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7-06-04 - If you can get past the bugs, Trail Creek is quite stunning in the summer.

After dusk, Dave nailed this Skamania on the flying bunny.

Nice Rod, Nice Fish, that's what Dave is all about!

7-07-04 - I know, I swore I'd never do this again!

Waters Fished: Trail Creek
Fish Caught: 0/2 personally, 1 for Dave
Outing Date: 7-07-04
Weather: Sunny
Air Temp: upper 70's
Water Temp: 62F
Water Level: normal
Water Color: usual green, visibility 1.5'
Fish Species: Steelhead (Skamania Strain)
Pattern Fished: Flying Bunny
Pattern Color: Chartreuse and Orange, White and Red
Fishing Quality: INTERESTING....

"Got out with Dave and Creek Chub." That's how I started this report just to remind me what I did on what day LOL...I've been fishin' every day since the 2nd...haven't written a report yet at that point...things were starting to blur!

"Got out with Dave and Creek Chub" TOTALLY doesn't do this outing justice. For starters I broke a personal promise to myself, Bart, Dave, and all of you. That promise? I was NEVER going to buy another Indiana License.

Dave, Bart and other folks KNOW about this vow, this New Year's resolution made ex post facto Since I uttered that now infamous phrase, they've been after me to fish Indiana. Bart sent me pictures from the 15 fish day he had off the Michigan City Pier. I post Dave's reports on his site, I get the absolute firsthand info, and man he knows how to rub it in. All spring, since May when the Skams started running, it's been Indiana Steelhead this, Indiana Steelhead that, from ALL SIDES!

Well finally, Dave gave me an offer that was TOO GOOD TO PASS UP. For starters, he can't have me slammin' and bad-mouthin' Indiana here...that's bad for business. I disclaim now, there's PLENTY of good fishin' in Indiana from what I've seen my buddies do; I am just CURSED.

So what got me to head down there YET AGAIN? SKAMANIA STEELHEAD ON THE DRY FLY. Yes, you heard right. For those who need shorter sentences, "STEELHEAD ON DRY FLIES".

I had virtually nothing to do at the office that day, so I cut out early (thanks) and headed down to Creekside Outfitters to meet up with Dave and Creek Chub. On the ride out to our first spot, I asked Dave about steelies on the dry. I mean obviously they don't happen all the time. I hope he doesn't mind me posting the tips here....

In a nutshell, use an orange strike indicator. Carry dayglow orange Waller Walkers. IF, and it's a BIG if, you find a restless steelie that strikes your indicator, this is the time to switch to the Waker and hold on. That's it, nothing more to it, just find the fish that's willing to hit the surface. Doesn't happen every outing (it didn't on this one).

So we got in on Trail Creek (guess who's now a member of NWIS, aka. Northwest Indiana Steelheaders). I can see certain folk rolling over in their as-of-yet undug graves! The dues ($15 annually) go to things like maintaining the private accesses on the stream and stream improvements. Dave showed me some of those stream improvements. My $15 was a donation well spent in my eyes (BTW, Dave, if you forgot, the $14 in your glovebox!)

Bugs weren't that bad...we were liberally coated with repellent. The fish numbers were thin downstream, I personally saw a couple spook out of the riffles and into a log jam. Figures. While fishin' in front of the jam I got a hit from a fair sized silver fish....by "fair" sized I mean it'd be a small Iowa Trout...maybe 10". At least I had good company; Creek Chub and I spent a lot of time talkin' about Trout Fishin...I guess when you don't have it locally you yearn for it. During this talking and wandering I did watch a smolt, maybe 6", come up and try to hit my Flying Bunny. Humorous. We kinda just wandered around but in the end decided upstream was worth a shot.

Upstream was the ticket. I personally tied into two fish in the same bend. Overall Dave was Mr. "On the Go"...one of the tips he's suggested is that when fly fishing, you're going to hit the willing biters right away....no point in sitting on the same hole. Cover it well and fast...then move on.

So after sunset I'm back on the hole going for that aforementioned second hit when upstream I see Dave shouting, jumping up and down like a madman. I pack up and head over to find that he's landed a steelie...didn't have his camera with and wanted me to shoot it.

Now I'll tell you the downside to the Skamania...they die quick. Dave's went ballistic when hooked, jumped 6 times and pretty much came to shore dead. The water upstream on Trail was a balmy 62F. So if you go targeting Skams plan on bringin' them home. The upside...these are NOT wild fish...the Indiana Steelhead fishery is considered Put & Take, or to be more concise as someone on TSS pointed out, Put, Grow & Take.'

Oh, and yes, still cursed, but on my way to breaking it someday. 2 steelies on is my best in Indiana to date, which isn't too bad for only a few hours on a random day.

Stop in sometime over at Creekside or give them a call and ask Dave about the Creekside Conservation Club. You WILL want to hear what he has to say....my ears are perked up.

  MP 

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