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Old 03-31-2013, 05:14 AM
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Default Re: Nymph fishing without indicators

I've been reading Dave Hughes' book, "Handbook of Hatches".

He writes about Charlie Brooks who popularized the use of a heavily weighted Stonefly Nymph on the Yellowstone.

He wrote that Charlie Brooks did not use an indicator, but that if Charlie Brooks was fishing today, he probably would use one.

I've known about "indicators" for many years and never did use one; but I fully intend to use them this season, along with some sort of dropper set up.

I like the idea of using some sort of Dry Fly for an indicator, with a Nymph below.

It seems like common sense to me, as I further educate myself about Fly Fishing.



I think its fine to fish any way you think effective for you.
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:51 AM
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Default Re: Nymph fishing without indicators

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Originally Posted by Hardyreels View Post

If we were to go back to read the first post here Taylor ask for tips on traditional nymph techniques. How we strayed away from that to see folks explaining the virtues of using sight indicators I don't know.
Now where is one drawing the line on "traditional nymphing techniques"... is it when people were no longer using just yarn for an indicator and switched to a foam or plastic indicator? or when one stopped using a big bushy dry and switched to yarn? I'm sure the idea of an indicator has been around for a long enough time to not consider it a "new age" technique....

In the end an indicator is just one more tool for the fly angler... and shouldn't be snubbed... If anything it's a misunderstood technique by those who refuse to use them
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:13 AM
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Default Re: Nymph fishing without indicators

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Originally Posted by itchmesir View Post
Now where is one drawing the line on "traditional nymphing techniques"... is it when people were no longer using just yarn for an indicator and switched to a foam or plastic indicator? or when one stopped using a big bushy dry and switched to yarn? I'm sure the idea of an indicator has been around for a long enough time to not consider it a "new age" technique....

In the end an indicator is just one more tool for the fly angler... and shouldn't be snubbed... If anything it's a misunderstood technique by those who refuse to use them
Very interesting thread. I am new to the idea of Nymph fishing with indicators.
Is there any merit in just watching the area where your fly line attaches to the leader? My fly line is willow and fairly visible (SA Mastery textured).
I can usually see this area pull forward on a strike when wet fly fishing. Could a visual indicator be preferred, as to an actual flotation device? of foam or yarn? I was thinking like flourescent tape or even bright nail polish. How important is the bobber effect in presentation? I would be mostly dead drifting with some partial stripping. I like the idea of yarn. I was thinking a tuff od seal fur or other tied device might be neat. Whats the most boyant fur? Beaver, seal?
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:36 AM
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Default Re: Nymph fishing without indicators

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Originally Posted by noreaster View Post
Very interesting thread. I am new to the idea of Nymph fishing with indicators.
Is there any merit in just watching the area where your fly line attaches to the leader? My fly line is willow and fairly visible (SA Mastery textured).
I can usually see this area pull forward on a strike when wet fly fishing. Could a visual indicator be preferred, as to an actual flotation device? of foam or yarn? I was thinking like flourescent tape or even bright nail polish. How important is the bobber effect in presentation? I would be mostly dead drifting with some partial stripping. I like the idea of yarn. I was thinking a tuff od seal fur or other tied device might be neat. Whats the most boyant fur? Beaver, seal?
As George Daniels explains it... Indicators are good for drifting at long distances(he makes reference of a fellow he watched fishing in a competition making 160' drifts in which no man could see the tip of their line move... But that's a bit extreme for the average joe... but still at 50-60' it can be really tough to see a subtle movement or pause of your line tip)...

He also makes note that an indicator will allow you to drift a fly at predetermined depths depending on where you set your indicator on your leader so as to reach trout that may be feeding within a certain range of the water column....

These are only a few reasons... There's almost 40 pages of his book dedicated to "suspension" techniques... aka using some sort of sighter... or bobber... or indicator... If you wanna know more... Buy the book it's definitely worth the money for the amount of knowledge packed in the book... That goes for the OP as well

I think the most buoyant may be snowshoe rabbit... But don't quote me on that
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:51 AM
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Default Re: Nymph fishing without indicators

for me personaly ive nymphed with indicators 90% of the time since i started flyfishing 20 years ago.I have no moral delema with it just in listening and reading and learning recently there may be advantages to not using indicators at times.As eric stroup said in a recent seminar anytime you use one you bind your subsurface fly to surface currents and also you need to constantly move the indicator depending on water depth. thats the reason ive given more thought recently to trying alternate methods. just more tools in the toolbox.
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:50 AM
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Default Re: Nymph fishing without indicators

Charles Ritz writes about fishing with Frank Sawyer (inventor of the Pheasant Tail Nymph), and says that he marvelled at Sawyer's ability to SEE a trout take a nymph. Sawyer watched the tip of his line and his leader, the flash of white indicating a trout has opened its mouth, and simply seeing the trout take the nymph and turn away. Ritz doesn't discuss the use of any sort of bobber, or tuft of yarn, although he did not share the same success as Sawyer. I'll have to go through Ritz's book, as I believe he might have used a bit of yarn. This is where I get my definition of tradtional nymphing, and first read Ritz's book when Imwas about 15 years old. Ard can tell you how he came to define traditional nymphing, but I already know it was formed while fishing in North Central Pennsylvania.
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:04 PM
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Default Re: Nymph fishing without indicators

Personally, I've found people who fish with indicators are flexible and view it as another tool in the toolboxes. I'm found people that eschew indicators are very outspoken about their choice. Personally, I fish with indicators because I like using very heavily weighted nymphs to get to the bottoms of the plunge pools I usually fish. If I didn't use an indicator, I'd lose a lot of flies.
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