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Old 04-12-2014, 07:08 AM
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Default Re: Indicator Fly Heresy!

I got in on a March brown hatch and they took both the dry and the pt nymph that I had tied on about 6" below. Time and place for different things. You fish how you like, there is no heresy.
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Old 04-12-2014, 07:38 AM
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Default Re: Indicator Fly Heresy!

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You fish how you like, there is no heresy.
Very well said! IMO, that's really the point anyway as long as we stay within the laws & regulations, which is a whole different discussion!

However, there's nothing wrong with thinking about what you do & why, provided we don't over think it too much. When I was a kid I got very frustrated sometimes because I was only concerned about catching & not about the process & enjoying it. Long ago I decided that fishing should be a life long learning experience for me & enjoyable, and so far it has been. One of the problems with thinking & especially over thinking is we start to doubt & our confidence wanes. Trying new & different things & deciding how we best like to fish should be part of the whole experience & enjoyment. If we did the same thing all the time it might get boring.

Michael, I've changed my strategies over the years to bigger flies generally simply because of the issue with those dinks, and because I found that I was able to entice the better fish more often. In my early fly fishing I caught a lot of small fish, which at the time was fine. My usual fly size now when fishing for Bluegills is a size 4, as you've said the tiny specimens can't get it in their mouths easily. The pictured flies are more for bass, and it does limit the number of small fish I'll hook.

The tangles & other issues that arise from multiple fly rigs are more reasons I prefer single flies, but if it works well for others they should use them. As JCW said, fish how you like!
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Old 04-12-2014, 02:04 PM
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Default Re: Indicator Fly Heresy!

Just a little fascinating side comment here--I put this question to a British forum and came away with the belief that not a soul over there has ever heard of using an indicator to suspend flies. I guess it may fly in the face of traditional ways or something.

I guess I can understand why some method like this would be slow to catch on in the birthplace of fly fishing, with their chalk streams and all.

Interesting though!
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Old 04-12-2014, 02:29 PM
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Default Re: Indicator Fly Heresy!

There is tradition & there is stubbornness, and all too often they become the same. However, it still goes back to doing what you like & learning from the experience. If anyone chooses to stick with tradition or to try something different beyond traditional, who's to say they're wrong? As I stated in my first post, too many tend to let such things bother them & get in the way of more important things, like enjoying the sport.
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Old 04-12-2014, 03:08 PM
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Default Re: Indicator Fly Heresy!

100% agreed Jim; originally I used the word "heresy" tongue-in-cheek; needed some kind of thread title after all. Trends don't constrict or propel me (clear enough by how I dress). I built myself a premium 5-wt rod this winter and despite a lot of urging all around, I opted away from the current trend to go with ultra-fast-action blanks, and I love the thing. It's what I wanted not what folks are doing today.

I get tradition and it's never "wrong." Neither is innovation. Both are fun, they're just exploring in different directions.

Yes I do like thinking about why I do things--always find new ideas in that process, and it just plain increases the enjoyment of the sport. I'm a dad and work long hours, so I get on the river at best every few weeks instead of every other day. Thinking about & discussing what adjustments I might like to try next lets me remain a fisherman in between fishing trips. I see no need to wait until we're standing in the water before giving thought to a rig that might work better. And chatting about it here results in more ideas added to the pot.

I'd decided to avoid small fry hanging on the indicator. I like how you related to the goal but took the solution in a different direction. Could very well be the better of the two in most situations...I'll think about it & try it.

- Mike
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Old 04-12-2014, 05:03 PM
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Default Re: Indicator Fly Heresy!

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Originally Posted by michael_vorhis View Post
Always a ton of argument over nymphing indicators--are they necessary, what's the best, whether an indicator that suspends a fly is really just a bobber (with all the embarrassment that that word implies), and how stoooooopid we will feel if a trout hits the indicator and it doesn't have a hook (it's not a dry fly).

I think for non-tight-line nymphing in rivers, especially when weight is needed to get the nymphs down, the leader rig is the most important part of gear--more than the fly pattern, certainly more than the rest of it. As long as we can get a good leader rig into the right water, we're a long way there.....


That leaves the old, "isn't it better to use an indicator that will catch fish?" bushy dry fly argument. Won't I feel stupid if my piece of styafoam or blob of yarn gets hammered? Don't I want fish to strike that big ol' Elk Hair Caddis or Stim indictor? Don't I want to double my chances of action?

And it suddenly came to me: No. Why would I? Why would I want one of those eager small fry who are too little to hang out down low in the prime feeding lanes with the big boys--the hatchery orphans so hungry or stupid they charge to the surface and slash at whatever they can--to hang themselves up on my indicator and spoil a perfect cast? ...and then leap and dance all over the place, putting the cagey 18-inchers off their feed? ...and only to rip their little jaws off when I accidently start a new back cast just as they're hooking themselves?

If I'm so desperate for action that I'll settle for those little fish, I'm not going to be rigged to dead drift deep to begin with. I won't be courting bottom snags and using complicated dropper rigs. If I want surface small fry I'll already be using a sweet little dry, solo, no bead heads, no shot, laying a nice one-fly cast out in classic style.

No, I don't think I want an oversized indicator fly to hook something. I want a suspend-indicator to do its "suspend" job and let the nymphs do theirs. I want the deep action. This means I'm coming around to the opinion that the best suspend-indicator (for weighted rigs anyway) is something without a hook.

This kinda goes against most opinions I've heard about the advantages of using a dry fly as your indicator. I get it for dropper rigs, but not for weighted leaders where the nymph is trying to stay way down there.

Agreements? Opinions?
I have several questions and comments.

1. Can you define what you mean by "leader rig?"

2. Can you defend your presupposition that only "small fry" will hit the dry portion of a dry dropper system?

3. Your post seems to have a mixed definition/message in that you seem to be disparaging a dry dropper system in the major portion of your post; and then you later say, "I get it for dry dropper rig.'" My question is, when in your definition does a dry dropper rig become an indicator/nymph rig; and how do you defend the distinction between the two?

I give my answer at the end of the post and how I decide between the two.

4. Finally, your post seems to be based on the presupposition that when most fly fishers that say, "isn't it better to use an indicator that will catch fish"; they are referring to a situation where you would use a standard strike indicator because of the depth of the water and the weight of the nymph.

I would say that is not my experience. My experience is that most who fish a dry as an "indicator" for a trailing nymph are fishing the nymph no deeper than 12 inches and most often within 6 inches of the surface film.

My experience is that the dry with a trailing emerger or nymph is most often used when fishing:

1. Water next to the river bank.

2. Pocket water behind a boulder, rock, or tree or similar obstruction to flow.

3. Seams where fish can hold on the soft water side and feed on food brought in the faster water.

If you agree with how dry droppers are most often used, I think you will agree that you have been looking at the dry dropper system through the wrong end of the telescope.

You have assumed that this is a method that is used to primarily fish nymphing water with the dry as the indicator. In my opinion, it is exactly the opposite. The dry/dropper is a method primarily of fishing dry fly water and adding the nymph as a second chance to catch a fish. The reason I say this is that one can also fish a double dry system with a dry caddis behind a larger dry like a hopper. On the Madison River, I fish it in the same type of water that I fish a dry dropper.

Here is the deciding factor of when to use a dry dropper vs a strike indicator and a nymph. Use a dry dropper ONLY when the water depth and or speed is such that you think a fish will rise through the water column to take the dry. If the water is too deep or the water is too fast, use a normal strike indicator system.

This is nugget for you miners of fly fishing strategy.

You can use the double dry fly with masking hatches. A double dry with the two dries, the smaller off of the larger is a way to tell which dry the fish are more attuned to. Not many folks use the double dry method but it can help solve a masking hatch, like a larger hatch of mayflies masking a hatch of smaller mayflies.

This double dry strategy can also be used in other situations like a upright winged spinner with a down winged spinner, or a mayfly with a caddis. It is not often used, but it is like having a partner fishing a second pattern.
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Last edited by silver creek; 04-12-2014 at 05:25 PM.
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Old 04-12-2014, 09:00 PM
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Default Re: Indicator Fly Heresy!

Silvercreek stole my reply, which is okay, he did a better job of it anyway.

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Old 04-14-2014, 12:05 PM
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Default Re: Indicator Fly Heresy!

If I'm really after bigger fish, I'll be tossing big streamers at them, rather than nymphs, but that's just me![/QUOTE]

OUCH! Really? It IS just you. (I think I understand what you meant....you are not saying you can't catch bigger nymphing, you are saying IF you are fishing "bigger", you'd streamer fish)

If I could ever figure out how to load pics/vids....I'd be all over the "Bigger fish" ALL caught on nymphs...size 8 or smaller....all under an indicator...and all of which most would agree fit the bill as Bigger Fish (for their species).

Of note....GL steelhead in the high teen #/36+ inch range.

Muskie in the 4+ FEET range

Bull Trout over 40"...and estimated 20#

Carp over 20#...and have hooked and lost bigger.

Walleye in the 10+# range.

Smallies in the 8+#

Regarding the post though....I am with you michael on the "let the indicator do its thing...and the nymph do its thing". BUT, as I said in another post regarding chronomids...THIS season, it will be my full intention to run the dropper-nymph searching for mooneye....and BOTH will do their things. Hell, I am forcasting a double header!!!

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Old 04-14-2014, 01:32 PM
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Default Re: Indicator Fly Heresy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
...define what you mean by "leader rig?"
You seem to call it a "system," as in a "dry dropper system." Many call it a "leader rig" or "leader setup."

Ie, where are your nymphs along the leader? Tied off the bend of the previous hook, or off the eye of the previous fly, or on droppers off of leader knots? Where is the split shot, if you're using it? Which flies are weighted, and how much? How is the whole thing "rigged" up, to get the nymphs to the depth you want them?

There are many different ways to do all this and we each seem to have our preferences.


Quote:
Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
...defend your presupposition that only "small fry" will hit the dry portion of a dry dropper system?
No intention of defenting that, Silver Creek. I observe that in the water I fish, that seems to be what happens. If you have a better experience, fantastic, and if I did too I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be talking about the benefits of removing the hook from the indicator. Tell me where your secret stretch is....


Quote:
Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
...seem to be disparaging a dry dropper system in the major portion of your post; and then you later say, "I get it for dry dropper rig.'" My question is, when in your definition does a dry dropper rig become an indicator/nymph rig; and how do you defend the distinction between the two?
Not disparaging it at all. Love the simple dry-dropper. You're talking about 6 to 18 inches deep for the nymph. What a luxury that is, and what a comparative joy to cast. Maybe I omitted it (don't think so though) but I was referring to leader rigs (leader setups, leader systems) that need to get one or two nymphs a lot deeper--4 feet, five feet, seven feet down. Need a substantial indicator for that (to suspend the weighted nymphs or nymphs and shot) and the point is I've come to the conclusion that I think it can be a disadvantage to have a hook on it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
...looking at the dry dropper system through the wrong end of the telescope. You have assumed that this is a method that is used to primarily fish nymphing water with the dry as the indicator. In my opinion, it is exactly the opposite. The dry/dropper is a method primarily of fishing dry fly water and adding the nymph as a second chance to catch a fish.
Maybe...maybe through the wrong end...although when dropping one or more nymphs (even only 6 inches down below a dry) I prefer to fish the nymph and not the dry. To me (until it's clear which one gets hit more often) the nymph is the business end and the dry is the attractor; at least thinking about it that way seems to work much better for me. If I come to the conclusion that it's dry water (ie if I'm not going to primarily drift and position it for sake of the dropper), I'll usually just go with the dry alone. But maybe you have a different experience.


This threa idea was basically this: I've been trying to use a dry as my suspend-type indicator whenever I could, taking for granted that it's always better to use a fly if I can make it work. But I begin to think that assumption is faulty, and the hook on the indicator can be trouble too.

I like BigJim's idea--he saw what I was getting at, but creatively took it in the opposite direction. Interesting, and this is the kind of alternate approach that makes these threads so worthwhile to me.
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Old 04-14-2014, 01:41 PM
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Default Re: Indicator Fly Heresy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by michael_vorhis View Post

Not disparaging it at all. Love the simple dry-dropper. You're talking about 6 to 18 inches deep for the nymph. What a luxury that is, and what a comparative joy to cast. Maybe I omitted it (don't think so though) but I was referring to leader rigs (leader setups, leader systems) that need to get one or two nymphs a lot deeper--4 feet, five feet, seven feet down. Need a substantial indicator for that (to suspend the weighted nymphs or nymphs and shot) and the point is I've come to the conclusion that I think it can be a disadvantage to have a hook on it.

Ugh! I'd never attempt to cast a tandem fly rig with that much line between to two flies. I'd have a mess on every cast.




Maybe...maybe through the wrong end...although when dropping one or more nymphs (even only 6 inches down below a dry) I prefer to fish the nymph and not the dry. To me (until it's clear which one gets hit more often) the nymph is the business end and the dry is the attractor; at least thinking about it that way seems to work much better for me. If I come to the conclusion that it's dry water (ie if I'm not going to primarily drift and position it for sake of the dropper), I'll usually just go with the dry alone. But maybe you have a different experience.

Adding a subsurface fly to a dry catches me a lot of fish. Sometimes they grab the fly that is just beneath the surface and sometimes they take the dry. The subsurface bite often lasts longer than the dry fly.
I see your point and sometimes I think it probably holds true. But one thing in fly fishing is absolutely true, nothing is absolute in fly fishing.
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