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Old 04-05-2005, 04:28 PM
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Default Micro-Indicators - By Jason Borger

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Micro-Indicators
by Jason Borger - http://www.jasonborger.com

When fishing the small stuff, a strike indicator of even average proportions may be massive overkill, making presentation less delicate and more inaccurate. Micro-indicators are the answer. Micro-indicators are just what their name implies—tiny indicators that cause little or no interference with casting and make for minimal touchdown splash.

Strike-putty really comes into its own in the micro-indicator world. Rubbing putty into the interstices of the knots of your leader creates a dot-to-dot connection to your fly. In addition, the putty dots illuminate your drift. If the dots are dragging, what do you think your fly is doing? This is a modern update to the practice of painting the knots in a leader. To get maximum visibility in varied light conditions, try using a different color of putty for each knot. This system works well for small dries and emergers, as well as submerged flies (especially in slightly rougher water).

A greased-leader is another form of micro-indicator and is best in slack-water conditions where you don’t want anything extra attached to the leader. The idea is to grease (coat) the leader with a paste-type fly floatant. Grease the leader down as close to the fly as is necessary for what you want to do. The track of the leader on the surface is quite visible and, in essence, creates a very long monofilament bobber that can hold a small emerger or nymph at a pre-determined depth. This old technique is a favorite of mine when fishing midge pupae in slow or still waters, since the slightest change in leader position (such as when a fish subtly samples the fly) is immediately visible. Drag issues also become very obvious.

Another style of micro indicator, and one that can be incorporated directly into the leader, is a piece of brightly-hued monofilament, such as Amnesia. The idea is to tie a short segment of the material in at one or more places in the leader (preferably in butt or mid-sections). Best in places of slower water, this set-up is related to, and can be used with, the greased leader tactic.

When using any of these micro-indicators, remember that you are really fishing the indicator(s) more than the fly. If you can’t see your fly, you can’t tell what it’s doing. But if you can see your indicator, you know what your leader, and thus likely your fly, is doing. With this comes one caveat: Don’t become solely dependent upon your indicator(s) to tell you everything. There are times, especially when using long leaders and slack-line presentations, that a fish may take your fly and your indicator(s) may not relay the message for a relatively lengthy period of time. Just be sure to watch the area where you think your fly is residing and be ready to act if you sense that a fish has accepted your offering.

Article Courtesy of Jason Borger- http://www.jasonborger.com

Jason Borger is a professional fly-fishing educator and was the "Shadow Caster" in the film A River Runs Through It.
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Old 04-06-2005, 12:22 PM
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Default Re: Micro-Indicators - By Jason Borger

Now I finally have a use for strike putty. It seems to me that adding a dab of the stuff to your tippet knot and maybe one other spot up the leader could be the ideal way to detect strikes when fishing nymphs for bream. This also could help when fishing soft hackles for trout.
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Old 04-06-2005, 10:49 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Micro-Indicators - By Jason Borger

Yes, most of that l agree with. The use of indicators for me coming from the UK was to some extent a eye opener as back home l had never seen that used, but we did use the basis of a dry fly and a nymph under, for of course the same purpose, the only difference being that you had two choices for the fish.

At any rate, l adapted to the use of indicators, but more so because l very quickly discovered that my customers needed that means to detect a take.
Now l will say this, from my standpoint and it is this that if you do fish enough and are able to have have very good control of your drifts, are able to read what goes on then you will start to develope further senses and skills that other wise by using indicators you will not.

Now before you jump on me, l am not suggesting that you should totally dispense with the use of indicators as l of course accept that they are to day a integral part of the fly fishermans means to catch fish.

But l also know well that they may be the reason why you are not catching fish !!

And that is somewhat based on Jasons article. exactly right, use the absolute min of indicator you can get away with.

I teach the basis of use that it serves for you 2 main purposes, One to tell you that you have a drag free drift the other to tell you a fish has taken the fly.
It is not a means to suspend a fly in that sense of the word.

The one major influence on your drift is the current speed and surface movements, the rest is up to you, read how the water will influence your drift and correct that accordingly before it is too late.The only way you can do that is to do so with the fly line, 95% of the time as it has a direct relation to how that drift will work, by surface movement and in some cases wind drift.

Out of choice l do prefer yarn as a indicator means, and believe me l have tried them all.
In the course of a fishing season l will guide some 200 clients and that alone gives me a great means to find out what works best for the guys fishing with me. And more to the point a means to allow them to maximise the takes and hook ups that they will get.

The main reasons why l prefer yarn is this. It does not generally cause a splash down when it lands on the water surface, nor a plop as some types will do.
I make my own and that is very cost effective l can tell you.
I am more than convinced that they provide a a higher degree of sensitivity over and above other means, other than possibly a fly, depending on the fly used.
You can trim a yarn indicator down to virtually zero, it is not a fixed size such as other types are.

By the fact that you can do that you can also determine more so how good your drag free drifts are, the smaller the indicator the more you will see that as if you do not get a good drift the indicator will be pulled under.
Yarn indicators will also sit high on the surface and that will provide you with a far greater degree of visibility over a indicator that sits very low in the surface film.
That is a very common factor as l have watched anglers use other means and miss fish after fish as they did not register the take. The indicator was too low in the surface, being one of the reasons. Or way in excess of what was needed.

And that is also related to your given eye level to the water surface. Wade fishing you are generally low to the water surface, boat fishing you are looking more so down to the indicator at short ranges of fishing, particularly if you are standing up.
Yarn also allows for many variations in color. I generally prefer tones that are white, olive, gray and brown. If that indicator is above the surface you will see it in any light condition. I will dye my own for that purpose.

I dislike high vis indicators as l know that they can mesmorise you and you may not see the slightest indication of a take. Not all will cause that indicator to sink, in fact many takes are registered with just a slight tremble or a nudge as l call it, you will miss the fish if you do not react to it.
Another reason why l dislike hi vis indicators is that at times they will draw the fishes attention away from your fly, how many times have you had a fish come up and take your indicator ? ( and did you try to set the hook ? )

My dear friend Dave Whitlock devised a real neat yarn indicator that has built into it a long fine strand of yarn that sits above the bulk of the indicator. This extention should sit facing diectly up, if that in any way tilts he will set the hook, and belive me l know it works like a dream.
It is in some ways the ultimate in sensitivity.

On the other side of the coin l have seen anglers use a indicator that l would use to suspend a 6oz live bait for northern pike, how on earth do they expect to see a subtle take, no way.
Would need a 5 lb fish to sink that one.

Here on the White river it is common to see very large polystyrene bobbers, that could suspend something like a 1/4 oz or more. Fishing with small scuds and sows.
I know for certain that they will miss a bunch of takes, if they have not spooked the fish before it sees the fly !!

In so far as additionals are concerned it is your skill at setting up the rig the right way given the fishing situation you are faced with so as you can determine as much as possible that a fish has accepted your fly.
I am not going to deal with this here other than to say, how you rig your entire leader/tipett section also has a great deal to do with that. The length of that can be a critical factor, as if it is too long you may not see the indicator give a indication, if there is too much slack or belly in that between the fly and the indicator.
Weight is a means to correct that one along with many others. Even then l can assure you that there will be fish that will take your fly and spit it out, and you will be none the wiser.

But is essence take note of what Jason has said, ( OVERKILL )

Think on that one guys.

Davy,
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Old 04-08-2005, 08:06 PM
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Default Re: Micro-Indicators - By Jason Borger

Davy, where can we get some data on how you and Dave construct your yarn indicators? Type yarn, treat with floatant, how is it constructed? I've used several different types of indicators but as yet haven't found one I particularly like.
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Old 04-18-2005, 10:01 PM
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Default Re: Micro-Indicators - By Jason Borger

Gordon,

There are a number of ways that l and Dave do this.

If l am fishing by what is termed high stick l do not use a indicator at all as you have all you need so far as indication is concerned between the rod tip and the water surface with the leader. The art of high stick is to allow the fly to track at more or less the same pace as the natural flow of water. The concept is that you will make and adjust accordingly the overall length of leader, and or sections depending on the number of flies you are going to use.
It is one of the most effective ways to catch trout for sure. The trick is to lead the flies, but not in such a way as you cause the flies to be moved faster than the natural flow rate.

The way that we make the indicators is this.

Take a hook with a straight eye to the shank, place that in the vice. Run a bed of thread only for no more than 1/4 ins from the eye of the hook.
Apply a small amount of Zap a Gap. Allow to dry.

Nylon fibre is of not much use as it will readily sink, unless you of course apply some sort of water repelent property.
I use a very fine polypropylene yarn.
This is tied so as it surrounds the hook shank. This is then finished as you would for a regular fly head. Now, cut the hook shank as close as you can to the hook eye.
Toy will have the indicator attached to the small amount of hook shank and the hook eye.
This is attached by the means of a short dropper, to the main leader. You can do that by simply taking a 6 ins section of material and using a surgeons knot fix that at the position you wish abouve the fly. One of the tag ends is use to tie the indicator too.

A indicator fixed this way will sit very high at a different angle than one that is as a fixed position to the main leader/tipett as such.
Believe me it is very sensitive indeed, and you can see it a mile away.

You make this in different sizes, and colors to suit your needs.

The second way to fix a indicator of yarn is to form 2 overhand loops, the second formed loop is placed through the first, The small amount of yarn is placed in this loop and the loops drawn taught.
You can after which ,reduce by cutting the yarn down to virtually nothing.
To remove it simply pull one of the ends and it will come free, leaving no knot in your line.

The 3 way is the cheapest way l know of to make a indicator.
Go get some double sided tape, the type that is on the foam backing,
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Old 04-18-2005, 10:14 PM
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Default Re: Micro-Indicators - By Jason Borger

Gordon,

There are a number of ways that l and Dave do this. For the yarn indicators.

If l am fishing by what is termed high stick l do not use a indicator at all as you have all you need so far as indication is concerned between the rod tip and the water surface with the leader. The art of high stick is to allow the fly to track at more or less the same pace as the natural flow of water. The concept is that you will make and adjust accordingly the overall length of leader, and or sections depending on the number of flies you are going to use.
It is one of the most effective ways to catch trout for sure. The trick is to lead the flies, but not in such a way as you cause the flies to be moved faster than the natural flow rate.

The way that we make the indicators is this.

Take a hook with a straight eye to the shank, place that in the vice. Run a bed of thread only for no more than 1/4 ins from the eye of the hook.
Apply a small amount of Zap a Gap. Allow to dry.

Nylon fibre is of not much use as it will readily sink, unless you of course apply some sort of water repelent property.
I use a very fine polypropylene yarn.
I might add here that there are very many types of poly yarn out there, some some of which are not much use to be honest.

This is tied so as it surrounds the hook shank. This is then finished as you would for a regular fly head. Now, cut the hook shank as close as you can to the hook eye.
You will have the indicator attached to the small amount of hook shank and the hook eye. Looks like a mini shuttlecock.
From that point on you can of course cut this down for the size that you need to suit the fishing conditions at that time.
This is attached by the means of a short dropper, to the main leader. You can do that by simply taking a 6 ins section of material and using a surgeons knot fix that at the position you wish above the fly. One of the tag ends is used to tie the indicator too.
Or for low water situations leave one of the tags from the junction of the tipett section added for the indicator.

A indicator fixed this way will sit very high at a different angle than one that is as a fixed position to the main leader/tipett as such.
Believe me it is very sensitive indeed, and you can see it a mile away, as it will sit high above the surface.

You make this in different sizes, and colors to suit your needs.

The second way to fix a indicator of yarn is to form 2 overhand loops, the second formed loop is placed through the first, The small amount of yarn is placed in this loop and the loops drawn taught.
You can after which ,reduce by cutting the yarn down to virtually nothing.
To remove it simply pull one of the ends and it will come free, leaving no knot in your line.

The 3 way is the cheapest way l know of to make a indicator.
Go get some double sided tape, the type that is on the foam backing,
Just tear off the amount that you need remove the backing and roll it around the leader/tippet.
You can by this means make large indicators or micro size indicators.

I personally overall prefer a yarn indicator for the reasons that l wrote in my previous post.

Davy.
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