I will be in Indianapolis on business in July - and as always I will have a fly rod with me. I should be able to sneak out for a day or so - can anyone give me some advice on where I can drown some flies within an hour of the City?
I haven't lived in Indiana for more than 30 years, so I'm not the best source of information, but my suggestions would be:
1) Call "Flymasters of Indianapolis" and ask them for advice, I'm sure they'd help you. Nice fly shop on the North side of town.
2) The White River runs right through the city. I believe it has decent smallmouth fishing, although I don't know what July is like. I believe the best parts are south of the city, in the vicinity of Martinsville/Spencer. The North side, up towards Noblesville, is also popular. There are guides available, you can find them with an internet search or Flymasters can probably set you up.
3) Sugar Creek, near Crawfordsville, is ~1 hour from Indy and it is a good smallmouth stream. Its also very beautiful, I did a few float trips when I was in college back there.
I live in Indy, but mainly fish local ponds due to time restrictions. However, there are sections of the White River that are good for small mouth. Access to them can be a pain if you don't have a boat or knowledge of where to park. I would also give Wild Cat Creek Outfitters a call. They are in Zionsville, north west of Indy and offer guided trips.
There is a section of Eagle Creek in Zionsville that's supposedly good for wading, smallies and carp. I've never tried it, but plan to this summer.
There's also Eagle Creek Reservoir, west of the city. You would be bank fishing there, unless you had access to a boat. I haven't fished there in a while, so I can't comment if it's good or not.
Brookville Tailwaters is in the south east section of the state (near Cinci), that is stocked with trout. May be a bit of a drive for you though (1.5 - 2 hours).
I guess it depends on what type of fishing (river, lake, wading, floating, etc.) you want to do. Oh, just so you know, I would not keep anything to eat from the waters in IN. I don't know if you knew that or not, but just throwing it out there.
If you have any other questions (restaurants, etc.), pm me, and I will do my best to answer.
If this reply isn't too late for your trip, you might consider checking out Geist Park on the NE side of Indy ( located at 113th and Florida Rd). The park has a good deal of access to Fall Creek as it begins to widen and feed into the reservoir. Not much in the way of wading there but plenty of decent crappie and a few smallies.
Oh, just so you know, I would not keep anything to eat from the waters in IN. I don't know if you knew that or not, but just throwing it out there.
Why would you not eat anything from Indiana waters? The White River is listed as a Class III waterway. Most waters are Class III in Indiana. Sure you should not eat from them everyday but once a month will not hurt.
I know this thread is old, but I figured we could keep it going as sort of a "fishing report" for the waters around Indy.
On Saturday (5/10), I fished the White River at 146th street. Flows are finally getting down to fishable levels. I caught six smallies averaging ~14" swinging a cream/grey lead eye streamer through one pool. I also caught a crappie near that same pool. I saw some carp as well, but they were "dancing" and not eating.
Harry, I did not know that Ft. Ben has trout. I'll look into that. Thanks.
@ pjcalla, great idea on the updates/reports. On that note, a little farther out than local waters but I gave the stretch of the Big Blue River in Wilbur Wright SRA a try yesterday. It's probably one of the closest trout stocking locations (aside from Ft. Ben) to Indy. DNR rep I chatted with said most of what was stocked in the spring had been cleaned out opening weekend. Caught a few creek chubs (5-6") on gold bead head nymphs, switched over to an elk hair caddis and got a couple more after they stopped biting on the nymphs. Didn't spot any trout but saw quite a few good sized carp. Most of the pools are about 8-12' feet deep and there weren't too many decent spots to wade though.
Haven't had the chance to get out much on the White or the Little Eagle Creek branch lately but did land a 4lb largemouth on a crayfish pattern a few weeks ago.
After a couple weekends of landscaping/yard work, I was able to sneak out on Sunday (6/1) morning to the White River. I got on the water around 8:15am at the 146th street access. I fished under the bridge for a few minutes, but nothing was cooperating.
I decided to do a little exploring, trying to access water that I have been unable to get to due to time restraints/wanting to fish. I figured I would make this more of a scouting trip than anything, trying to find new pools/spots to hit in the future.
I decided to head north, as I have gone pretty far down river, rarely seeing any fish. So, off to the bank and the weeds (man, they have really grown in the last two weeks ) to make better "time." I started trekking and quickly realized that my decision wasn't the best.
The weeds were about head-high, so I pulled my buff up, hat down, and stuck my hands in the chest pocket of my waders while holding my rod in my armpit. This was a futile effort to prevent the mosquitoes, ticks, whatever else from biting/stinging me and to avoid Poison Ivy. It was almost like I was in the African Savannah, just waiting for a lion to ambush me in the tall grass. I really don't know how far I made it, nor how long I hiked, but the bank was getting really steep, and I didn't want to get stuck in a deep pool/cliff combination, so I turned back.
I made it back to the pool I fished two weeks ago soaking in sweat and eaten alive. I swung some streamers, only to get one to eat. It was a dink smallie, but at least I didn't get skunked. I was just happy to be on the water with a breeze in my face, instead of bugs, bugs, bugs, bugs, weeds and more weeds.
Anyway, I figured I would update this post, and the search will continue for new water.