Fly Fishing Indiana’s Sugar Creek for Big Smallmouth

Living close enough to make it to and then fish one of our better smallmouth waters is truly a blessing; Indiana’s Sugar Creek, which I have documented a number of times before, runs from northeast to southwest, eventually dumping into the Wabash River. It starts out small but along the way picks up creeks, springs and other sources of water…eventually becoming its own force…and oh yeah…this creek has some of the finest smallmouth conditions in the Hoosier State.

Vickie and I just purchased a new camper, one made by Dutchmen and specifically made quite durable so as to be able to travel into some out of the way locations. It is our plan to travel this great country, seeing the people and the sites…and along the way, to fly fish for about every species of fish that will take a fly. We decided we would head a couple hours north, to Turkey Run State Park and spend a few nights; allowing us to better get to know our new rig…and allowing me to be close to Sugar Creek and its awesomeness!

After setting up I quickly drove down to the Cox Ford Bridge (just west of Turkey Run) to check the water conditions first hand. I was disappointed as the usually nice, clear stream…while not running too quickly…took on the look of a morning cup of coffee with a few creamers. That meant that for a couple of days I would drive a bit and fish the Big Walnut (always a good back up plan). By Wednesday, July 10th the color of the water gave me a big thumbs up.

Vickie dumped me out at the High Bridge and I drug and portaged my way downhill to the creek where I jumped in my Voyager, and headed downstream. I decided to use my St. Croix 7 wt. rod for making some long casts…and tied on a 4 inch white baitfish patter; I wanted to make sure that both myself…and the fish…could see the fly.

It became quickly evident that the fish were up for a meal and on the chase; the first five minutes gave me several ‘slashes’ at my fly…one fish in particular was a true giant and made me a bit ill knowing I had missed an early shot at a 20 inch fish. A few years of experience told me that casting back upstream and quickly stripping my fly down-current was the ticket for the day…and the rest as they say, is history (in this case, it’s actually on the video).

I started precisely at 11am and at 5pm I had casted and caught fish for six straight hours. It was then that my day got a bit hairy…several loud claps of thunder (one particularly close one really got my attention) gave me the nudge to ‘put my back into the rowing’ and row I did…covering the next three miles in just over an hour!

Sugar Creek is indeed a trophy fishery and as luck would have it…I did have my chance at a 20 incher later in the day and was able to successfully land a truly super fish. These are in fact the days that I live for, sore shoulder and all…so if you are looking for an awesome piece of water…look no further than Sugar Creek, you won’t be disappointed.

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