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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 03-27-2013, 12:29 PM
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Default Re: Nymph fishing without indicators

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Originally Posted by dpreller View Post

ive read that book and its intresting. he relies more on a good drift than pattern tippet size etc. he also recommends tying your own leaders and using a section of flourescent yellow stren about mid way so you can see it . very intresting idea i thought.
Not sure Stren produces that anymore. The good news is that there are better products... I use a combination of ~10" section of (red) Amnesia followed by another ~10" section of (yellow) Umpqua Indicator Tippet. This is about 4-5 feet from my flies. You can see this stuff sunny, cloudy, or just under the water.

Or you can just use the Umpqua Indicator Tippet section as it comes in bi-color (alternating red/yellow).
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:22 PM
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Default Re: Nymph fishing without indicators

You guys who are fishing without an indicator, how far away from you is your drift and how long?
I always use an indicator (when nymphing for steelhead), fishing 30 feet out and casting up river say 30 ft and drifting for maybe 40-50 ft at times, sometimes longer. Obviously depends on run and current and ability to get a drift that long. Also have to throw mends into drift at times to keep it going or to "set it up". Are you non-indicator guys throwing mends into your drifts? I have seen guys fishing for steelhead without indicators, high sticking. But what they do is a totally different thing than what is normally done. Very short, close in drifts. They are limited in where they can drift and how to work it much more than I am.
Right now of the mind that indicator fishing could be a different animal than fishing without indicator. They can over lap and ea. has its pluses and minuses.
Seems to me the limits for fishing without an indicator are much smaller than fishing with one.

School me if I'm all wet here.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:02 PM
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Default Re: Nymph fishing without indicators

I am usually fishing a dry dropper or hopper dropper. Love an elk hair nymph tandem. Seems to work for me
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:44 AM
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Default Re: Nymph fishing without indicators

I can still remember....almost 37 years ago now, when my grandfather knotted a "bow" of floating yarn onto my leader above the god ribbed hare's ear I was fishing. At age ten, it was like the heaven's opened up and the light shone down. There really were trout taking my nymph. It was VERY cold that spring, and the trout were lethargic. The takes were imperceptable to me without the indicator bow.

Today, I still carry a variety of indicators, from large to small. Thing-a-ma-bobbers to the good old floating yarn. I've fished with some of the best, well known fly slingers out there, and some that have lamentably past. Once in a while one or another would tease me a bit about using an indicator. Usually it was while they tied one on themselves.

I don't find the need to use an indicator in fast water as the take usually stops the line very perceptably. In slow, deep water, especially in very cold lethargic conditions (like steelhead waters) I definitely find it easier to detect the strikes.

Am I "Tacky".....maybe, but then again we all know what opinions are like.....we all have them, and they usually stink.
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:45 AM
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Default Re: Nymph fishing without indicators

My first fly-fishing trip after moving to Utah (from PA) was in March of 2011. A local guy that I had corresponded with for years (for work) offered to take me to the Provo River to "show me the ropes."

So we get to the river and he proceeds to tie on a huge (ping-pong sized) bobber, with a 10' piece of mono and three (3) large split shot tied to the end. He knotted a couple of droppers with small nymphs about 1-2 feet above the shot and starts heaving this rig upstream. I looked on in utter amazement as he continually reached downstream and flipped this rig upstream over and again. I joked with him saying that, "you didn't tell me that we would need our baitcasters… I thought we were FLY-fishing today." Well, he was not amused and long-story-short, that was our first – and last – fishing trip together. He explained to me walking back to the parking lot later that "everybody fishes like that out here!"

I later learned that this is called the "Provo Bounce Rig" (or something like that) and I see lots of people flipping these bounce rigs all over the west. It's not pretty to watch, but apparently it can be very effective… but then again, so is drifting salted minnows on spinning gear, and to each his (or her) own.

Anyway, this was the first time that it occurred to me that there could be a difference between strike "indicators" and bobbers… with a LOT of "gray area" separating the two!
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Old 03-28-2013, 12:39 PM
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Default Re: Nymph fishing without indicators

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Originally Posted by mrfzx View Post
.
Am I "Tacky".....maybe, but then again we all know what opinions are like.....we all have them, and they usually stink.
I hope nobody took offense at my use of the word "tacky". It was meant for my own personal sense of fly fishing aesthetics, and I stated that I don't judge another angler's program. It might not be one that I share, but as long as they're enjoying it, that's all that matters.

As far as distance and mending, go... I cast as far as I need to, and mend when mends are required. I'm not launching nymphs 70 feet, and hoping to see the tip of my line, or feel a strike transmitted from that distance, but I live in Pennsylvania. Streams are shallow and a 40 foot cast is long. I have swung GRHE's across fairly swift streams, and have had trout hit them hard. Wading into the stream isn't something I do unless it's really necessary, and staying out means greater visibility across the water. I loop the end of my fly lines to form a loop, and started using a brighter color thread to secure the loop. That makes the tip of the line more visible. I don't straighten the butt end of my leader when fishing nymphs and soft hackle flies. I'm not counting on the coil to go dead flat when I get a take, but the coil riding on top of the water aids visibility. These things are all "indicators", and the lines do get blurred to an extent. If you're using something called a Thing-a-McBobber, it's a bobber, albeit a lighter bobber that can be cast with a fly rod.

I used Cortland stick-on indicators for one season, and mostly at the local stocked lake. Takes were light when the water was cold, and even stripping Wooly Buggers yielded the lightest of takes (they'd lightly nip a couple of times, and you had to pause for the actual take). As I walked around the lake, I noticed that my little bright colored indicator looked identical to the Power Bait that everyone else was using there. Call me a snob, but I wanted people to know that I was fly fishing, and off came the indicators. I was fishing that lake from my canoe to too long after that decision, and saw a kid catching trout hand over fist with Power Bait. A piece of the dough drifted past my canoe, and I tied on a green Copper John that matched the Power Bait nicely. One cast, and I had a trout on my line! I can be a snob, but I'm an adaptable snob who recognizes that matching the dough hatch is worthy of any angler.
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Old 03-28-2013, 01:28 PM
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Default Re: Nymph fishing without indicators

While I use them alot, it is not always because I need to see the fish take my fly, more often than not it is to stear my nymph by mending, so I know where it is. Personally I have no opinion on the use of them, bigger worries on the water. I know some folks think that not using them makes them somewhat superior, I have heard them refer to themselves as "Purists" but honestly if we were Purists we would be fishing with a rod made of two sections of Hazel wood and one section of willow or apple, with a horse hair line and wet flies. So whatever your choice just enjoy it with no guilt.
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Old 03-28-2013, 03:03 PM
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Default Re: Nymph fishing without indicators

I can certainly appreciate the purist's point of view in nymphing, but isn't using using your fly line, coiled leader, colored leader, knots on the leader, hopper droppers, any dry fly, or any point of reference indicating a take basically the same as using an indicator?

Any fly fisherman is a great and poetic fisherman in my book
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Old 03-28-2013, 03:29 PM
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Default Re: Nymph fishing without indicators

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Originally Posted by taylor16 View Post
I'm more interested in technique versus alternatives to "bobbers" or strike indicators or yarn, etc...
Excellent topic Taylor!

When I learned, indicators were unheard of. You cast either directly upstream or quartered upstream. You then gathered line as the drift came down to assure a drag free drift. The line was kept well greased with Mucilin and the drift of the floating line was the 'indicator'. I learned fishing tandem and triple dropper rigs and the little tufts of fur were devastating. As for detecting the strike by sighting the tip of the line for a slight hesitation................ I more often felt the fish grab the nymph than I saw the line pause.

As the flies passed by your position the rod tip was elevated to keep line off the surface and then slowly lowered as the drift passed and continued down stream. At the terminus of the drift you allowed the nymphs to 'dangle' and often this was the ticket provided you had planned to end the drift in good holding water

I haven't read the other replies but will come back to this thread as I have time to see what you got by the way of replies. What you are asking about and what I have began to describe is 'traditional nymph fishing technique' and I feel that it is the best way to learn nymph fishing. Frankly antone can watch an indicator............. To master the art & sport of fishing the sunken fly one should learn the knack of the drift.

Ard
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:06 PM
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Default Re: Nymph fishing without indicators

Mibuwulf wrote:
"I can certainly appreciate the purist's point of view in nymphing, but isn't using using your fly line, coiled leader, colored leader, knots on the leader, hopper droppers, any dry fly, or any point of reference indicating a take basically the same as using an indicator?
Any fly fisherman is a great and poetic fisherman in my book."


Exactly! We all need a little help, it's just a matter of how much you want to advertise the fact. It's also more of a challenge for me to fish without an indicator, and I fly fish for the challenge. I remember going out at night to harvest the biggest nightcrawlers on the face of the earth, buying my first baitcasting rod and then the largest assortment of crankbaits you've ever seen, etc. Now I'm looking for a sleek rig to fly fish with, and that often means using small flies to catch big fish.

Purists and Snobs
I was at a fly shop, and a local tyer was finishing up a demo. He spoke to me like I had never even seen a hook before, let alone tied a fly. He whipped up what he considered to be a Wooly Bugger: Hook, lead, dubbed body, and a bit of hair from a zonker strip for the tail. He gave it to me, and I tried to give him one of mine. He looked at the two pieces of gold flashabou, and said that he doesn't fish with synthetic materials. He then started to tell me about his friend who makes a habit of using flash in his flies, but I dropped his on the table and said, "Later" before he had a chance to pontificate.

The OP asked if nymphing without an indicator is possible. The answer is....YES. The rest is just a matter of preference, aka thread drift.

P.S. Look above at my friend Ard's post. That sums it up for me.

---------- Post added at 04:06 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:30 PM ----------

Using a Small Indicator, but NOT Needing It :

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