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Bead Fishing With & Without Indicators

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  • 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.
    115
    Yes
    46.09%
    53
    No
    26.96%
    31
    Depends on the situation
    26.96%
    31

  • #2
    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

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    • #3
      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?

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      • #4
        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.

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        • #5
          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.

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          • #6
            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.

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

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              • #8
                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.

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                • #9
                  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.
                  sigpic

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                  • #10
                    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.
                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      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

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                      • #12
                        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.

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                        • #13
                          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!

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                          • #14
                            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.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by danattherock View Post
                              I was impressed by the use of "suprefluous" myself

                              I had to look it up :eek:


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

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