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Drift indicators and Rigging for 'Dry Dropper''

2007/6/18 14:18
From Lafayette Hill, PA
Posts: 0
Let me apologize for posting a topic which I am sure is covered in here somewhere....

I am curious as to how to detect the drift of my nymphs without an indicator of some sort. Even more frustrating to me are the problems created by using the various types of drift indicators.

My feeling is that, when using a long leader and tippet, there is so much distance from the end of the fly line that unless I can see the leader in the water I cannot detect subtle takes.

Unfortunately, I find the different types of indicators either don't ride high enough for me to see or they get wet and sink.

Also, the dry dropper setup, while appealing to me seems not to work too well if I am getting that dropper down on the bottom, i.e. with tungsgten, etc. ALSO, I am wondering whether I should just use a long piece of tippet of heavier gauge to attach the dropper. Might this make casting/turning over the nymph less likely to form a bird's nest??

I apperciate any thoughts on this.

Posted on: 2009/3/29 18:44

Re: Drift indicators and Rigging for 'Dry Dropper''

2007/7/2 19:40
Posts: 1343
when the line and leader turn over on the forward cast the heavier fly will be faster so best if its the end fly.Also dropper need only be 3 inches or so-tag left while tying tippet on worked for me.I liked those insta change gadgets in small size.
Polaroids and developing a sixth sense worked best for me as micro currents under waters surface mean you won't even notice most takes if you become too obsessed with the indicator.
Others will differ but thats what makes it fun.

Posted on: 2009/3/29 19:52
lurking like a barracuda or a toad fish

Re: Drift indicators and Rigging for 'Dry Dropper''
2006/9/9 9:29
From Monessen, PA
Posts: 2884
When fishing without an indicator, I like to throw the wet, nymph or streamer well above the likely holding area. Then I pull the line across the surface until I can tell I've removed all slack from the leader, then release just enough tension to try to put 3-6 inches of slack back in the leader. I then concentrate on watching the line-leader connection. This will glide along the surface at a fairly consistent rate of speed. If it hesitates or reverses slightly, use the line hand to pull in any slack and be ready to lift the rod tip if resistence is encountered.

This is easy to describe, but the truth is there are probably other subtle moves, steps taken in the process, including slight "mends" of adjusting slack that occur during the drift. It would be impossible to desribe them all from memory. Use the basic outline in my first paragraph and you will begin to develop those unexplainable nuances in controlling the drift so that there is some, but very little, slack between line-leader connection and the fly during the drift. Too much slack and you will miss a lot more takes, too little and you will be pulling the fly along unnaturally. Sometimes the fish do not mind the drag, so if you want to err, make it on the side of too little slack.

As for using indicators, I fish them like as if I had a red worm under a bobber. With the dry-dropper rig, I typically just try to achieve a drag free drift of the dry. The nymph is tied off the bend of the dry fly's hook.

I am not a good nymph fisherman and catch most of the fish I do under the water with the no-indicator method, except for steelhead, where I just use a bobber/indicator.

Posted on: 2009/3/30 6:31

Edited by JackM on 2009/3/31 6:18:31
"If you see the Buddha in the road, please slow down and see if she is OK." OK?

-- Me

Re: Drift indicators and Rigging for 'Dry Dropper''

2007/6/18 14:18
From Lafayette Hill, PA
Posts: 0
Thanks for your thoughts on the matter. I am always interested to hear others' experience and approach. Especially after a frustrating day on Valley(though I did catch a few...)

Here's one, and don't worry, he was only out of the creek for about 10 seconds. Released safely.

Attach file:

jpg  IMG_0039.JPG (711.22 KB)
953_49d177c1d0ebc.jpg 1600X1200 px

Posted on: 2009/3/30 21:54

Re: Drift indicators and Rigging for 'Dry Dropper''

2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 2370
I typically go indicatorless when bottom rolling.

1. The cast is everything. I'll tuck or roll, but the key is to not get too much slack, but not to pull the fly either. Its not an easy balance and takes practice. I can't say I'm an expert at it but I get it right often enough to catch a fish or two. Start short, it's easier when high sticking. Move farther away until you find your limit. As you get better, you'll find your limit is farther out, but everyone has a limit....

2. Thick leaders are bad, especially in cross currents. Thats why I use a straight "all-tippet" leader when bottom rolling.

3. Watch a good bait guy who drifts his offering in the current along the bottom. They're doing the same thing you want to be doing, and that flat line is the best way to do it.

4. Dropper, yeah, the dropper should be short (<4") and stiffer than the point. Often, if I have a 4x to 5x tippet connection, I just leave a long tag end on the 4x blood knot and tie the dropper there. If you get it too short, just clinch knot a second 4x piece above the old blood knot, so that the knot keeps it from sliding towards the fly. The shorter and stiffer, within reason, the better, you'll cut down on tangles.

5. If close enough that some of the leader is off the water, I watch the leader as an indicator. Farther out, I watch the end of the fly line.

6. In clear water you can often watch the fly as it sinks and observe whether its drifting naturally or not.

Dry-droppers are useful when fish are up in "feeding positions" and not on the bottom. I use them in hatch situations, and on small streams in pocket water. About the only time I use traditional strike indicators is long, deep, slow pools and steelhead.

Posted on: 2009/3/31 10:01

Re: Drift indicators and Rigging for 'Dry Dropper''

2006/10/2 10:08
From Greensburg, Westmoreland Co.
Posts: 284
I find I can get a much longer drag-free drift when I fish with an indicator. When I'm nymphing I almost always use an indicator. I discovered the Thingamabobber indicators recently, and that's all I carry in my vest now.

Posted on: 2009/3/31 13:57
Resized Image
Only one constant in the universe, all men are equal in the eyes of the fish.
-GulfGreyhound paraphrasing Herbert Hoover

Re: Drift indicators and Rigging for 'Dry Dropper''

2009/4/10 19:10
From Tyrone Pa
Posts: 1
I'm new here, but I got some of those peel off and stick to the line indicators from wall mart and have had much success with them. I can change the depth easily and don't have to re-tie my fly, if I'm using one that you have to slip over the line. I know it's not like "Joe Fisherman" will use, but I'm not in this to be pretty or politically correct. LOL Plus they are easily seen.

Posted on: 2009/4/10 21:38

Re: Drift indicators and Rigging for 'Dry Dropper''

2009/1/24 15:19
From Butler
Posts: 10
i really dont like using an indicator or weight for that matter -- i feel that it hinders my presentation --- i will definitely use weight when i absolutely have to and my fly isnt getting down to the bottom - but since i usually will try to put some extra lead and bead head on my nymphs so they get down to the bottom easily

Posted on: 2009/4/11 16:49
Eat a Peach.

Re: Drift indicators and Rigging for 'Dry Dropper''

2006/9/12 21:16
From Suburban Pittsburgh
Posts: 9
Love the Thingamabobber. It casts beautifully, doesn't slip, easy on and off. I also find that indicators provide me with a better drift. When the water is boiling I love the dry & emerger or soft hackle combo.

Posted on: 2009/4/11 21:22

Re: Drift indicators and Rigging for 'Dry Dropper''

2007/5/11 21:03
From Media, PA
Posts: 137
I do a lot of nymph fishing, generally with an indicator. I tend to use the football type in deeper and faster conditions, and a pinch of strike putty in shallow or really clear water. My preference is for long soft tippet; rarely do I go less than 4'. Often I'll fish two flies, the heaviest (usually a beadhead) first, then a lighter fly tied one tippet size down to the bend. That reduces the loss of two flies at a shot. Of course I much prefer to fish a dropper under a dry, and almost always fish a hatch that way, unless the fish show an immediate suicidal lust for the dun. Bottom line is you have to experiment to find what suits your style, like music, and many other endeavors.

Posted on: 2009/4/12 9:48

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