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Old 10-16-2012, 02:26 PM
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Default Is using an indicator a good thing or a crutch?

I have been reading as many posts here as I can and have been learning a lot. that said, I have been seeing posts where people say indicators are the only way to go and others that say they they want to learn to fish without them because they can be a crutch.

I guess I can see where they would be helpful but that is coming from my experience tossing in a worm with a bobber in a lake. I can't see how it would work really great on water that may be moving even a little fast, but again, that is me.

And then there is the fact that people are saying they are crutches and you need to learn how to fish without them. Keeping this in consideration, should somebody even start using them when just starting out?


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Old 10-16-2012, 02:39 PM
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Default Re: Is using an indicator a good thing or a crutch?

bus, you have no shortage of great questions!

I'll start off and give you my perspective on the answer. Try them both and see what works FOR YOU.

Lots of folks, particularly those that learned old school will not advocate using indicators. They can often be perceived as the crutch that you mentioned and lots of times for spooky fish, it is ideal to go without an indi. Low clear water I will sometimes use different techniques like short line nymphing where the indi is just not needed because I am either using an inline indi or using the line itself as the indicator.

What I DO like about indicators is that it helps control depth of the fly and is an easy visual indication of when to set the hook. I found this very helpful when I first started fly fishing. My head was spinning with all this valuable information and using them helped me focus on a lesser amount of information.

When I first started I learned with an indicator, so I am partial to them. I have since dialed back and often will go without them or when fishing very low and clear water, I use strike putty instead.

I am certain that you will get some excellent responses from others, this is easily the one of the very best and most knowledgeable membership of any FF forum that I have found.
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:52 PM
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Default Re: Is using an indicator a good thing or a crutch?

What works for you is the key. People have many different opinions about what true fly fishing is, don't worry about it as long as you are following the regs for the stream you're fishing. Picking up on what's mentioned above, what I like about indicators are:

1. Control depth of fly
2. Shows if fly is drifting with current or dragging
3. Shows a strike.

I'll fish nymphs and emergers without indicators, but prefer them because they work. Others don't want to use them and that's fine. Use what you like and what works for you.
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:34 PM
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Default Re: Is using an indicator a good thing or a crutch?

"There's more B.S. in fly fishing than there is in a Kansas feedlot."
---------- Lefty Kreh

For me the above phrase sums up how I feel about many things in fly fishing.

I've tried both ways & don't use them. I get better results without, but that's just me. ( I have no problem using floats with other tackle!)

I agree with the previous posts. Try both, & see what works best for you!

You're the only one who has to be happy with how you fish! (Within the law as williamhj stated!)
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:53 PM
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Default Re: Is using an indicator a good thing or a crutch?

I as well agree with the first three posts. If it works for you and you are good using it, then continue to do so. We all fish for enjoyment. There are many fly fishers that think fishing with indicator is not true to the art of fly fishing... As in life you cannot please everybody. I personally like a hook in my indicators so I often use a large dry fly if I am going the indicator route. Just adjust the depth of the dropper with more or less tippet. I also often use an indicator fly when fishing very small dry fly’s. If you put a easily to see caddis on 24" in front of small pmd, flav, bwo, etc. You can track the fly and see the subtle strikes. Just my two cents.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:26 PM
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Default Re: Is using an indicator a good thing or a crutch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by williamhj View Post
What works for you is the key. People have many different opinions about what true fly fishing is, don't worry about it as long as you are following the regs for the stream you're fishing. Picking up on what's mentioned above, what I like about indicators are:

1. Control depth of fly
2. Shows if fly is drifting with current or dragging
3. Shows a strike.

I'll fish nymphs and emergers without indicators, but prefer them because they work. Others don't want to use them and that's fine. Use what you like and what works for you.
Save for the very odd off occasion I don't use them .... but I do carry a couple in my gear. Where I think William has really got it nailed down is his '#2' above. Case one you're good to go .... case two only if you're lucky.

Not with indicators (but you do see one occasionally being used with a 2hander) but it's all important that the fly/flies are ahead of the line/leader.

(You never heard it here!! But if you're going to use an indicator and a 2hander tie on a 6'insh dropper at the end of the fly line and put the indicator on that ... NOT the main leader ... but you never heard that from me ......)
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Last edited by fredaevans; 10-16-2012 at 06:28 PM. Reason: Ooooo, crumy cros-hund tiitping eror"s.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: Is using an indicator a good thing or a crutch?

my take---
i have been fly fishing for a little over two years. went the first 6 months and caught 2 fish-lol. finally starting asking questions, and catching fish. now i go with a knowledgable guide, twice a year, not to catch fish nessarily, but to learn. first thing he told me, use a indicatior. i was relucant, but as he said, you will miss a lot of fish without one. i have found this very true. i fish tail wasters, sometimes they stike ever so softly, with a indicatior, you can tell. big plus for me, helps me with depth of fly. i have found a lot of different indicatiors, finding the right one is a must. some are very frustrating.
just my 2 cents--
jim
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: Is using an indicator a good thing or a crutch?

I use them just about all the time. I generally use a dry to float a nymph or emerger. Plenty of times the browns are hitting the dry, the rainbows are taking the nymph. Yesterday in low water, the only thing keeping the nymph from dragging the bottom was the dry.
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:14 PM
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Default Re: Is using an indicator a good thing or a crutch?

It's a good crutch...
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:52 PM
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Default Re: Is using an indicator a good thing or a crutch?

You don't fish for me or anyone else. Do it the way YOU enjoy. I use'em most of the time,,not that it matters to anyone beyond myself.

There is an old saying,,,'A person that judges does so because I do not sin in exactly the same manner as they do.'
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