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Indicator nymphing

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2007/6/20 11:26
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How far between the end of the fly line and the indicator. I suck at nymphing but i am trying hard to learn (and not having a great amout of success). Seems to me the whole thing is easier to handle with the indi pretty close to the end of the fly line.

Do you always keep your indi the same distance from the end of the fly line and set your depth from the indi down with the length of the leader?

Thanks!

Posted on: 6/2 20:17


Re: Indicator nymphing

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2006/9/9 11:22
From New Castle, PA
Posts: 1625
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Quote:

timmyt wrote:
How far between the end of the fly line and the indicator.


This is not the correct approach to placing your indicator. Instead, your indicator should be placed relative to your flies. The distance between your flies and indicator should usually be roughly equal to one and a half times the depth of the water you are fishing. So if you are fishing an area that is 3 feet deep, you distance between indicator and flies should be about 4.5 feet.

And also, one very crucial point: If you are not making constant adjustments to your indicator placement, you are doing it wrong. You should evaluate every spot you fish and be making prepared to make adjustments at any time.

Now with all that said, you will likely see a lot of guys always fishing with their indicators very near the tip of their fly lines. They are doing it wrong. They may still get some fish, but they are doing it in spite of themselves.

Adjust indicator placement constantly!!!!

Quote:
I suck at nymphing but i am trying hard to learn (and not having a great amout of success). Seems to me the whole thing is easier to handle with the indi pretty close to the end of the fly line.


Yes it might be easier to cast with this positioning, but indicator nymphing is not about pretty casting. It's just putting tension on the line at the end of the drift and flipping the whole deal back upstream. You may however be able to get away with a shorter leader which will result in the indicator being closer to the fly line while still following my recommendations for indicator placement.


Quote:

Do you always keep your indi the same distance from the end of the fly line and set your depth from the indi down with the length of the leader?


No. It is far easier to move the indicator to adjust depth. It is impractical to continually add ad or remove leader/tippet material for the sake of adjusting for depth. At least it should be impractical if you are doing it enough.

Posted on: 6/2 20:53

Edited by PennKev on 2014/6/2 21:43:56


Re: Indicator nymphing

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2012/6/11 23:48
From Coopersburg
Posts: 540
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^ what he said, and ill add that you should adjust weight accordingly also. Its never a set in stone type deal and different situations call for different approaches.

Posted on: 6/2 21:13


Re: Indicator nymphing

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2011/3/8 19:04
From York, PA
Posts: 369
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I'll add one tip for indie fishing. When you flop up stream, your rig from bottom fly up through indie should be in a strait line parallel to current. Also, the I die should lead the rig in a nice straight line. This will allow the best strike detection (less slack) and keep your rig from "wrapping" around sticks and rocks.

Posted on: 6/3 5:48


Re: Indicator nymphing

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2006/9/9 11:22
From New Castle, PA
Posts: 1625
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Quote:

sipe wrote:
I'll add one tip for indie fishing. When you flop up stream, your rig from bottom fly up through indie should be in a strait line parallel to current. Also, the I die should lead the rig in a nice straight line. This will allow the best strike detection (less slack) and keep your rig from "wrapping" around sticks and rocks.


I disagree. Your goal should be to have the flies drifting as close to directly underneath your indicator as possible. This is usually not totally possible since the current at the surface is almost always at least slightly faster than the current at the stream bottom. However, the indicator should be just barely leading the flies and this is achieved by adjusting weight, proper indicator placement, and mending your line. To get good drifts when casting upstream, I often find that it is important to throw a mend as soon as the indicator hits the water so that it's drift is halted allowing the flies a moments to drift down underneath the indicator before it's drift begins. This moment in which the indicator is not dragging on the flies allows the files to sink much quicker and with a lot less weight on the leader than if you just cast straight upstream and let the whole thing drift unchecked. Certain styles of indicators and certain ways of rigging those indicators allow you to easily determine EXACTLY how your drift is behaving. Yarn indicators for instance will usually lay on their side pointing upstream if they are leading the fly too much and a mend is needed. When floating correctly the loop of the indicator will be pointing straight down in the water and you will be viewing the yarn from the top. There are also ways to rig foam sphere or tear drop indicators so they behave the same way.




Posted on: 6/3 6:43


Re: Indicator nymphing

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2007/6/20 11:26
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PennKev, thanks for the in depth response, some good stuff in there. So how long of a leader would you say you start out with when nymphing? I normally fish tapered leaders because i'm fishing dries 90% of the time. I think i need to start avoiding those and making my own leaders real quick out of tippet which is obviously not tapered and should sink better/more evenly

Sipe, so you would say then that your indicator 'leads' your nymph rig

Posted on: 6/3 6:47


Re: Indicator nymphing

Joined:
2006/9/9 11:22
From New Castle, PA
Posts: 1625
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I have moved away from using a commercially made tapered leader. You can certainly use them, but I find I can make an effective nymphing leader easily and cheaply. If you go with a commercial leader I would recommend a 7' 3x as a starting point and adding 4ft of 4x tippet right of the bat for most trout fishing. You can use lighter or heavier material if you feel the need. The end result is a leader and tippet about 9' long total. Adding the tippet from the start yields a longer section of light material above your flies. As you've already guessed this does allow the flies to sink faster and does so with less weight needed.

As for the leaders I currently use, they are dead simple: A 4' butt of 20, 25, or 30lb mono connected to 3-4' of 3x or 4x via loop-to-loop connection or tippet ring and then short tippet of about 10" onto which I tie my fly. I usually put my weight on the connection between the 3x and tippet as the knot will prevent the split shot from sliding down. My indicator will almost always be within 1 1/2
' of the tip end of the leader butt. You can use an shorter butt and shorter front section on shallower creeks but the setup I described works perfectly for most medium to large sized creeks. Additionally, you can use light or heavier front sections and tippet as needed. For instance I would run straight 2x or 3x from the butt to the fly when fishing for steelhead or in in dirty water with bigger nymphs where I can get away with the heavier line. Finally I prefer a 20lb butt which is noticeably lighter than the butt area of commercial leaders, but this may cause casting and turnover issues for a beginner so I would lean towards 25 or 30lb butts to start. I prefer the lighter butt because it allows me to quickly change to a tight line nymphing rig by simply removing the indicator and swapping out a hi viz mono sighter for the front section. This is outside of the scope of the current discussion though so I digress.

Kev

Posted on: 6/3 8:17


Re: Indicator nymphing

Joined:
2007/6/20 11:26
Posts: 480
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Kev,

Thanks for the tips, i am going to try your leader setup as opposed to using a tapered leader. What you say makes a lot of sense, i almost felt like the butt end was too heavy and the tippet end too light. It wasn't clicking with me when i was fishing Sunday but now it does based on what you said. What type of indicator do you use with that setup?

Slightly off-topic, but when you switch over to the high stick setup described; keep the same butt and the second piece is your high vis sighter, then a short tippet?



Posted on: 6/3 16:49


Re: Indicator nymphing

Joined:
2006/9/9 11:22
From New Castle, PA
Posts: 1625
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For the tight line situations, I usually attach a foot or so of 1x to the 20lb butt then put a 15-20" sighter and then finally a tippet of + or - 3' depending on the depth of water I am likely to fish. Overall it is not terribly inconvenient to swi h rigs back and forth. In fact, just this past weekend I found myself switching back and forth several times in order to squeeze a few fish out of a variety of water types. The end result was a respectable number of hook-ups despite tough conditions.

As for indicators I use, I prefer the round or teardrop shaped hard foam "lightning strike" indicators but there are other similar brands. Some come with a piece of rubber tubing and can be attached as follows but I prefer using rubber bands. The only trick is making sure you use a heavy enough rubber band so that the indicator stays put without slipping.

Here is a link that shows how I attach them to my leader. Also some decent info in the rest of the article:
Indicator rigging

If you use this method, the rubber band will point straight up when your flies are drifting properly. If not, the indicator will lay on it's side and the band will point away from the fly. This is an indication that you need to mend your line.


Btw, I sometimes use thingamabobbers too. In fact I have zillions of them, but after several years of use I've come to the conclusion that they are just not sensitive enough and they cannot be rigged to behave like the hard foam indicators. That said there are some creative ways to rig them and I still use them in high flows or when I have a TON of weight on my leader.

Kev

Posted on: 6/3 17:15






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