There been a debate amongst fly fishing purists for years as to the appropriateness and use of the modern strike indicators. Since I’m not a purest, I’m not even going to enter in the debate. Simply put, they work, and work well. With the advent of the indicator, the sport has opened up several new techniques.
The two most popular indicators are the bobber (thingamabobber), tear drop and the yarn indicator. They both have their advantages and disadvantages. I find the yarn indicator lands a little nicer on the water, but can’t carry as much weight. Conversely, the bobber and the tear drop isn’t exactly graceful, but you can float whatever you want underneath.
Nymphing with strike indicators has really improved the sport in my view. Gone are the days waiting for a hatch. Nymphs are active all day long, and trout feed on them voraciously. The ‘ole bobber also provides access to the sport to beginners. Don’t have a beautiful double haul, so what, just a simple roll cast will do thank you. Your kids miss the subtle take of trout sipping spinners, so what….the bobber is down, set the hook!
Indicators have become a go to for guides as well. It’s made it far easier to manage two guests in a drift boat, and increases catch rates. The thingamabobber is actually one the most popular pieces of terminal tackle today, purists or not.
Indicators are a great tool, and really should be a part of every serious fisherman’s arsenal. They key word here is “part”. When I take my daughters fishing, we use them. But I’m also teaching them how to false cast, drift a dry, tight line and swing a wet. To me, the only real down side to indicator fishing, is not learning all the other wonderful aspect our great sport has to offer.
This holds true to just about anything though. There are folks that tight line and nothing else. There are folks that will only fish dries, only fish certain species, or times of year…the list goes on and on. Personally, I like to fish. I want to learn as much as possible, become proficient at as much as possible, and be able to catch as many species as possible. That’s my goal, and bobbers are just a small and very effective part of it.
We only have this one earth, take care of it. Pack it in, Pack it out. Until next time my fishy friends…
Tight Lines and Screaming Drags