How to Choose the Right Strike Indicator for Nymph Fishing

September 16, 2016

This is one of the most important blog posts that I could possibly make for many folks.  Choosing the appropriate indicator for a particular nymph fishing situation is critical.  I see anglers scrutinize over their flies, depth, and knots only to rig it up under an indicator that offers them ZERO chance at a trout!  Here is some critical information for y'all.  Now that the fall season is here the trout will be feeding primarily under the surface and this information is critical to your success.

 

Understanding how the indicator/nymph relationship really works.

The indicator and the fly size/weight must have balance and agree!

  1. Surface currents are fast. - The indicator will almost always float ahead of the nymph towing it along.  Especially if the indicator is too buoyant.
  2. The fly should direct the drift and be able to slow the indicator down, or even direct it into another seamline. If the indicator is too big it won't react to the flies desire to be in another seam. 

Suspension Nymphing vs. Dredging vs. Surface Nymphing

There are three basic types of nymphing:

  1. Suspension Nymphing.  This is the most common. Its my #1 tactic, your fly should be suspended about 90 degrees under the indicator levitating partway up the water column.  This is also the most critical style for your indicator and nymph to work together.  Keeping that 90 degree angle is much easier when the fly/indicator agree.  Yarn indicators are probably the best for this because they float slower than "bobber" style.
  2. Dredging.  You'll really  need to be on foot for this.  It doesn't work very well from a drifting boat. "Bobber" style indicators like a Thingamabobber or Airlock Indicators.   Your indicator MUST be buoyant enough to pick your flies up off the bottom and drag them off the substrate.  
  3. Surface Nymphing.  This is emerger stuff here usually.  This is delicate stuff.  You'll be doing this within 18" of the surface most of the time.  Your indicator here must be very small. Palsa Indicators or a tiny tuft of New Zealand Wool is great.

Strike Indicator Variety Pack



This kit includes every indicator you need to be successful nymph fishing for both Trout, Steelhead, and Whitefish. Yep, I said it. Whitefish. Just making sure you are paying attention! Watch the video here for some great tips.

*colors will vary by assortment. 

Kit Includes:
  • 3/4" Thingamabobber
  • (4) Palsa Pinch On Indicators
  • 1 Large Yarn Indicator
  • 1 Small Yarn Indicator
  • 3/4" Airlock Strike Indicator
  • 1/2" Thingamabobber
  • 1" Thingamabobber
  • 1 1/4" Thingamabobber
  • 1" Airlock Strike Indicator
  • New Zealand Strike Indicator Wool

  1. Thanks Joe! As always, extremely informative. Really appreciate it. Line management is so overlooked when nymphing.....especially with an indie. I've always found a constant upstream mend, plus maintaining as little fly line on the water as possible, critical when nymphing. Thank you so much for your updates and posts. You make us all better anglers.
  2. Thank you, Joe....I just returned from my first steelhead trip on the Rogue River near Shady Cove...Because this was my first steelhead trip and I haven't learned to spey cast yet, we were fishing an indicator rig on my 10' 7wt rod....My guide had religion with Raven indicators...They are more of what I'd call a vertical indicator than round and the indicator attaches to your line by using 2 in sliding tubes of rubber on each end (your leader is also inside the tubing---alongside the indicator stems....When you want to move the indicator, you just slide it on the leader....Or, when we moved to a section of the river that had a different depth or speed, we would swap out the indicator in seconds to fit the water....I noticed that each of the indicators have a number (in grams) on the side....Apparently, the number represents the weight the indicator is intended to suspend....We were using a 3.8 gr on a rig with a big stonefly point fly and "prince-like" nymphs as the dropper....I thought this worked extraordinary well---I hooked 5 and caught 3 (natives)---first in my life....Are you aware of this brand/type of indicator?....Your post here was extraordinarily informed and beginners like me owe you a debt of gratitude for your teaching....However, you didn't include this type of indicator and want to make sure I'm selecting the right gear and developing the right habits from the start....Thank you, Patrick---from Indianapolis, IN.....Cheers
  3. Patrick, this is a great tip. I am going to check these things out. Thanks!
  4. What a perfect succinctly delivered lesson in indicators. Finally relinquished and came to the conclusion I'm not tight or Chech,so bobber fishing for me. Truckee River seems to be notorious for smart trout,even the little ines demand perfect drifts. Please inform me of other intel spots you might be in.
  5. Carrie Underwood is my favourite US singer. She is young, beautiful and charming woman in her 30s. Her strong voice takes me away from all issues of this planet and I start enjoy my life and listen songs created by her mind. Now the singer is on a Cry Pretty 360 Tour started in May of 2019. The concerts scheduled for the whole 2019, up to the last day of October. Ticket prices are moderate and available for all men and women with different income. If you are a country music lover as me, then you must visit at least one of her concert. All tour dates are available at the [url=https://carrieunderwoodtour.com]Carrie Underwood tour Toronto[/url]. Visit the website and make yourself familiar with all powerful Carrie Underwood concerts in 2019!
  6. Carrie Underwood is my favourite US contry singer. She is young, beautiful and charming female in her 30s. Her voice takes me away from all issues of this planet and I start enjoy my life and listen songs created by her voice. Now the singer is on a Cry Pretty 360 Tour started in May of 2019. The concerts scheduled for this year, up to the 31st of October. Tickets are available for all men and women with different income. If you love contry music, then you must visit at least one Carrie's concert. All tour dates are available at the [url=https://carrieunderwoodtour.com]Carrie Underwood tour Minneapolis[/url]. Open the website and make yourself familiar with all Carrie Underwood concerts in 2019!
  7. Здравствуйте! Хочу предложить вам продвижение вашего сайта в поисковиках, методом наращивания ссылок. Чем больше ссылок будут ссылаться на ваш сайт, тем выше он будет в выдаче по вашим ключевым запросам. Для работы мне необходимо лишь ссылка на ваш сайт и ключевые слова, по которым вы продвигаетесь в поисковых системах. Если у вас установлена метрика, тем лучше, можно взять (скачать) оттуда ключи за последний месяц или квартал. Работа занимает примерно 2-3 недели, после которой вы получите рост позиций, доверие поисковиков, увеличение траста вашего сайта, посещаемость, более 1000 ссылок на ваш сайт с различных ресурсов. Стоимость – 9900 рублей. Заинтересовались? Пишите на Email: proxrum*@*mail.ru (уберите звездочки *). Подробнее обсудим. С Уважением к вам, Вадим.
  8. As a rule, having asked a question of installation of a ladder in the house, owners don't assume that the ladder and its protection are two absolutely different products. Well, if the same company, like us, is engaged in the arrangement of turnkey facilities and can offer to make a ladder and metal fences on it in one set, but in practice it is rare. Therefore, before any owner of the stairs in the house the question arises: how to make it safe, we guarantee the best conditions for cooperation thanks to our own production, high potential design office and focus on long-term mutually beneficial partnership. Here you can buy not only standard fencing for stairs, but also design, made to order and is amazingly cheap. New construction technologies, developing rapidly, allow to use light, modern, reliable and weightless structures. Stair railings made of stainless steel are such that the price thereof is acceptable. Railings made of reliable material: an important structural element, part of the design of the building, the guarantors of safety and easy descent and ascent the stairs. Protections for ladders which are offered by our company differ in reliability, resistance to various aggressive influences and faultless appearance. In addition, their manufacture takes into account all kinds of standards and requirements relevant to this group of products. It is difficult to imagine a building in which there will be no stair railings, the presence of which increases the convenience, safety when moving. Note that today for the manufacture of construction offers a large selection of elements with which it is possible to quickly perform the installation of the structure, which for many years will last without losing the original qualities. Manufacturing and installation of stainless steel stairs is inexpensive compared to designs from other materials with equal quality characteristics. However, stainless steel is much more popular material-it is easy to handle, combine with other materials, install and care for the finished product
  9. DKNY bietet Handtaschen, Luxus - Kleidung, Handtaschen, Geldbörsen, Uhren, Mappen der Frauen, Fantasie Schmuck, Männer ‚s Uhren, Sonnenbrillen, alle mit dem traditionellen Stil, der diese große Marke kennzeichnet.
  10. Help. I am looking for guide
  11. I am from Slovenia. I can help with build this forum. Thanks for approved. Jaz sem Slovenka. Lahko pomagam pri razvoju foruma.

Close