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Fly-By-Night
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Never targeted Smallies but I have to go back to N. Indiana for 3.5 months. Planning on hitting the St. Joe, Kankakee, Dowagiac in S. MI and anywhere else you guys suggest. I'll be taking single hand and Spey setups.

What are your favorite patterns and methods for spring through early summer? Also areas to target....... Downed trees, gravel, sand, deep, shallow.....Etc

I will have a small boat with me if that makes any difference in the advice.
 

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When will you be in Indiana? What town will you be staying in? All the rivers you've listed are excellent fisheries, St. Joe even has a solid pike population. Dowagiac also has trout...

Chasing smallies is probably my favorite fishing as it is the best fly fishing you can do in Indiana. I've fished central Indiana for a couple years now and have a few things figured out.

Wade fishing is your best option for sure. If you are chasing smallies, a 6 or 7wt would be ideal, I lean towards 7 for the waters in the northern part of the state. 2.5" to 3" streamers in white, olive,or light olive are a good place to start. Late spring and early summer the top water bite is on fire. Poppers are a great bet, white, yellow, or olive. If you intend to go after pike, grab your 8wt and find some 6" baitfish streamers.

PM me if you have any more questions bro. I'll be more than happy to talk specifics.

Tight lines.

Lou
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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If you can make the drive to Traverse City MI, I would recommend at least one weekend there. Ive fished there several times for smallies and carp. There are plenty of places to park on the side of the road and make a wade. Most of the fish were in the 3lb range but a few went over 5lbs. Had shots at carp too but no luck getting one to eat.
 

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Fly-By-Night
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Discussion Starter #5
If you can make the drive to Traverse City MI, I would recommend at least one weekend there. Ive fished there several times for smallies and carp. There are plenty of places to park on the side of the road and make a wade. Most of the fish were in the 3lb range but a few went over 5lbs. Had shots at carp too but no luck getting one to eat.
Last time I was up here I spent most of my time chasing steelhead. Went after carp a few times around Whiting in the big lake, found them, stalked them, perfect cast...... Nothing X 50 lol. I'm going to give it a shot again though. I may try Traverse though if I get a chance. Thanks for the info.
 

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Fly-By-Night
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3,128 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
When will you be in Indiana? What town will you be staying in? All the rivers you've listed are excellent fisheries, St. Joe even has a solid pike population. Dowagiac also has trout...

Chasing smallies is probably my favorite fishing as it is the best fly fishing you can do in Indiana. I've fished central Indiana for a couple years now and have a few things figured out.

Wade fishing is your best option for sure. If you are chasing smallies, a 6 or 7wt would be ideal, I lean towards 7 for the waters in the northern part of the state. 2.5" to 3" streamers in white, olive,or light olive are a good place to start. Late spring and early summer the top water bite is on fire. Poppers are a great bet, white, yellow, or olive. If you intend to go after pike, grab your 8wt and find some 6" baitfish streamers.

PM me if you have any more questions bro. I'll be more than happy to talk specifics.

Tight lines.

Lou
Thanks Lou. I'll be staying in the Schererville area.

Also I have multiple 5, 6, 8 weights short and long, donated my 10' 7# for a PHW raffle..... Never used it, and didn't expect to be going on this project....

I'll send you a message this evening, with some questions. Preparing for my trip right now. In the middle of sorting rods and tackle, tying materials, etc then I have to work on packing clothes.
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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Last time I was up here I spent most of my time chasing steelhead. Went after carp a few times around Whiting in the big lake, found them, stalked them, perfect cast...... Nothing X 50 lol. I'm going to give it a shot again though. I may try Traverse though if I get a chance. Thanks for the info.
You'll like Traverse. Its a fairly small community but its young and hip. I think it has more brew pubs than any other city in Michigan. At least that's what I was told the last time I was there. Lots of folksy art and great restaurants. There are several parks at the waters edge where you can park and start/end your wades. For the more adventurous, take a scenic drive up the coast and find a fire road that leads to the lake. Less fishing pressure off the fire roads but you may have to contend with an angry homeowner every now and then.
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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Never targeted Smallies but I have to go back to N. Indiana for 3.5 months. Planning on hitting the St. Joe, Kankakee, Dowagiac in S. MI and anywhere else you guys suggest. I'll be taking single hand and Spey setups.

What are your favorite patterns and methods for spring through early summer? Also areas to target....... Downed trees, gravel, sand, deep, shallow.....Etc

I will have a small boat with me if that makes any difference in the advice.
fish the holes you find deep in the spring. natural colored streamers, wooly buggers on intermediate sink tip. top water is a waste of time until mid-summer......unless they begin hitting earlier. that's how we get em.
 
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