Troutnut.com Fly Fishing for Trout Home
User Password
or register.
Scientific name search:

> > Indicators

JesseJanuary 12th, 2012, 3:32 pm
Posts: 378
How do you guys feel about nymphing with indicators? What techniques do you use when throwing them, and what is your indicator of choice? Feel free to add any other comments related to the topic!!!!!!!!!!!
Most of us fish our whole lives..not knowing its not the fish that we are after.
http://www.filingoflyfishing.com
DoublespeyJanuary 12th, 2012, 3:44 pm
Posts: 61
Seldom use them personally, and I own, and make most of them in use...from Thingamabobs to simple yarn indicators. I have thousands of "little corky" bobbers that were used for steelheading years ago. Just don't choose to use them when on the water. Virtually every time that I do though, it is a bigger dry fly that is the indicator...hopper/dropper type thing. And it usually is 2/3 of the way through a days float, and we have had poor results that I say to my partner, "think we'd better use a dropper along with that dry."
JOHNWJanuary 12th, 2012, 5:08 pm
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
Jesse,
I am partial to the little sleve type indicators that I jam onto the knots in my leader so I end up with multiple "indicators" and therefore don't have to be constantly fiddling to account for depth. I only use this on days where nymphing is the only technique I plan on using for the day (ie winter or high water).
Second to those are the thingamabobbers or a small ballon in the same fashion which I learned to love on the Missouri a few summers back. They allow for fairly rapid changes in indicator to fly distance aren't too terrible to cast and are fairly sensitive.
But in all honesty I have learned to "nymph naked" and enjoy it.
JW
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
CaseyPJanuary 12th, 2012, 6:28 pm
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
But in all honesty I have learned to "nymph naked" and enjoy it.--JohnW


me too, and it is the ultimate in nymphing...but eventually there is that one slot i just can't quite reach with a 9 ft rod, so i slap on a couple of snips of poly yarn in a drab color with a Lark's Head knot at an appropriate depth, and float the same "naked" rig.

that drab poly is enough to see and not so much as to spook winter fish. grey and some olive is great. McFlylon is a good brand to try for this. infinitely adjustable, cheap, unobtrusive.

i am an unadventurous wader (read small and not young), especially in the winter, and this extends my reach quite a bit.
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
MartinlfJanuary 12th, 2012, 8:17 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2925
George Daniels has a great book out, Dynamic Nymphing, and in it he discusses different sorts of indicators in detail, dividing them into those used for tight lining and those used as suspension devices. It's one of the best discussions I've seen. I use colored mono filament built into my leader and/or little dots of strike putty when tight lining, and a variety of devices when suspending, including the foam types, which I generally prefer. I've had some success with yarn also, and with dry flies, using the dry and dropper set up.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
WbranchJanuary 12th, 2012, 9:33 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2506
I seldom nymph in the traditional sense any longer when trout fishing but on those few occasions when a nymph is chosen I fish it without the encumberance of a bobber. I have no difficulty in sensing strikes. I was nymphing my butt off for decades before many forum members were even born. I know it might be difficult to believe but after you nymph often, for about ten years, you can sometimes just sense there is a trout there. It never happened that often but I remember just a subtle feeling that something was there and when I lifted the rod bent.

Now when I steelhead fish the Erie creeks I have a orange, or pink, Thingamabobber on my leader all day long. Not so much to see the take but to keep my two flies from getting hung up constantly on all the loose shale on the bottom.

I have been known to drop a BHPT on a 8" piece of 5X off of my dry fly when fishing in Montana.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
TNEALJanuary 12th, 2012, 10:45 pm
GRAYLING. MICHIGAN

Posts: 275
Seems like the Catskill fly fisher and I have had similar experiences. I fished nymphs for many years in the same way... no bobbers, intense concentration, and the end result was at times just knowing a fish was on. My first trout on a fly was from Michigan's AuSable East Branch in 1954...
EntomanJanuary 13th, 2012, 2:01 am
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Not so much to see the take but to keep my two flies from getting hung up constantly on all the loose shale on the bottom.

I agree Matt, depth control requires their use sometimes. An example is with long floats down a run that is pretty uniform in depth. It's a lot of work to keep the nymphs out of the cobble yet still in the zone without an indicator.

One use that I've never understood that perhaps someone could explain is the reason some anglers have for sliding the egg type up a tapered leader to within a foot or two of the line tip on the butt. Regarding the butt, they are a pain in it to cast and the only function I see them performing is taking the angler's focus off the line and leader, which is not a good thing.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
DoublespeyJanuary 13th, 2012, 9:03 am
Posts: 61
Some of my best hooksets are when I try to cast, and a darn fish won't let me. Positive, right in the corner of the mouth..dry fly fishing, or nymphing.
JesseJanuary 13th, 2012, 3:36 pm
Posts: 378
Do you guys feel that more strikes are missed due to their suppleness when not using any sort of an indicator?
Most of us fish our whole lives..not knowing its not the fish that we are after.
http://www.filingoflyfishing.com
Flatstick96January 13th, 2012, 4:24 pm
Posts: 127
I like the sleeves that JW mentioned, and I also like the "turn on", in it's smallest size. I'll often use the two together (but I've been told my nymphing "technique" is kinda weird, so you can take my input with a big grain of salt).
EntomanJanuary 13th, 2012, 4:24 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Do you guys feel that more strikes are missed due to their suppleness when not using any sort of an indicator?

If you can't see the leader and only have the line tip's motion to work with, very delicate takes are obviously harder to detect simply because the line tip is further away from the fly and therefore far less likely to register such subtleties.

However, there is something in human nature that allows for a "sixth sense" to kick in at times, usually as the result of intense practice of the art. Guys that have it often chuckle that they don't know why they set up. They claim not to see or necessarily feel anything, they just "know" a fish is there. It's been described as "being in the zone", "getting the timing" or "being one with the river" among other descriptions that may seem more or less silly. I can't explain it and many may scoff at this as esoteric hyperbole. But I've witnessed the effect too many times to be a doubter about its existence, whatever label is put on it.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
JesseJanuary 13th, 2012, 4:54 pm
Posts: 378
what would you say to those who are less experienced though? Im not talking about for us PRO's ah ;)
Most of us fish our whole lives..not knowing its not the fish that we are after.
http://www.filingoflyfishing.com
EntomanJanuary 13th, 2012, 6:38 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
what would you say to those who are less experienced though?

Same thing. It's up to them how they want to approach it. Most stick with the obvious first paragraph realities and use an indicator. You only get to the latter paragraph through practice and it doesn't really matter when you start. In fact an argument can be made that a beginner that hasn't been exposed to a lot of indicator fishing will have a shorter learning curve than one who has.

I know a lot of people in the sport with 5 seasons or more experience that have never really employed any method other than indicator nymphing. Heck, just watch the fishing shows. You'd be amazed how many think that indicator fishing is the universe. If you took away their indicators, I think they'd have less confidence than the beginner.:)

Some of the first trout I ever caught on a fly were taken with dead drifting nymphs tumbled down deep into inlets where pods of rainbows were staging. sometimes you'd see a twitch, usually a pause, but after doing it enough, you'd often pull the trigger and not really know why you did. More often than not a fish would be there. Sierra lakes after ice-out are great for this and there are hundreds of them. On Putah creek, I used to fish the shallower pools with the leader butt greased and look for the twitch. All these experiences occurred in my youth. I'm not an "expert" now (whatever that means), and I certainly wasn't one back then.:)

Back to your original point though, I guarantee a lot of takes go undetected, regardless of method.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
WbranchJanuary 13th, 2012, 10:17 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2506
Kurt,

You wrote;

"I've never understood that perhaps someone could explain is the reason some anglers have for sliding the egg type up a tapered leader to within a foot or two of the line tip on the butt."

I think I know why that is done - Way back in the early 1990's I went to the Big Horn with a buddy and for one day we booked a very well known local guide who had a little lodge. Well I can't mention his name because he and I had major words within the first half hour of the float. Basically he told me I had to use his flies because he had so much experience and how in the world did I think my flies would be any good.

But before we had the final blow-up and I told him not to speak to me for the rest of the day he did show me how to be very successful in nymphing straight upstream in fast water.

He took one of those double sided hot red little stick-on indicators and put it about three inches below my nail knot. He told me to tie on a pheasant tail and a scud (mine haha) and a little "B" size shot and throw it upstream and just watch that little stick-on indicator while bringing in the slack as the line floated back to me. It was so easy to see the take when the indicator did a little jerk upstream. Actually is was like I was in a river that had never been fished and cast after cast I was hooking up with hot rainbows and browns. I'm convinced to this day that I wouldn't have been able to see the line move upstream without the stick-on.

In my opinion when the indicator is near the nail knot it is truly perfoming the function of a strike indicator and not a depth control mechanism.

BTW at the end of the day as we were in his vehicle going back to Cottonwood Campground where we were staying he says to my friend "Oh yea, bt the way, you owe me $25.00 for the flies you used today". I'm not kidding that is what he said.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
EntomanJanuary 13th, 2012, 11:59 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Matt -

Ah... You were cutting into his profit margins! Imagine what he would have tried to charge you if you did use a lot of his flies... Did you tip him well?:) LOL

Being both guide and lodge operator can set up a bit of a conflict of interest. I never worried about flies. Mine, yours - whatever works and makes people happy. I would comment if I thought a particular choice was a bad selection and always encouraged being shown boxes at the beginning of the day. You'd be surprised how often remembering a guys selection would turn out to be important later. I'd always ask which ones he tied and catalog the ones I thought would work. Later, if the right situation came up I'd recommend one of the flies he tied. If it worked well, that was one happy angler!

That makes sense about the indicators. I'll often use a tiny gob of that floating clay type fluorescent putty that Orvis sold years ago. Covering the connection, it keeps the line tip floating and is easier to see in the riffles. It does not impact casting in the least.

I'm talking about those big bulbous foam ones though. You know, the ones that make casting such a pleasure?;)
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
WbranchJanuary 14th, 2012, 6:20 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2506
Kurt,


"I'm talking about those big bulbous foam ones though. You know, the ones that make casting such a pleasure?;)"

Yes, I know exactly the kind you are referring to. I've used them with the hole in the center which is a nuisance because if you want to take it off you have to cut off your fly. I've also tried the pear shaped ones with the slit through the middle and the rubber tube that is supposed to pinch your leader and hold it in place. I can't remember how many times I'd execute a forceful roll cast with a BB or two, fly, and one of those indiators only to see it fly across to the center of the stream, no longer on my leader, and float downstream gone forever.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
GutcutterJanuary 14th, 2012, 7:05 am
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
Does watching for the flash of a nymphing trout when you think that your fly is in the general vicinity count as using an indicator?
I will often fish a riffle before a hatch with an unweighted, slim profile nymph the same way that I would blind cast an attractor dry fly.
The nymph (like the dry) must come down "drag free" and instead of looking for a rise, I concentrate on looking for (or "6th sensing") a subtle flash.
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
LastchanceJanuary 14th, 2012, 9:24 am
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
I read an article about indicators from the book Louis mentions, "Dynamic Nymphing", and it made sense to me. I was taught highstick nymphing at an early age and was told that was the proper way to fish. In his article, George says he uses small indicators when he is fishing skinny water. The idea being that he can make longer casts (drifts) without the fear of getting too close and spooking his quarry. Like I said, it makes good sense to me. The article is on the TCO website.
Like WestBranch, I, too, have been nymphing for many years and have developed a sense that a fish is about to take my nymphs. But, there are times when you either pass up a run you can't fish properly, or use an indicator. I've been passing up those runs, but this year I'm gong to give a floating indicator a chance in those hard to reach runs.
PaulRobertsJanuary 14th, 2012, 11:35 am
Colorado

Posts: 1776
I use multiple ways of detecting takes that may or may not rely on or use something extra on the leader -as Tony mentions.

I've come to view add-on "indicators" as... as much for drift control (speed being critical) as for "strike" indication. Water, esp flowing water, is a complicated medium -especially in 3 dimensions.

I've settled on several basic types of "indicators" and carry an "indicator box" that has each type in several sizes:
-none; control accomplished by "feel" (IME there really is no magic here; the usual senses do the work. The magic I suppose is how experienced/honed those senses are.)

-hydrodynamic pill shaped drift indicators for current; important that they can be easily repositioned on the leader as I adjust them constantly.

-tuft of yarn for flat slow water, simply bc yarn alights softly.

-tiny stick-on foam, I make myself, for very shallow water; usually on tiny streams where I won't have to re-position the indicator, and that tend to be too brushy to risk having the extra hook in the air as when using a dry fly as indicator.

-dry fly for very shallow fish; regardless of stream/river size. This one is not used as a "drift indicator" but as an offering as well as a strike indicator.

Page:12

Quick Reply

You have to be logged in to post on the forum. It's this easy:
Username:          Email:

Password:    Confirm Password:

I am at least 13 years old and agree to the rules.

Related Discussions

TitleRepliesLast Reply
Re: new
In General Discussion by Greenwolly
1Aug 14, 2009
by Flytyer0423
Re: Does indicator affect leader size?
In Fly Tying by Gt2003
5Apr 13, 2019
by Adirman
Re: fishing deep
In Beginner Help by Bcnorthfly
1Jun 3, 2015
by Martinlf
Re: Tippet affecting Energy Transfer?
In Gear Talk by FisherOfMen
6Apr 28, 2015
by Cptenn94
Re: Spring Creek Wednesday February 11
In General Discussion by Wbranch
12Feb 11, 2009
by CaseyP
Re: Spring flow in late summer.
In Fishing Reports by PaulRoberts
40Sep 2, 2010
by PaulRoberts
Re: Gander Mountain sales
In General Discussion by Wbranch
3Jul 28, 2017
by Wbranch
Has this happened to anyone else??
In General Discussion by Aaron7_8
0
Re: I'll trade you TWO fly lines(or flies, or whatever for one Fly line!
In Gear Talk by Nijimasu
2May 17, 2018
by Subway
Re: What a differnce a day makes!
In Fishing Reports by Wbranch
1Dec 31, 2016
by PaulRoberts
Most Recent Posts
Streamer rig set up questions
In Gear Talk by Fliesties22
Re: Stonefly?
In the Identify This! Board by Pdcox (Taxon replied)
Re: Rio Puerco, Northern New Mexico
In Fishing Reports by Red_green_h (Jmd123 replied)
Re: fall bluewinged olive coloration.
In Fly Tying by Partsman
Re: Thankful
In General Discussion by Martinlf (Strmanglr replied)
Re: My (new) place and its environs
In the Photography Board by Jmd123 (Martinlf replied)
Re: Nymphing set up.
In Fly Tying by FC54 (Martinlf replied)
Re: Pretty float down the Yakima Canyon
In Site Updates by Troutnut (Martinlf replied)