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brucerducer 11-12-2012 11:32 AM

Indicator Fly for Winter?
What is a good dry Indicator Fly to use for the winter months in Colorado?

I haven't a clue, but I want to tie or buy something.

tbblom 11-12-2012 01:04 PM

Re: Indicator Fly for Winter?
small, foam, and visible?!
maybe a little beetle or spider with a visible tuft of yarn.

oldfatman 11-12-2012 07:53 PM

Re: Indicator Fly for Winter?
Oddly enough, I use a lime trude almost exclusively as an indicator fly now until mid spring. Amazing how often it gets hit.

mudbug 11-12-2012 09:19 PM

Re: Indicator Fly for Winter?
I know what I'll be trying

Clown Shoe Caddis.

I just found out about them and have been tying some up. (not my pic)

Troutwhisperer 11-12-2012 11:00 PM

Re: Indicator Fly for Winter?
Even something as simple as a Griffith gnat with some yarn helps. You can pick your fly out in all those midge clusters and drop a zebra midge off the back. A killer combo on the Missouri.

I stole the below image as well, I don't have the time to churn out g gnats with yarn when I need lots of them fast for three people.

I do like mudbugs fly though, may have to give it a try...

mudbug 11-12-2012 11:10 PM

Re: Indicator Fly for Winter?

Originally Posted by Troutwhisperer (Post 498171)
I do like mudbugs fly though, may have to give it a try...

SxS at Charlie's Place

tbblom 11-13-2012 08:35 AM

Re: Indicator Fly for Winter?
That's pretty cool, Jay is a local shop guru and carp master around here.
He's got tons of great stuff on his blog.
I tie the clown shoe with various rib colors, and with an egg orange post instead of pink. Amber or orange colored butt works great along with grizzly hackle instead of gray. It is a great late season 'dropper suspender'.

kglissmeyer1 11-13-2012 10:24 AM

Re: Indicator Fly for Winter?
With the exception of the Griffith's Gnat the other flies suggested would most likely not represent anything hatching during winter months, although they would be an excellent choice for floatation and as an easily spotted indicator to suspend either another dry dropper or a nymph setup.

The Griffith's Gnat is one I use when trailing a smaller dry or emerger pattern and works very well.

When looking at an indicator fly I usually choose something that represents whatever insects may be hatching at the time. In the summer months I love a Hopper/dropper combo, early and late season I prefer a Parachute Adams as an indicator fly (which also works well in the winter when BWO's are popping off.

But, my all-time favorite winter indicator fly has to be Schollmeyer's Parasol Emerger. I use it year 'round in my favorite spring creek as an indicator fly to suspend a double nymph rig or a dry dropper.

My favorite place to fish in the winter is Idaho's Big Lost River and a Parasol Emerger trailed by either a midge emerger in the film or a suspended midge pupa just under the film does the trick on most days.

The flies are easy to tie and you can tie them in a variety of patterns depending on what insects are hatching at the time.

Here are a few samples of ties I use as a dry indicator:


Soft Hackle

Generic Midge:

And here are some of the flies I trail behind or under the indicator:

Smoke Jumper midge:

KG's EPF Midge:

Deep Purple Peril Midge:

Zebra midge:

Improved Shop Vac:

And, it must work because here is what we catch:

You may have seen this one on the cover of your latest issue of Flyfishing & Tying Journal :icon_wink

I guess the key is experimenting with a variety of options and find what works best for you. This method has proven very effective for a lot of years and we use it consistently.

Good luck in your search and best of luck in your success.

Best Fishes,


kglissmeyer1 11-13-2012 10:28 AM

Re: Indicator Fly for Winter?
Here is a link on this site for a tutorial on tying the Parasol Emerger:

Best Fishes,


brookfieldangler 11-13-2012 10:30 AM

Re: Indicator Fly for Winter?
I'd love to find a dry fly that is super buoyant to hold double nymph rigs for steelhead.

Part of the problem I have with indicator flies is that I need my set up to get to the bottom fast which typically means heavy flies with tungsten heads and additional shot. Considering this rig puts a bigger thingamobobber at its threshold, I can't imagine a fly being buoyant enough to handle it.

When I am fishing clear and shallower water though and maybe just have a light nymph or egg pattern, A good natural looking fly would be great!

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