Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Are Strike Indicators Fly Fishing Equipment?????

Back in September I traveled to the Great North Woods in search of Landlocked Salmon and Brown Trout.  This is a wonderful time of year to be an angler of the fly in New England.  But a deep seated addiction has kept me from the purity of fly fishing and a solid member in the fraternity.

Just prior to the trip I made the conscious decision to kick the habit, go cold turkey, get on the wagon, put out the fire, face the demons and get straight.  Yea, that's right, I gave up using a strike indicator.  There, I said it.

Not long ago a number of parallel events happened that gave me the feeling that the indicator is just not fly fishing.  I did my best to change the old style of "chuck & duck" by developing a fly line that would have the inertia to propel the indicator and weight thus fitting a proper definition.  My CRO Nymph Line works great and does meet the criteria.  The first was in talking to line manufacturers and a discussion about my line with Jim Teeney.  The next was a video of a western river guide that said " I would rather %^^%  ^## with 50 grit sand paper than watch a bobber float down the river all day and you are not getting in my boat with that thing".  Next it was a conversation with a good friend who told me that the feel of the take is so much more rewarding.  It just all made sense that I was lowering the bar by using the float.  Please do not take what I am saying as a judgment. I am not trying to change laws and regulations.  I am only talking about me.

Some anglers think that indicator fishing is Czech Nymphing.  It is not.  The only indicator used in the Czech style would be a change in color at the end of your fly line.  In some cases though it is more like running line.

I did find myself wanting to step back when hours went by without a hook up.  Lucky that I left my complement of indicators at home and was not able to fall to temptation.  What I found was I needed to be more attentive and far more focused.  Feel was as important as sight, I was successful and I felt good.  So, it seemed, unless some event were to change my mind, I am going to stay with the program.  That event happened.  When the water temperature dipped to below 39 degrees the takes were lighter and hardly detectable.  And when the water hit 36 degrees the catching pretty much stopped.  I did go back to the indicator over the last few weeks with success.  I am now convinced that we should use an indicator as the tool that it is and keep it away when not needed.


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