Originally Posted by mikel
I tend to extend (maybe many of us do) my drifts with an indicator longer than I probably should. It's tempting to let that bobber go almost forever once it's in the lane and on cruise control...but the truth is I seldom hook up when the indicator gets too far out. (maybe that's like 40 feet downstream??) I'm working on making shorter, better drifts.
When the indicator goes tight at the end of the drift, the fly gets lifted up by the indicator pulling tight to it. What is happening is a Leisering Lift
. Occasionally this will induce a strike during a hatch especially when you are fishing a caddis pupa during a caddis hatch. The trick is to do it on purpose because you understand when to do it.
Originally Posted by mikel
also...I like to keep the indicator upstream of my bugs if possible so it doesn't tend to drag them faster than the bottom current. If the indicator floats downstream slightly slower than the surface flow, I think that's ideal...
I suspect that to reposition your indicator in front of the fly, you must do an upstream mend. This is why you see indicator fly fishers mending to prolong the drift.
When you reposition the indicator with a mend, you must lift the indicator off of the water and flip it upstream. You do this because the indicator is tight to the fly and pulling it down stream. This means the mend must also lift the fly out of its drift and then it must sink down, using up part of the slack that was created by the mend. PLus the slack creates a loss of contact between the fly and the indicator and delays strike detection. The angler always has a choice when indicator fishing - slack vs strike detection.
You must ask yourself how much extra EDL am I gaining by doing this and extending the drift downstream?
Most of us are moving upstream when we indicator nymph. If we are moving upstream, by extending the drift, are we not re-fishing the same run we fished through earlier? How many actual fish do we catch by re-fishing the same location by an extended drift vs not extending it and using that time to move and fish virgin water?
Einstein said. "Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result." An extended drift over the same area we fished earlier is not quite the same thing but it is pretty close. Keep track of how often you catch fish during the extended drift vs the first few casts into new water. That is really the choice you are making when you extend a drift.
Personally, I rarely extend a drift unless there is a reason to do so. I may be hemmed in by other fly fishers and cannot move upriver at the pace I want. Or I caught several good fish in the run I just left or I missed a fish in the run I just left. Then on a few casts before move, I will extend a drift over that area to see if there are more fish there or if the fish I missed is rested enough to hit my fly again. I use the extended drift for a reason and not as a routine.