Free fishing festival set at refuge

A comprehensive teaching plan to introduce youngsters to fishing is what is behind a fishing festival coinciding with an Indiana free fishing day Sept. 24.

On a day when no fishing license is needed to cast into state waters, Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge will host a special event that includes a wide range of programs. The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the refuge, 12985 E. U.S. 50, Seymour.

Included on the program will be cane pole making, exhibits and basic fishing information, children’s games and crafts, fishing lessons with equipment provided and fly fishing and fly tying demonstrations conducted by the Indianapolis Fly Casters.

Park Ranger Donna Stanley believes this is the first time in years the Indianapolis Fly Casters will be visiting Muscatatuck for such a program on a fall date.

“Years ago, they did it,” she said. “It has probably been 15 years since they did it.”

The club meets monthly and states its purpose is to share information to help individuals improve fly fishing abilities.

On other free fishing days during the year, Muscatatuck has hosted contests for youngsters fishing. There will be no competition involved in this festival, but kids will have the opportunity to drop a line in Discovery Pond on the premises.

“They can fish,” Stanley said.

That includes the chance to fish even if a youngster never has fished before. Largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill and channel catfish are among the kinds of fish that swim in the bodies of water on the refuge.