Dead drifting under an indicator in the salt?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Alexander, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. Sorry for the amount of threads by me, I just wonder a lot and don't really have any fly fishing buddies to discuss this with, so this is all I have. :)

    So, being mainly familiar with river fishing for Trout and only in recent years (sporadically here and there and more so just this season) learning the saltwater game I've been wondering if it would pay off to fish (under the right conditions) a fly dead drift under an indicator in the current? Certain beaches I fish generate a pretty good rip that allows you to swing a fly as if river fishing. The extreme currents seem to have created trenches on the bottom where the fish hang out to ambush whatever seems to hover by. I instantly was reminded of indicator nymph fishing on the river where you try to get a nice drag free drift. Now I'm wondering how effective this would be.

    I'm going to try this out of course, but was wondering if any of you have done this or do this from time to time. Or if it just doesn't interest you that must since catching them on "the strip" is more entertaining.

    I can only think of how much stuff must be getting dislodged by the tidal changes that just floats by for the picking. Then again, maybe everything can actually swim and so unless it's struggling (has action) the SRC won't pay it any mind?

  2. Tiny crab pattern maybe?
  3. I'm not sure I would do so for coho or searuns, but it would likely work if you had enough current.
    Where I think it would work well is for salt chums. I'd tie patterns on jig hooks similar to balanced leeches for trout. That would give your pattern a hook up, horizontal presentation. The indicator would allow you to strip your pattern in super slow without concern to snagging up on the bottom....or fish.
    mtskibum16 likes this.
  4. Interesting enough! I have never fly fished for chum before. Okay, once for an hour at Chico and then I left, I could not handle the snag/floss fest.

  5. In the 1990's I use to dead drift an amphipod pattern into schools of resident coho which were feeding on the surface as they eat amphipods. You would see dimpling schools of resident coho as they eat the amphipods on the water surface. The amphipods are reddish/brown shrimp like citters that are about 3/16 inches long. They are very weak swimmers and slowly spin on the water surface so they are easy "pickings" for schools of resident coho to sip off the water surface. The amphipods are found in the winter and early spring and are an important food source for resident coho during that period. The tip off that amphipods are available as a food source is when you see bonaparte gulls pecking on the water surface as they feed on the amphipods.

    The schools of resident coho were very spooky as they moved up and down tidal current as they feed on the amphipods. The strategy which i used was to get up current of a school of resident coho that were feeding on amphipods. I put a strike indicator 3 to 4 feet above the amphipod pattern and would dead drift it down current into the feeding lane of the resident coho. I would occasionally give the pattern a short twitch to simulate the slow spinning action of amphipods.
    At times I had good success with that technique but I quit doing it since I didn't enjoy that style of fishing.

    Also in the 1990's I would use a strike indicator about 2-4 feet above a chum fly pattern when I was fishing in shallow water for chum salmon. An advantage of the indicator was that I could use a slow retrieve and not hang up on the bottom. It was very effective when fishing in 2 to 5 feet of water.

    Duane J, Alexander and Irafly like this.
  6. I've been thinking this same thing! I need to find some size 6-4 jig hooks
  7. Matt,
    This is what I use. They are 2X strong so they won't bend out on chums like light wire hooks will.
    The nice thing is they go down to size 10 so you can tie some pretty micro patterns. Decent price as well.
  8. I played around with this some last year. This was before I really knew about jig hooks, so I used some standard patterns and while I did have some success it was too hard not to foul hook the schools that came through. I wasn't using it in situations with lots of current, but rather as a way to keep a fly in front of the fish for as long as possible. I think the concept would work, but for where I've been fishing chum ultimately there is no need. It just over complicates things, and bottom line is if the chum are there, I'll catch em using pretty standard methods just as well, and if the chum are not there, well no technique will change that.
  9. I got a pink to hit a small shrimp fly under an indicator once, just to say that I had. But it took maybe 5 minutes in the middle of a stacked bay, and multiple fish grabbing the indicator before they actually hit the fly. Prior to putting it on, I had been hooking them nearly every cast on the normal retrieve. Never felt the need to try since.
  10. Ah, thanks for all the input so far! I'm going to try it, just for the heck of it. I'm sure I'll grow tired of it eventually since I LOVE seeing the chase and take as I strip back the fly. But just for fun I'm going to throw an indicator rig where I fish and see what happens. I've been looking up info on the various marine worms we have here and have even found some cool YouTube clips of various P-Sound worms in action. I want to tie up some olive worm like patterns and fish them under an indicator to see what may happen. I know the worms (at least some of them) are great swimmers though so dead drifting those may be pointless. Anyhow, can't wait to try it. :)

    Oh and chum fishing is still out for me... :(. I only have a 5wt and a 6wt. Next will be an 8wt.
  11. If I could fish 2 rods in the salt you can bet your sweet ass I'd be anchored up in my boat, one rod hanging something under a bobber, and then casting away with the other. I have so much fun doing this with trout, I can only imagine what it would be like with salmon if it did actually work.
    Irafly and Fishee like this.
  12. That's what i would do too, I love bobber fishing. So much fun watching the bobber go down. But that was many years ago back in my HS/College years.
    Irafly likes this.
  13. What stonefish said. Cerise and chartreuse "jigs" under an indicator fished for chum work. Size 6 or 8 Crazy Charlie or Comet style are what I used to use. Worked as well, if not better than slow stripping on a floating line.
  14. In BC and FL you can legally fish as many as you want in the salt. I witnessed Ira try 4 rods simultaneously in my boat. I finally talked him down to a pair for each of us. :)
    Irafly and Nick Clayton like this.
  15. In the right spot you can dead drift worm or shrimp patterns for sea runs and it works well. Those spots are somewhat few and far between though. There has to be something that concentrates the fish in a small area.

    It sounds like you think you have such a spot, so try it.
    Alexander likes this.
  16. Now come on I was only somewhat monitoring 4 rods because you were a bit elbow under the weather from your massive fish fighting days up in Alaska. A pair for each was still 4 rods. If I recall correctly, it paid off as well with fish landed on each of the rods. My favorite though was the casted to and landed Tile Fish.
  17. Roger, you are a wealth. So try an orange scud.
  18. I did this once for Coho jacks in the Spring, I had a euphasid ~4-5 ft under a bobber and a split for getting it down quick, and fished a deep bowl shaped part of a beach where I caught similar fish over a few days using figure 8 retrieve and thought it'd be a good 'new' approach. The wind was blowing into my face and it was a real bas'td trying to cast directly into it and worse with the bobber/split. I'd let the gear settle and slowly draw it back in at the same speed as the waves. I caught some fish but it was not fun at all casting and I haven't tried it again. It was haul and hide as opposed to chuck and duck as that stuff whistled past my face/head on the back stroke. I'd wear glasses if you do this.

  19. Fishing a fly under a bobber is one of my favorite techniques for tropical reef fish. It keeps it suspended and out of the rocks and bommies. Leland's euphasid is an especially effective pattern for this (and for searuns), it mimics many of the translucent small crustaceans that are preyed upon by wrasse, triggerfish, hawkfish, damselfish and certain tangs. But you don't need to "dead" drift it all the time. You are imitating living creatures, which will struggle against tide and current. Occasional movement, including mends, will help bring them to life. The bobbers also add attraction and are sometimes attacked.

  20. How about sea bass under the indicator? Huh Nick, Chris, huh? Think it will work? Maybe a balanced Clouser with a stinger?
    jeff bandy likes this.

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