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Fly Fishing with an Indicator

Posted by The Trout Spot on 3/11/2014 to Tips

Whether fly fishing small streams or large rivers, one of the most effective ways to consistently catch fish is using a indicator with dropper files.  I prefer to use a 9 foot leader with a Thingamabober strike indicator attached to the top of the leader.  Tie your first fly at the end of the leader and a dropper fly attached to the top fly with about 18 inches of tippet. 

Depending on the river I will use a larger fly such as a San Juan Worm, Girdle Bug  or even a large streamer or sculpin pattern at the top and a smaller nymph or stonefly pattern attached at the bottom. 

Attach a split shot or two about 18 inches above the top fly.  For the bottom fly I prefer to use a size 16 or 18 attractor nymph such as a prince nymph or copper john.  When fishing streams with a Blue Wing Olive hatch I like to use a Mark Boname Blue Wing Olive Split Foam Emerger.  You will be surprised how many large fish you can catch on the size 16 or 18 dropper fly. 

Make sure to mend, mend, mend to keep as dead a drift as possible.  I like to do a few strips when I reach the end of the swing especially in small streams.   You can pick up a lot of fish in this way.

There are many variations to this rig, I have fished it with 3 flies on some rivers and with two split shot spread out above the top fly.  Egg patterns or even colored beads can be used also.    Make sure to check your local regulations for the number of hooks you can use at one time.

While it takes a bit of getting used to casting your fly line with all of this attached at the bottom, you will find this type of fly fishing a great way to consistently catch fish and well worth the effort in the long run.

Remember, make sure to practice catch and release.  Keep the brood stock in the river.  A picture is a lot easier to clean.

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