View Full Version : Indicators

02-12-2008, 07:39 PM
I had some trouble today with my yarn indicator. It seemed after three casts it would become waterlogged and go under the surface where I could not see it anymore which kind of defeats the purpose of an indicator. Does anyone have any tips on keeping the yarn indicator afloat, and does anyone out there use a cork indicator which I hear can be effective. Thanks for any help I can get.

Hal M
02-12-2008, 08:05 PM
You might try water shed or maybe give the new thingamabobbers a try. LRO has them I believe. I plan to give them a try.


02-12-2008, 08:18 PM
I put Gink on mine and it works!

02-12-2008, 08:46 PM
...it dry is to leave it in the package and use a dry with a dropper. I have used several different indicators over the years but since learning to fish tandem or dry dropper rigs I seldom ever use any other kind of indicator.

Early on I noticed when using indicators that fish would often hit the indicator before touching the nymph I was fishing under it. In fishing a dry with a nymph or soft hackle dropper, I have also noticed fish that would key in on the dry only to take the nymph. It was as if the dry would attract them and the nymph appeared to be too easy and thus irresistible, so they just couldn't pass it up.

I have also seen what appears to be the reverse while fishing such rigs. Early on they would go for the nymph only for a hatch to start and then they would start slamming the dry I was using for an attractor or indicator.


02-12-2008, 10:50 PM
If a dry/dropper rig doesn't work in your situation, I second the thingamabobber. They are scheduled to release a new 1/2" version in the coming months. My stand-by when I have that problem is a water balloon inflated to about 1/2" diameter. It works great and never goes under, even in rough water.


02-13-2008, 08:12 AM
Yarn rocks, it is the most sensitive indicator i have used, even the best brand will have a tendency to sink after a few trips.
I treat mine with a flotant(liquid) right out of the package, if it sinks during use, i may treat it with a dry fly flotant onstream, more than likely, i'll put a new piece on.
Dry flies are fun to, they are a pain if you're fishing more than 2' deep though:eek:


02-13-2008, 12:03 PM
I am under the impression that there is not an over all perfect indicator.

All styles and brands have a time and place where they are the best for the situation.

Dry flies work well because they do not look like typical indicators and can even match a hatch. This can be very important when fishing over fish that see a lot of indicators (such as the Clinch). The downslide to dry fly indicators is that they are not adjustable at all without re-rigging, and they will not float heavy nymphs, especially in heavier water.

Yarn, like grumpy said is the most sensitive to light takes, plus it lands softly on the water. Available in a lot of color options. They are not easily adjustable. Yes you can adjust them but it's a little more time consuming. Yarn also has a hard time floating heavier nymph rigs. They also require a little attention to keep them floating high. As mentioned, typical dry fly floatant will work fine.

Palsa, Stick ons are also available in a lot of colors. They are handy for quick indicator add ons, float well with moderate weight. They are not adjustable at all and they tend to leave a residue on your leader if your not real careful removing them. They also land lightly on the water.

Foam. Foam indicators are available in a large assortment of styles, sizes, and colors. My personal favorite are the lighting strikes with toothpick pegs. They are easily adjustable, which makes it easy for driftboat fishing where the riverbed and depth are constantly changing. They float very well, and in larger sizes can suspend very heavy tungsten rigs in very heavy white water. The downside is that they are tougher to cast, and they also do not allow stealthy casting as they often hit the water with a splash.

These are just a few options and others might have very different opinions on this. But like I said, IMHO, I feel there are no perfect strike indicators, but all can be perfect for the situation at hand.

02-13-2008, 01:50 PM
I agree with Rocky.

02-13-2008, 03:44 PM
This is why I love the sport of fly fishing! It can be so complex, yet at the same time there are many different combinations that can work in different situations. I think I may give those thingmabobbers a chance. They appear though they may a little big (size) because they may spook the fish.

Rog 1
02-13-2008, 06:29 PM
A great read is "Fly Fishing Through a Mid-life Crisis"...in this book one of the author's sons approaches him after fishing for trout using indicators and asked his dad why this wasn't the same thing as fishing with bait using a bobber....

milligan trout degree
02-13-2008, 07:02 PM
Fly-fishing through the midlife crisis is a great book. Its in my dorm room now. I recommend it for a simple casual reade.

Kentucky Kid
02-14-2008, 09:25 PM
My personal favorite is the turn on indicators they are easy to see, the easiest to adjust, come in many varieties, and they float most anything. Only down side is five bucks or so for four of them. You can get small and sensitive or big and strong.

02-15-2008, 09:00 PM
Rocky -- I have found that Palsa's can be adjusted "up the leader" but not down. Palsa's are one of the few indicators I now use because of the ease of casting, and up-the-leader adjustability. Just don't try moving it down the last 2-3' of leader -- they'll slip almost every time if there's not a connecting knot to stop them!


02-19-2008, 06:31 PM
Hey there Phil,

How have you been? Enjoy the hoops season I hope. Nice to hear from you again. We missed you at the frostbite.

appalachian angler
02-19-2008, 08:13 PM
I gink my "lightning strike" yarn right out of the container as well. It is hard to beat when fishing BH midge pupa. You can make your own wire eye yarn indies for easier adustment. Use a piece of med ultra wire and twist the yarn in a piesce of wire about 2" long when folded in two. Clamp the ends in your tying viceand twist. Reset in vice so that the yarn is butted up against the ends of the jaws. Attach tying thread and lash down, making a few fig 8 wraps around the yarn, then back down to the eye you have formed. Whip finnish, zap the wraps, and then clip off the excess twisted wire btween the yarn ends. Tease out the yarn fibers and trim as needed. Now you can slip a tiny loop of leader through the 'eye' of the indy, then loop over the whole thing to secure. If it slides you can do another lopping. Chances are it won't slid past your terminal tippet knot so you can plan to use it as a slide stopper.

Good luck


02-20-2008, 05:12 PM
Regarding the yarn style, I have had great luck using Frog's Fanny, being very thorough to work it through the fibers. That stuff is outstanding IMHO. Works great on dries and puts a bubble sheath on nymphs. I think they carry it at LRO. I met the owner of the company at a fly show one time. Great guy to chat with. Those kind of folks always get my dollars.

I just saw something in a catalogue from The Fly Shop in Redding, CA. It was some type of powder floatant in a little can that you could put your yarn indicators in and store them. Take them out, blow them off, and supposedly they would float all day.

02-20-2008, 10:29 PM
Hey, Rocky! Would have liked to make it to the Frostbite! I understand you guys had another great trip -- even got in some fishing?