. This increases the level of Ecoli, nitrogen and phosphates well beyond what are tolerable water pollution levels. In addition to high contaminates the livestock trample down the backs causing erosion that leads to high sedimentation during the spring run off and high rain events. These sediments cover the rocky substrate of the river bottom choking out bug life and essential trout food with sand. Part of Dave’s study deals with macro invertebrate assessment and identification. These bugs are used as indicator species and are a way to monitor water quality.

planted with wild grasses that secure the bank and act as a filter to prevent manure from running off directly into the water way. This type of project will insure that the Little Elkhart stays pristine. Dave remarked that now high water events aid the river in cleaning itself rather then being a detriment.

Brown Trout Stocking 2009
LECTU stocked the Little Elkhart River catch and release area with 500 brown trout in mid May. These trout were larger then last years stocking with many of then being quite impressive. The trout were evenly distributed through out the C&R section with no one area being favored.

Andy Kitson presented a fly tying demonstration that was enjoyed by those observing. The wind was too strong for casting instructions but was available. After a cook out lunch participants took part in a raffle taking home some nice prizes and raising funds for the chapter in the process. The Adopt-ATrout brown trout stocking fundraiser was held and Brian Willard of Syracuse Indiana was the grand prize recipient of the custom built Orvis 9foot 6wt. Fly rod and Battenkill midarbor reel combo. I would like to thank everyone for coming to the outing especially those of you that the local core-group had not met prior. It was great having the local guys getting together with other members that traveled to the outing. We hoped to expose you to the river and what it offers to you, the angler. I hope that you all felt welcomed. I would like to thank all the members who volunteered their time and expertise to make this year’s outing a success. If you were unable to make it this year keep us in mind for next year. This type of gathering is good for the chapter and it’s membership. Summer, 2009

The cleaner the water the more bugs. They are measuring the amount of bugs before and after to use as a tool to make sure the project is working. Dave informed the T.U. members that there are plenty of bugs for trout to feed on and the river should support trout with no problem. Dave showed slides before and after of fencing projects that his organization has done. The livestock were fenced out of the water way by 20 feet on either side then the area was

Funding for the stocking was made possible through the Adopt-A-Trout fundraising efforts of our chapter. Thank you to all those that made donations to make this stocking successful. These brown trout are there to supplement the Elkhart Conservation Club stocking of fingerling brown trout and to establish a resident population of brown trout required to have a year round trout fishery. Being able to fish trout in the late summer and fall in Northern Indiana with a reasonable possibility of success and having a resident brown trout population large enough to make it worth the effort is simply awesome. This chapter is responsible for that and you should take great pride in the knowing that as a member of this chapter you helped make that a reality.


Feature Fly “Olive Mid-Body Bead Nymph” by Mike Beachy
This nymph is one that I began to tie after taking a class from renowned Northern Michigan fly tier; Dennis Potter. In his class he taught a pheasant tail tied in a like fashion. The mid-body bead is hidden inside the thorax of the fly and is not exposed as a giant head behind the eye of the hook. The other detail that Dennis taught was to go ahead and bend the tail of the fly around the bend of the hook. A natural drifting nymph is usually wiggling through the current and is seldom laying flat. The bent tail section of the fly appears more lifelike. Dennis used rubber legs on his nymph rather then the ostrich herl but you can do what feels right to you. I have never found an advantage to the rubber legs in rather strong current although they may look good in slower flows. I have also found that brown trout have a tendency to tear up the rubber legs and I just end up fishing them with tore off legs and do just as well without them. I use this fly as one of two flies in a nymph rig or as a trailer fly tied on 20 inches behind a streamer fly dangled into a run or around woody cover. It has worked very well for me this early season of ’09 and I will most likely continue its use into the summer however I will most likely downsize it to a size 14 or 16 when the water gets warmer and shallower. Hook: 1Xlong nymph hook size 12 Bead: 1/8” tungsten faceted black Tail: Olive pheasant tail fibers Abdomen: Spectrablend light or dark olive, fine copper wire rib Thorax: Awesome ‘Possum dubbing dark olive Wing Case: Pre-glued turkey or pheasant tail section Thread: 6/0 black Legs: Olive ostrich herl

Thread bead on hook, attach thread in shank making a small football to stop bead from sliding forward. Slide bead onto thread stop keeping it 1/16” back from eye. Cross thread over bead and wrap front and back several times at different spots on bead to secure. Wrap thread on behind bead.

Attach turkey feather section of wing casing material. Dub a big thick thorax body of Dark Olive ‘Possum Dubbing the same size as the bead between the abdomen and the bead. Jump your thread forward of the bead

Tie on 3 to 5 olive pheasant tail fibers about half the length of shank for tail length. Wrap tail around hook bend a little so fly looks curved when complete and not perfectly flat. Tie in fine copper wire for ribbing on the next step.

Attach olive ostrich herl and wrap several times around the shank like you would a hackle in front of the bead making the nymph legs.

Use olive Spectrablend dubbing and dub a cone shaped abdomen from tail to 1/16” behind bead. Spiral-wrap fine copper wire to form rib separations on the abdomen then bind down with thread.

Bring wing casing over the top of the ‘Possum, the bead and the ostrich hurl and tie down. Continue to wrap thread to create a head in front of herl and behind the hook eye. Tie off thread and glue.

Summer, 2009


River Log Jam Clean up
For the third year LECTU will be holding four workdays this summer. The focus of the clean up is to open up the main river channel and clean out some of the logjams that impede the flow of the river. The logjam clean out accomplishes several objectives. By opening the flow of the river, water is allowed to flow more freely. Moving water creates oxygen and prevents warming that occurs when water is backed up. Moving water will help scour the bottom creating more trout habitat. Opening flow through areas help make log jams more fishable by removing snags. The debris that are removed from the log jams are then either discarded up on the bank or rearranged to narrow the river and deflect flow creating more trout habitat. Legally all work has to be done by hand and using hand tools only otherwise permits have to be secured. Many times the logs that require moving are heavy and require several guys to accomplish the task. We need volunteers to assist in these projects. The camaraderie is good and we always have a blast. I would encourage you to come and help out. Bring someone with you especially if they are young and strong. The work may be hard but the rewards can be fulfilling. It is a great way to get to know the river and it’s secret spots. It will make you a better fisherman once you are in tune with the river. You will need to come ready to get in the water. Waders and bug spray is a must. I would recommend a garden rake and some rubberized gloves. Scheduled workdays are Saturday July 11, July 25, August 15 and August 29. We will meet at Riverbend Park just east of the stoplight in downtown Middlebury at 8:00am each day. Generally we work until noon and then go fishing. We will work if it is lightly raining however if it is a downpour and if there is lightning we will not work.

Safely Release Your Catch
These guidelines have appeared in prior newsletters however they are worth mentioning again. Our trout are a great resource and the reason why we enjoy our sport. The more trout in our waters the better fishing we have. Fish are good to eat but are more fun to catch. The practice of catch and release has proved to be successful and allows the pleasure of fishing without depleting the population. Trout are a fragile fish that require special care to successfully survive being caught and released. Knowledge of the following guidelines will aid in this process.

c) Keep the fish in the water as long as possible. Unhook the trout while it remains in the net in the water. d) Turn the trout upside down. If you have to handle a fish turn it upside down. This will disorient the trout and it will temporarily hold still and not flop around. It also eliminates the need to squeeze the fish. e) Pinch the barbs down on your hooks. You may loose some fish but it speeds up unhooking and reduces the chance of damaging the fish’s mouth. f) If a fish takes your fly deep cut the tippet as close to the fly as possible and get it back into the water as quick as possible. Do not tear a fish apart in an attempt to recover your fly Face the trout into the current free from sediments to revive a fish if necessary. Silt in a trout’s gills will decrease its ability to take in needed oxygen. Release the fish gently back into the river. Do not toss it.

Keys to successful catch and release: a) Do not over play a fish to exhaustion. Land them in as quick as possible and get them back into the water

b) Always wet your hands prior to handling a fish. This will reduce the damage to the trout’s protective slime layer. Better yet never touch the fish. Slide your hand down the line to the fly and unhook it.

"A good gamefish is too valuable to be caught only once." - Lee Wulff

Summer, 2009


LECTU Board of Directors & Election Meeting
Recently LECTU adopted a new set of bylaws for the governing of our chapter. As a result in the timing of this project LECTU was void of three acting Board of Directors. In recent action taken at the June meeting three active members in good standing volunteered to serve as interim Board members until our September 9, 2009 annual membership meeting. At the September meeting Board of Directors elections will take place and the Board of Directors will be voted into those positions. The members who volunteered and will serve as interim Directors are Brandon Rasler, Tom Taylor and Jim Phillips. The remaining Board of Directors are the officers of the Chapter and the most recent past president. The Annual Meeting of the Little Elkhart Chapter of Trout Unlimited will be held on September 9, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. in the Middlebury Library. At this meeting we will be holding our annual elections. The seats that will need to be decided are: President Vice President Treasurer Secretary Board of Director (one-year term) Board of Director (two-year term) Board of Director (three-year term) Any member of good standing (at this point everyone is) who has a desire to serve in any one of these capacities needs to contact one of the LECTU officers to have their name included on the election slate. Nominations will be taken from the floor as well prior to the election. The slate of officers will be posted on our web-site (LECTU.org) prior to the September meeting as required by the bylaws.

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

LECTU Logo merchandise available at www.lectu.org
Get the official LECTU logo apparel on the web site. Need a hat, shirt or jacket? Why not sport your T.U. chapter logo. Proceeds go to the chapter projects and support a worthy cause

“My biggest worry is that my wife, when I’m dead, will sell my fishing gear for what I said I paid for it.” -Koos Brandt

Summer, 2009