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!
- Surface currents are fast. - The indicator will almost always float ahead of the nymph towing it along. Especially if the indicator is too buoyant.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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