Strike Indicators use or not

There comes a time in every fishermans life when you have to face facts, if you what to catch fish you are going to have to nymph/ chrominid fish. That means a strike indicator is going to be a part of your gear so lets see if I can help you decide whether to use them or not. Despite the debate on the use of strike indicators, they are widely accepted in mainstream fly-fishing most people I know now use them in one form or another.


 While the origin of strike indicators is not clear, it was probably the father of fly-fishing with nymph imitations, G.E.M. Skues (1858-1949), who first suggested using sheep’s wool to see fish bites easier.

When strike indicators first became a standard part of fly fishing their use was generally a fall back method used to put some fish in the net when other tactics such as dry flies failed to produce. Gradually though, nymphing with strike indicators began to become, if not the primary technique, much more acceptable and widespread.


Indicators come in a large variety of shapes and sizes with new designs appearing almost yearly. They can be tied on or attached to the leader using toothpicks, plastic pegs, twisted rubber cores, sticky backed foam or formed with soft putty. Most hard-shelled designs are oval or tear drop shaped which perhaps make them more aerodynamic and easier to cast. They typically have an inner core of hard foam or balsa wood which is covered with a plastic coating. Yarn indicators of various shapes and sizes are also popular.


There’s no denying that indicators offer a decided advantage and are an important and sometimes necessary part of your fly fishing arsenal.  indicator nymphing in icy rivers may be the only way to catch trout. When rivers run high and off-color an indicator deep drifting a big nymph will work when a dry fly doesn’t stand a chance.

Some times Nymphing, regardless of time of year, hatches, or water conditions is without question, the most effective way to catch trout.


They’ve become a kind of quick fix crutch. Many anglers have simply forgotten how fun and exciting it is to watch a trout come from the river bottom through  clear water to slurp a dry fly or to watch a fish chase down a streamer with the aggressive intent of killing it.

Casting strike indicators can be awkward, especially if using larger or more wind resistant designs. One can avoid real messy leader tangles by widening and slowing down the casting stroke.



Fishing dry flies and sinking the odd stonefly most of my life I had a hard time coming to odds with the strike indicator. Over the last 3 years I started using them and throwing  some streamers to broaden out my time on the river and catch more fish. Although I have no problem using indicators now I would still rather dry fly fish but the use of indicators has opened up my season as I can fish spring and fall with them were dry flies have a short season to fish


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