I learned many years ago to not use a strike indicator on the smokies streams by one of the best nymph fishermen around. Jim Parks taught me to high stick instead of lobbing a bobber & nymph rig. Its much more effective. You want a tippet connection knot about 2-3 ft above your top nymph. You watch the knot as you high stick the run. Another method is to intentionaly put a soft kink in the leader at the same location. When a fish bites, the kink with straighten out and you set the hook. Both methods are very effective and no bright yarn or bobber to spook wary fish.
For very low light conditions I will add a tiny piece of the foam roll-on strike indicator (made by Cortland in flat sheets) on the knot.
Not to brag or anything, I don't have anything on my tippet. After many years on the circuit you just know when you have a strike.
I read somewhere that you can use a small balloon (like the kind sold for water balloons). barely inflate it, tie a knot,and then tie it onto your tippet. I bought some the other day but haven't tried them yet. Seems like they'd work well. Anyone tried this?
Balloon indicators are for bigger water and probably would spook the fish except on the largest pools of the big park streams... They'll float a lot of weight though and would work very well when the water levels are up or the water is stained...
I finally got to try out my thingamabobbers last weekend. They floated great even with split shot. It did slide on me just slightly from time to time, but nothing major.
Overall I'm very pleased. I do have the smaller versions 1/2 inch I believe
Tyler Legg, www,tarheelflyfishing.com
The thingamabobbers slipped on me pretty badly. I met ChemEAngler at Troutfest and we were discussing these indicators. He said he gets small o-rings from the hardware store and cuts them, threads them through the hole and re-glues them with superglue. The rubber ring (o-ring) doesn't slip like the metal grommet through the thingamabobber. I've not tried it yet but it sounds like it'd work.
I had more knots when using thingamabobbers but it could just be my crappy casting.