Fly Fishing for Spring Trout in Southern Indiana

We are all in the midst of a strange period in our American history as the Covid-19 pandemic rolls on; good that we still have some of the simpler things in life and this video is about as simple as it gets. It could be titled a man and his float tube…but it might be just a bit more complicated than that.

Teaching in the 21st century is also taken a strange turn; who’d have thought that the last 9 weeks of a 35 year teaching career would find me at a computer talking to kids who are also on their computers…keep in mind that my undergrad degree from Indiana University came about before computers were even a thing, in fact I did most of my first Masters on a manual typewriter! So, all that being said, a break from crazy was needed and the solution was a short 35 minute drive down the road to Midland Lake, situated in The Hillenbrand FWA.

I pulled into the parking lot behind another fisher-person, an old lady who was curious as to what I was going to fish for and how I was going to go about it in ‘that little boat’? I took my time, something I can do now at this point in my life as I am just about retired; made sure I had a few flies and then shoved off into the lake. I was pleased to see that the water was pretty clear. The lakes in this neck of the woods can be fickle, you need to know if there is an entry stream or not…if there is, they fill up quickly and stay dirty for quite a while. In the case of Midland, the water is usually clear to very clear.

Another simple part of the night, besides being in no hurry…was my gear. I had a 4 weight rod/reel with a 4 wt. sink tip line, down to 3X tippet and my fly of choice, was a size 8 crème colored trout candy. I didn’t know if this would ‘trip the light fandango’ for the trout or not…but as you will see from the video, it was in their wheelhouse.

Note to self…trout are photophobic (they don’t like light) and therefore I was on the water about an hour early…ah, but remember, I am not in a hurry. It was about half past 6 when I saw action in the middle of the lake and immediately thought it was a school of small bass. More movement and then up from the lake came a silver rainbow trout and did his best version of a high flier.

I eased my float tube over into the middle section of the lake, where the action was happening and within a few minutes had landed my first trout of the night. The next 75 minutes was a slow paced troll with the occasional strip of my fly line. A hit here and a hit there and what seemed like just a few minutes was about an hour and a half and I was putting my 5th and final trout on my stringer. It had indeed been an enjoyable and laid back night; strolling along in my float tube, dragging a trout candy behind. What more could a guy ask for…in fact it is at times like this that I usually ask myself, “What are the rich people doing tonight”?

I hope you like the video and if you are close enough…make a move on over to Greene County and give the spring trout season a go. Remember that if you have any questions you can direct those to me at question/comment section below or by emailing me directly at


    • Kevin Kidwell
    • April 13, 2020

    Hi Jeff, its so good to see you back on the water and enjoying this wonderful pastime experience that we are so blessed with. Im about 3 hours from that area and am planning a trip down there in the next week or so to attempt to pick up a trout or two myself. I dont own a fly rod as light as the one you are using but would love to aquire one soon. Would you mind going into a little more detail on the set up you are using in this video? looks like loads of fun ! Thanks for sharing your knowledge on this sport and may God bless you in all you do . Kevin

    • Jeff I Carmichael
    • April 14, 2020

    I was using a 4 wt rod with a type 1 sink tip…and frankly I could have used a type 3 line to get the fly down a bit deeper. The other option would be to go to a fly with a little more weight. Unless it is overcast, you are wasting your time fishing any time of the day short of the first couple of hours in the morning or the last couple of hours at night. You will know as the trout will start to surface and feed in the top couple of feet. As for leader, my tippet was 3X and that was small enough…but you could go to 4X if you want to. The other thing that I do is actually submerge my rod tip while traveling backwards…the deeper I push the rod tip, the deeper the fly will go and a couple of feet can make a big difference. The fly was one of my own trout candies….you can find the video on the website; I would add a bead head and some wraps of .025 in the middle of the fly. Best of luck and hope this helps….

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