Not sure if we have discussed this before or not
so I thought I'd throw it out to see what responses
I can get.
Do you use any type of bobber, or strike indicator ?
If so, what kind & why do you prefer that type ?
If not, why don't you use them ?
Does the size of fish you are targeting determine if
you use a bobber, or indicator ?
I typically do not use them for any fish but panfish.
The fly I typically use is a nymph type that is weighted
to go down & the bobber is a simple foam type that has
been painted with bright paint. I have never used an
indicator any time that I've been after smallies, salmon,
or steelhead, they typically hit pretty hard not to feel
I'll sometimes put a small nymph on a dropper behind a large EHC when fishing runs. I'll typically use a large dry fly which functions both as an indicator and quite often the dry will take the fish. I've not tried the yarn type indicators as of yet although I do carry them in my vest. You just never know when you may want em....
When nymphing I use indicators that are kinda like little hollowed out pieces of fly line about an inch long. You just slide them over the leader and knots in the leader keep them from sliding down. They sink which is better than the floating foam kind because it doesn't limit the depth of your fly. I usually use one about 3 feet above the fly and another about a foot above that. They cast well and you can just leave them on if you switch over to a dry.
I normally only fish with as indicator in the Spring with higher water, I use a yarn indicator because they seem to be a little more sensitive. Usually use a blue, tan, or black poly yarn for the indicator, I don't care for most of the bright stuff on the market because imho the fish can get conditioned to the brighter indicators and will often times move or get tight lipped.
You'll be surprised how well you can see a black indicator, especially in low light conditions
I like to sight fish with nymphs without an indicator.
Learned this shallow water nymphing technique from Chuck Rizutto on the San Juan.
Use a little bit longer tippet, put the smallest split shot you can get away with roughly 6"-12" above your nymph or nymphs, cast 4-6 feet above the fish, let it sink for just a moment, if the fish moves to one side or the other, or opens their mouth(you will see the white on the inside of their mouth, this is called a 'wink' for any newbies). Slowly raise the rod or gently sweep it downstream to see if it was your bug they ate.
This technique is so easy, especially if you can see your fly such as a glo-bug, often times you can put it right in their mouth.
Another deadly technique is the 'Leisenring lift', I'll try to explain this tomorrow if someone else doesn't do it before.
I'm tired, and it's been a long day. nighty night.
Try a small float like you would find on a live bait rig, not the best in fast water or a heavy nymph but you can adjust it depending on what knot you put it on. The orange or yellow can give you a good visual on what is going on.
I do it all. On my furled leaders I do the first section in a bright color and use it for an indicator. Mostly on the very tiny flies.
I will also use the little styro balls and toothpick for shallow rivers and nymphs.
I Love the HOPPER/DROPPER set up and will use that on stillwaters as well as rivers with different fly set up, like right now it would be a Cripple with either a Zebra or WD40.
For Stillwater, deep nymphing I use the Styro Break away so I can use 20' to 30' leader.
When fishing deep in stillwaters, fishing with an indicator can be a b*#ch with a 20ft leader. Phil Rowley and Brian Chan use these and Phil now sells them under his name. They are a 'Slip Strike Indicator' or 'Quick Release Indicator' and when enough tension is placed on the line (from a hook set or snag) they release and slide freely on the leader.
I think that I've tried almost everything over the years, including nail knotting a 8" peice of Flourescent line to the flyline & tieing the leader to that. Since I've been using the needle nail knot I can't do that anymore so I've been using Palsa foam indicators or those brightly colored stryo balls with the holes thru them. Instead of a toothpick I wrap a piece of tippet around the leader, thread the two ends of the tippet piece thru the ball & pull a small loop of leader thru it, I put a small piece of rubber band thru the loop & pull the rubber band almost completly thru the indicator. These usually will stay on all day & can be moved up & down the leader as needed. & if you want to take it off you don't have to take your shot, fly & whatever off to pull it off.
DOC, those are the breakaways I have been using for years. I first ordered them from Phil, but he only had the Round ones in two sizes at the time.
Then Dennis Brakke from "the fly desk" started carrying the egg ones in all different colors and sizes and I hate to say it, for a lot less.
Needless to say, I have a huge inventory of them now.
Here is how to attach them but, the picture is upside down. Loop and peg should be on top, but either way works. With the peg on top, if the line breaks you are less likely to loose it. It does float, but black and small a little hard to see.
FISHN50, you are right about the self made leaders and the knots making it a little tough to use these indicators, that is why I am interested in these "Thingamabob"