View Poll Results: Do you use an Indicator while bead fishing?

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  • Yes

    53 46.09%
  • No

    31 26.96%
  • Depends on the situation

    31 26.96%
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Thread: Bead Fishing With & Without Indicators

  1. #1
    Member Xanfly's Avatar
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    Default Bead Fishing With & Without Indicators

    Just curious who uses indicators and who doesn't.

    The only time I have used them is on Charters when I am using the guides gear.

    I have always been against using them even though I don't really have a good reason.

    I suppose I should do some comparison fishing with them to see if they increase my catch.

    So give us some examples/reasons why one is better than the other for you.

  2. #2
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Default

    I dont have a comparison. I just learned to fish with them using beads or leeches on the kenai. On clear water streams like the russian or quartz when using nymphs and such I dont use them. I might have to try beads without them this year to see how I do
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  3. #3
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    If you are not using an indicator, how do you know you have a strike? Are you solely sight fishing? Czech nymphing basically? Just watching your fly line and/or leader for movement? or other?

  4. #4
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    Default It depends

    For me I prefer an indicator for getting a good drift AND having some sort of contact (visual) with what's going on at the end of the line, takes can be very short....however. I've been in lots of areas in Bristol Bay (say it ain't so, they are all ravenous out there) that after a full day of pressure, are pretty darn picky (or have gobs of eggs and flesh rolling past them and are full) at these times it has really helped to take off the indicator. I've caught fish as If I was the first man on the water after ten people had already worked small holes in Moraine and Lower Talarik Creek by simply taking off the indicator. I usually add up to three bb's and do a kind of touch and go kind of drift (nothing like lots of lead to help cruddy drift)...usually highsticking if I can. In super clear water areas like the Iliamna River, taking off the indicator off is also huge as these fish can be spooky when they are full and are ridiculousy difficult to please, and so by starting with one and then taking it off, it seems that you get to target the most active and later the more lethargic fish...

    Also in extremely shallow water where I have seen fish actually swim away from an indicator....a sure sign that you should fish without it until conditions are right.

    Essentially, I know you are missing lots of fish without one....however, as said above, if things get tight...losing the indicator is often the key to getting access to those fishmouths that aren't nailed shut.

  5. #5
    Member Xanfly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FishnPhil View Post
    If you are not using an indicator, how do you know you have a strike? Are you solely sight fishing? Czech nymphing basically? Just watching your fly line and/or leader for movement? or other?
    On the Valley streams I do a lot of Highsticking, if not i am watching my fly line/ leader for movement.

    Part of the reason for this thread is to help me find out if I am making it more of a challenge or just plain missing fish.

    Also all of my Kenai fishing has been with a guide to this point, but that is going to change this year. So I need to find out if I need to change tactics or not.

  6. #6

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    I learned fishing without them. I clear streams its easy to do and you catch more fish, however, you need to be in a zen place in wates like the Kenai in order to feel those suddle takes. Indicators have their place in every flyfishers vest. I must admit that I have picked up fish that I wouldnt have known were there with indicators.

  7. #7
    Member Skookumchuck's Avatar
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    I've tried them in the past, but don't really see the point. I'm a line watcher.
    Nice Marmot.

  8. #8
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    Default Bobbers

    I do not like using an indicator, or bobber as I like to call them. I usually feel confident enough with my mending and sight to observe a subtle strike, or with the correct mend, you will feel even very subltle strikes. I have been known to make fun of bobbers, although without using them I may be selling myself short on a few fish. I usually do OK without, but if Xanfly starts outfishing me on the Situk, I might be willing to try one. I think I understand the mechanics of my drift with proper mending, so I tend to opt out of using one.

  9. #9
    Member TYNMON's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akfshklr View Post
    I do not like using an indicator, or bobber as I like to call them. I usually feel confident enough with my mending and sight to observe a subtle strike, or with the correct mend, you will feel even very subltle strikes. I have been known to make fun of bobbers, although without using them I may be selling myself short on a few fish. I usually do OK without, but if Xanfly starts outfishing me on the Situk, I might be willing to try one. I think I understand the mechanics of my drift with proper mending, so I tend to opt out of using one.

    One of the problems of no using a indicator is that the tend to line many of the salmon in a drift and the drift is accelerated instead of a perfect dead drift.

  10. #10
    Member G_Smolt's Avatar
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    There are pros and cons with indicator fishing, as well as situations where they are absolutely necessary, or completely suprefluous.

    Instead of just accepting or rejecting them, you should experiment with water types and conditions, fly setups, and presentation situations to determine whether the use of an indicator is warranted or not.

    In many of the situations that I fish, indicators are not necessary. Short drifts, small pockets, small water, shallow water, super-clear water...these are places where an indicator might actually be a hindrance.

    In many other situations, the indicator is the key to the presentation that catches fish.

    Indicators are just another tool to catch fish, and like most tools, you need to know how and when to use them for them to work.

  11. #11
    Member jay51's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TYNMON View Post
    One of the problems of no using a indicator is that the tend to line many of the salmon in a drift and the drift is accelerated instead of a perfect dead drift.
    I can see the drift being accelerated on the swing, but with proper mending I don't see increased instances of lining fish. with the right line combination you can still achieve a good dead-drift without an "indicator." I fly-fish because it is more fun and challenging than spinning gear, bobbers are not my idea of fun or challenging.

    -J

  12. #12

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    I said yes altho not always; on the Kanektok last year I saw guides/clients doing fairly long presentations and none were using indicators; I am guessing they were using sinktip and not lead. I do that some times.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by G_Smolt View Post
    There are pros and cons with indicator fishing, as well as situations where they are absolutely necessary, or completely suprefluous.

    Instead of just accepting or rejecting them, you should experiment with water types and conditions, fly setups, and presentation situations to determine whether the use of an indicator is warranted or not.

    In many of the situations that I fish, indicators are not necessary. Short drifts, small pockets, small water, shallow water, super-clear water...these are places where an indicator might actually be a hindrance.

    In many other situations, the indicator is the key to the presentation that catches fish.

    Indicators are just another tool to catch fish, and like most tools, you need to know how and when to use them for them to work.
    That may be the best explanation of the use of an indicator I've ever heard. And I agree with every word you said. I LOVE my indicator, but they are not the answer for all situations. For example, last weekend me and a few buddies fished the Madison in Montana, and I used indicators the whole time. My buddy on the other hand refused to use an indicator and he paid dearly. The Madison is famous for swift riffles and very little pocket water, which makes detecting a strike without an indy almost impossible. All I can say is that on this trip my indicator proved priceless. So in summary, they definitely have there time and place, do NOT write them off!

  14. #14
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    I was impressed by the use of "suprefluous" myself
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  15. #15
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    I was impressed by the use of "suprefluous" myself

    I had to look it up


    Smolt hits the nail on the head with his post though
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  16. #16
    Member jakec5253's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskachuck View Post
    I had to look it up
    Glad I wasn't the only one! Those smart guys and their fancy words. Isn't that against one of the forum rules?


    Jake
    All the romance of trout fishing exists in the mind of the angler and is in no way shared by the fish.

  17. #17
    Member TYNMON's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jay51 View Post
    I can see the drift being accelerated on the swing, but with proper mending I don't see increased instances of lining fish. with the right line combination you can still achieve a good dead-drift without an "indicator." I fly-fish because it is more fun and challenging than spinning gear, bobbers are not my idea of fun or challenging.

    -J

    I am not going to get into the whole purist technique... But, to properly fish a indicator, not a bobber is quite a chenenge and find that more novice fisherman fish beads w/ out indicators then with... One of the other common practices I see bead fisherman use entirely too much weight w/ their presentations wether they use a indicator or not.

    Free drifting a bead w/ out a indicator could be effictive given very littel weight and if you fishing from a boat... I feel that a indicator properly rigged shows you exactly what is going on w/ your presentation.

  18. #18
    Member jakec5253's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TYNMON View Post
    Free drifting a bead w/ out a indicator could be effictive given very littel weight and if you fishing from a boat... I feel that a indicator properly rigged shows you exactly what is going on w/ your presentation.
    Is that a pegged or free sliding bead? J/K (sorry, couldn't resist.)


    Jake
    All the romance of trout fishing exists in the mind of the angler and is in no way shared by the fish.

  19. #19

    Default Help, you lost me

    Can we move on.

    Someone needs to write a riveting article, demystifying or cracking the code on fishing beads for fall rainbows, on the Kenai, or sharing the favorite fingernail polish. Do I really need two coats of Sally Hansen's, or will one coat suffice. Is the color Whisper Mist, really the best color for Cloud 9's.

    And I'm really out of my element by this use of this whole use of the metric system for measuring beads, can someone provide a conversion table. This is America....Yes.

    Thanks in advance.

  20. #20
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    Default Bobbers

    Quote Originally Posted by TYNMON View Post
    But, to properly fish a indicator, not a bobber is quite a chenenge and find that more novice fisherman fish beads w/ out indicators then with... .
    The Webster's definition of a bobber is "A float for a fishing line." I would say the definition is accurate. I believe the word indicator is merely a glamorized twist on the word bobber. It might make people feel more dignified fishing one when they don't call it a bobber, but for all intents and purposes, that's what it is. I have no problem catching fish without a bobber. Maybe there are more "novice" fishermen out there that don't use them, but I don't consider myself a novice, nor purist, nor expert by any means. I have taught myself to be extremely attentive to my drift. Proper mending is critical to fishing without a bobber, and water depth, amount of lead (normally I fish with B or BB), water velocity, line diameter, bead diameter and material (some beads are more bouyant than others) are all factors I consider when rigging up for the conditions I am fishing. I have a hard time thiniking of any instance of me lining a rainbow on any of the Parks streams. It works for me, but in order to fish successfully, one must stay extremely focused on everything that can and will affect the drift.

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