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Indiana is most well-known as a warmwater fishing state, with several great smallmouth streams and excellent carp fishing. But, in northern Indiana, anglers have access to the bounty of Lake Michigan as well as some fantastic runs of steelhead and salmon that move up the streams that pour into the lake.
Trail Creek and the St. Joseph River are Indiana?s foremost steelhead fisheries, and many believe these streams receive the best runs of steelhead of any rivers in the Great Lakes region. Trail Creek is a smaller stream that curves through the woods, whereas the St. Joseph River is much larger and ideal for two-handed spey-style fishing. In the summer months anglers fish for Skamania-strain steelhead, followed by Michigan-strain steelhead in the winter. The chinook and coho salmon generally move into the rivers in late September to late October. Both the Trail Creek and St. Joseph are also well known for their excellent brown trout populations that come in from the lake, with average fish size in the 3 to 4-pound range and some trophies exceeding 10 pounds! For more trout fishing action, the Brookville Tailwater near the Ohio border offers two and a half miles of fishable water stocked with brown and rainbow trout annually.
Near Indianapolis, you?ll find some of the state?s best warmwater fishing, with smallmouth bass being the fly angler?s primary focus. An hour?s drive from Indianapolis will take you to Sugar Creek, where a 20-inch legal limit on smallmouth helps maintain a good population of larger sized fish. The Eel River is only one and a half hours outside Indianapolis, and is also a very productive smallmouth stream ideal for wade fishing, and is a great place to go after carp with a fly rod.
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