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Old 10-10-2007, 01:05 PM
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Default reading your strike indicator-help?

Are there any good articles or videos on reading your strike indicator? I'd like to know how to tell the difference between a real strike and the other variables that trick me, such as changes in the water flow, movement around rocks, hood grabbing moss or bottom rocks when nymphing.

I'm a novice and have fly fished 4 times now, twice with an experienced friend. I've caught 2-5 fish per outing, but I'm convinced I'm missing a lot of strikes b/c I get easily fool by the current changes in and around obstacles. I've been using Palsa Pinch on's set to the depth of water I'm fishing, except around heavier flow where I probably haven't allowed extra length for the flow. I really have a hard time reading the indicator over riffles. THanks.
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Old 10-11-2007, 01:09 PM
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Default Re: reading your strike indicator-help?

It sounds like you're trying too hard.

But it is a tough thing to do successfully. I guess how I do it goes like this: The first time you run a nymph through a given run, pay attention to what the indicator does. Your fly should be ticking the bottom occasionally, and this should be shown by your indicator as well. Ideally this will look like intermittent pauses where the indicator isn't moving as fast as the surface water itself. If a pause looks too long or somehow different, set the hook.
If the indicator goes under- set the hook. If the indicator goes sideways- set the hook. (sideways is the movement most correlated with a take)

Its tough, and takes some practice, but make sure to have some fun with it. When I 'm fishing nymphs, I bet I set the hook 30+ times per hook-up, but its still my most productive method of fishing.

Also, Palsa's can be a bit tough to see since there's just not that much floatation there. I like the foam football shaped ones about the size of a cough drop for rough water. like deez-
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I stick with white, cuz bubbles are that color. If you see chartruese or chernobyl orange bubbles, I recommend evacuating the stream immediately.
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Old 10-13-2007, 10:34 PM
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Default Re: reading your strike indicator-help?

Good evening.....I'm brand new to this forum and have enjoyed reading many of the posts. Although new to the forum after 60 years of fly fishing I'm not new to this great sport.

After many years of guiding and being a partner in a fly shop here in Montana I have learned never to tell people how to fish but to sometimes "suggest". There is usually more then one way to perform a flyfishing manuver or presentation and whos to say any of them are wrong if it suits the style or preference of the caster.

Now having said that and since you say you are a novice I would humbly suggest that you try nymphing WITHOUT an indicator. Now why would I suggest this? First of all it will make your casting and mending much easier and you can train yourself to watch your line, which in truth, is an indicator. One just has to learn to use it as one. Lets face it, the use of an indicator, other then an emerger under a dry fly, is a fairly recent phenomenon in "flyfishing years". If fishing from a drift boat and using a indicator what you are doing is "drifting" your fly and not casting it. Yes, it works, but it also supplies the novice with a false sense of security when it comes to perfecting his skills. It surely may help him/her to catch more fish at first but does not help one develope the skills needed to catch more fish in the future.

Best of luck in your flyfishing adventures.

Cheers....The Bandit
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Old 10-14-2007, 08:35 AM
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Default Re: reading your strike indicator-help?

Hi Montana Bandit,

Welcome to the forum. Looking forward to your post.

Frank
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Old 10-15-2007, 11:35 AM
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Default Re: reading your strike indicator-help?

Hey Bandit...your suggestion is an interesting one. I can see how casting and mending are easier, but how can you "read the line" when you have 9-12' of leader & tippet in water that is rippling or moving along? What kind of action are you looking to spot?

I have heard good things about the foam football indicators and may try some white ones.
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Old 10-15-2007, 01:08 PM
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Thumbs up Re: reading your strike indicator-help?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Bandit View Post
I would humbly suggest that you try nymphing WITHOUT an indicator. Now why would I suggest this? First of all it will make your casting and mending much easier and you can train yourself to watch your line, which in truth, is an indicator.
I couldnt agree with you more.Welcome to the forum.

Although I will only use a indicator one very rare occasions,when I was learning to read one,a wise man, who was my fly fishing mentor, use to tell me to "find a reason to set the hook on every drift".By doing this you really learn to read the subtle little twitches ,pauses and sideways movements that will confuse a person untill they learn to really pay attention.Perhaps "pay attention" isnt quite the right advise.What I mean is,really try to learn what different little ripples and currents do to your indicator as well as learning the difference between your fly gently ticking or dragging of a underwater obstacle and a gentle take from a fish.In time with enough practice,you just may learn the fishy look of a indicator with a trout attached to it.

Tight Lines
Aaron
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Old 10-15-2007, 03:00 PM
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Default Re: reading your strike indicator-help?

[QUOTE=ducktrooper;15415]Hey Bandit...your suggestion is an interesting one. I can see how casting and mending are easier, but how can you "read the line" when you have 9-12' of leader & tippet in water that is rippling or moving along? What kind of action are you looking to spot?

Hi....I can see one problem you are having and that is using to long a leader. As a general rule there are very few times, when nymphing streams or rivers, where the use of a leader more then 7 1/2" to 8" is warrented. 9" to 12" leaders are dry fly lenghts. A shorter leader is much more desireable when trying to keep that connection from your nymph to your fly line. As a further suggestion when nymphing....when your fly hits the water make an IMMEDIATE (and I mean immediate) big upstream mend all way to the tip of your fly line. This will give your nymph time to get down before drag starts and before the need to possibly make another mend. Remember, it is much eaiser to use your line as the indicator without drag so a big immediate mend is very important. Another thing that may help you see (watch) your line is to grease the first 4" so that it floats real high. A little tin of "line floatant" is very inexpensive. Lastly, try to keep as much of your fly line off the water as possible. This can be accomplished by holding your rod high called "high sticking". Although in fast big water it is not the true definition of "high sticking" but a high rod will help lessen the drag and allow you to better manage your ability to "read" your line as a "indicator".

Another little tip is if your adding extra weight to your leader I do not like to put it more then 12" inches from the fly. Its a matter of preference but the further away from the fly the harder it is to control the cast and the fly still gets down to the bottom where you want it.

This may all sound a little complicated at first but with a little practice it will become second nature to you.

Cheers......The Bandit
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Old 10-15-2007, 03:17 PM
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Default Re: reading your strike indicator-help?

Ducktrooper.....Another thought if you are having trouble with that first mend on fast water. Make an aerial mend by pushing your rod hand as far as you can upstream. To best accomplish this make sure you have slack line in your "line hand" and let some controled slack slip through your fingers. This manuver (line hand slack) allows your mend to reach upstream without pulling your nymph out of your casting zone.


Cheers....The Bandit
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Old 10-15-2007, 03:25 PM
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Default Re: reading your strike indicator-help?

Ducktrooper....I meant to say, "grease the first 4 foot of your fly line", not 4". Sorry about that.
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Old 10-15-2007, 05:25 PM
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Default Re: reading your strike indicator-help?

Bandit:

Thanks for your many helpful suggestions...I've been using mostly 9' of tapered leaders,ie, 5x and 6x. Pls clarify suggested tippet length. Also, when nymphing hi stick, is that the same as roll casting upstream? Most of my nymphing was casting slightly downstream(25-35' lengths) and mending upstream right away. Obviously I can control drag better with a slightly downstream cast, but I have to cast much more frequently as it's a shorter float.

If I'm using a weighted/beaded wet fly for nymphing, is adding a little more weight still necessary?
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