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  • Writer's pictureDavid Hulsey

Fishing Strike Indicators for Success on the Trout Stream

I thought folks might enjoy this article with the recent heavy rains that we have received here in Blue Ridge, GA and North Georgia. Looks like fishing with an indicator may become even more popular on these waters.

A large trout rising to take a high riding dry fly is one of life's true pleasures. Nothing is quite like it and we like it that way! Let's face it it's pretty darn easy to see. The fly is bouncing happily along the surface and with a splash it's gone. On the other hand, that same fat rainbow sucking in your nymph six feet down in a dark fast run may not be as obvious. Speed is of the essence! In just a matter of one or maybe two seconds that same fish will expel that fly. There are a bunch of different products out there called strike indicators, bobbers, etc... that are designed to help you see that sometimes faint signal of a hit. Some work very well, some break, some slide, and some just suck. I love yarn indicators for their sensitivity and the plastic round air filled bobbers for ease of use for beginners. Both of these ran up the leader about twice the depth of the water that you're fishing certainly help detect the strike when having to cast a little distance to the trout. Any hesitation or definitely a dramatic dive or shift in direction of your bobber might be a hit. I always tell my clients even if they think a fish might be breathing on the fly set the hook! You get a heck of a lot more strikes than you think you do when nymph fishing. Any slack allowed to be between your indicator and your fly will let a fish eat and sometimes goes undetected. At close range, using under the rod tip high sticking or Czech nymphing works great. No attached indicator is used only different colored lines or coiled line indicators that straighten when a fish takes are the deal. A lot of the time the trout is felt when he takes the fly or you will see the line suddenly stop. This method is deadly in experienced hands.

Another method of strike indication is the use of a big dry fly as the indicator. Usually a piece of flourocarbon tippet is tied to the hook and some type of heavy nymph or two is hung underneath. This is a good method of fishing when the fish might spook if the old plastic bobber goes crashing down on their heads. A buggy looking dry fly is a lot less scary to them. Try this same rig with a foam popper and wooly bugger dropper on bass and bluegill and hang on it's a killer.

Another cool way to catch trout on subsurface flies is to actually watch them eat it. I call this Ninja fishing! You have to get the sun at your back or directly overhead. Start by locating a particular fish that you haven't spooked into next week and then tie on a brightly colored fly or a fly that stands out and is easy to see. Cast it upstream of the fish and let it drift with the current down to the fish. Sometimes even if the fish are on edge about you being in their living room a fly bounced right into their face will get a reflex strike. This is perhaps the best way to learn about how fish react to particular flies or how currents affect your offering. If you are in a pool with several fish you may be amazed at how many fish will actually take a swipe at it. You will then realize how many strikes you may have been missing.

Give me a call @ 770-639-4001 if your interested in a guided fly fishing trip or learning to fly fish.


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