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Unless you’ve been introduced to tight-line nymphing, indicator nymphing is probably the technique you use to get the job done. Throughout my time on the water I’ve fished a couple different strike indicators and depending on where you are, that might the difference between catching fish and not. Here are few things I’ve observed about nymphing with a strike indicator:

Appearance Matters

If you’ve read any of my articles previously, you know where I stand on presentation in any aspect of fly fishing. It’s absolutely essential for you to catch fish – and be a good angler. Consider the following  on your next outing:

If you’re nymphing slow, shallow, ultra-clear water, be sure to adjust your rig accordingly. What I mean by that is, you shouldn’t be using a large bright yellow thingamabobber if you can see the fish you’re fishing to.

As a good rule of thumb, pick the lightest indicator that will hold up your flies.

We know that naturally trout are very skittish, so you must take this into consideration when selecting any material used in the making of a nymph-rig.

The only exception to the above is if you’re nymphing deep, dark water. In which case it would still be in your best interest to “naturalize” your rig, as that would only improve your chances of catching.

Indicator Tricks

When nymphing with an indicator as opposed to tight-line nymphing, in most situations you’re already at a disadvantage. The indicator drags your flies even on perfect drifts, it does not look natural, and it can intimidate fish the moment it hits the water. That said, it’s still an effective way too fish in 90% of the situations you encounter. This is what I do if it gets super technical:

Step 1: Tie on the smallest dry fly you have that you can see, and will still hold up your fly/flies (this will be the top fly)

Step 2: Pull off a long piece of tippet (depending on where you are sometimes 3-4 feet long). Note: Always use the smallest tippet you can get away with, for me it’s typically 5x or 6x

Step 3: Tie one end of the tippet to the hook of your dry fly, and the other end to your nymph

Step 4: Starting with one, add no. 8 split shot in between your dry fly and nymph til you feel like it’s at the right depth. Note: If you’d like to fish with two nymphs, repeat steps 2 and 3, and add weight in between the bottom and middle flies

Here’s What We Recommend 



 Barnsley Strike Indicators

Pinch On Strike Indicator




Also, be sure to check out our last post: Top 5 Flies for Fishing NC Delayed Harvest

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