Touch or sight?

Buzzy

Active Member
Hot spotting police: read no further as I'm going to hot spot.

Today I drove out to the warm water ditch, F-Troop must have been on maneuvers as I had rocky fork all to my lonesome. Before going out I'd rigged two rods - both with floating lines but one with an indicator and the other a size 14 white leech sans indicator.

The indicatorless white leech: zero interest, no tugs. Absolutely the same for the aftershaft scud under the indicator. I fished both hard. Broke off the white leech on a less than stellar back cast. Tied on blue bead head black mini leech (size 14 again). I hooked four fish before I managed to get one to shore - this in ten minutes. WTH? Then nothing. Clipped off the scud on the other rod, tried a small midge as there were a few fish coming up. Nada. Sky got really dark, prelude to the white stuff that's coming down hard right now. Changed up again on both rods. Tried a blob - one grab dead drifted. Knotted on a really small "----" (secret) under the indicator. I think the failing light helped with the yarn egg (oops, no more secret, apricot supreme in colour) as I got busy for about an hour.

How is a fishing report related to the OP's thread? I wanted to feel the drug of the tug with the small leech and finally did. That was very enjoyable. But I also wanted to see the indicator indicate. Interesting - virtually all the indicator takes were very subtle. Nothing dramatic at all so I had to be quick to even feel the take. And I wasn't very quick. My hook to land ratio was dreadful. Amateurish. Rookie like. Poor at best. I'm still grinning.
 

Smalma

Active Member
Began my fly fishing career on moving waters with dry flies but during the 1960s and 1970s lake fishing was a significant part of my fly fishing game. During the 1980s, 1990s and early part of the 2000s a variety of flowing waters dominated my fly fishing. With the decline of those fisheries in the last 4 or 5 years found myself returning to the lakes.

I have always enjoyed learning the diverse aspects of the fly fishing game and belief being reasonable proficient in a variety of methods helps providing the tools to consistent success; for me at least catching fish is part of the angling experience. In returning to lake fishing found that there was a need to up my game if I was going to continue to catch fish. In the 1960s and 1970s bobbers/floats/indicators were used in gear fishing for catfish, steelhead and salmon but that has obviously changed. Part of the change in the fishing methods likely just part in the improvements in fly patterns (and materials), equipment (both rods and lines) and methods. Another fact that is rarely talked about in this evolution fish is how the ecology of our lakes have changed. With more competing species (mixed species management) and a long history planting fish it seems to be that are a lot fewer large "bugs" in many of the lakes I have recently fished than several decades ago, With those changes chironomids have become a much larger player in the trout diet and a more essential ingredient in our fly boxes. Given that I have enjoyed trying to both to refine fishing "mids" either under an indicator or "naked or expand my fly tying world. Those methods are now mainstays of my fishing though I continue to enjoy old go to methods: dry flies. emergers, streamers and my soft hackles.

This business of lake ecosystem evolution appears to be continuing and it looks to me more and more "micro" flies will be important players in the fly fishing game. Not sure my aging eyes and fingers will be up to that tying challenge.

Curt
 

IveofIone

Premium
Began my fly fishing career on moving waters with dry flies but during the 1960s and 1970s lake fishing was a significant part of my fly fishing game. During the 1980s, 1990s and early part of the 2000s a variety of flowing waters dominated my fly fishing. With the decline of those fisheries in the last 4 or 5 years found myself returning to the lakes.

I have always enjoyed learning the diverse aspects of the fly fishing game and belief being reasonable proficient in a variety of methods helps providing the tools to consistent success; for me at least catching fish is part of the angling experience. In returning to lake fishing found that there was a need to up my game if I was going to continue to catch fish. In the 1960s and 1970s bobbers/floats/indicators were used in gear fishing for catfish, steelhead and salmon but that has obviously changed. Part of the change in the fishing methods likely just part in the improvements in fly patterns (and materials), equipment (both rods and lines) and methods. Another fact that is rarely talked about in this evolution fish is how the ecology of our lakes have changed. With more competing species (mixed species management) and a long history planting fish it seems to be that are a lot fewer large "bugs" in many of the lakes I have recently fished than several decades ago, With those changes chironomids have become a much larger player in the trout diet and a more essential ingredient in our fly boxes. Given that I have enjoyed trying to both to refine fishing "mids" either under an indicator or "naked or expand my fly tying world. Those methods are now mainstays of my fishing though I continue to enjoy old go to methods: dry flies. emergers, streamers and my soft hackles.

This business of lake ecosystem evolution appears to be continuing and it looks to me more and more "micro" flies will be important players in the fly fishing game. Not sure my aging eyes and fingers will be up to that tying challenge.

Curt

Curt, I have to agree with you that the ecology of our lakes has changed over the years. I have observed that not only are the fish smaller but the food they eat is as well. Stomach samples seem to bear that out but almost all have chironomids of some description in them. I began adjusting to the changes several years ago when I started fishing smaller flies that look like something I would find in a trouts stomach and adopted the Halfback as my go-to fly. Most anything that looks like a buggy nymph in size 12-14-16 will work, I think primarily because it looks more like real food than a gaudy bugger. Sure, a lot of fish are taken on Blobs and Boobies but I don't enjoy tying or fishing with them so I stick with what works for me because I'm good at it.

And with chironomids being so prevalent while other bugs seem to be diminishing it makes good sense to learn to fish them. It can be boring when there is no action but by not fishing mids you are pretty much admitting that: "I'm not gonna catch as many fish as the rest of you guys". I learned this the hard way a few years ago when several of us were fishing a lake near the Canadian border. I don't think that the five of us caught more than a dozen fish between us and returning to the bank I visited with a guy from Oregon that was fishing alone at the end of the lake. I asked him how he did and he said he had landed 56 fish! Almost all on a gray #16 cronie. I have adjusted my own attitude since then.
 

Admunky

Member
I always start with a bobber. I don’t know why but I love it. As someone else said I’ve fished it a lil too long some days and finally started catching fish once I busted out the sinker but often times I can fish my “green bastard” under an indicator with plenty of action to keep me happy
 

Ian Horning

Powerbait Entomologist
Sight fishing with streamers, all day. It's awesome seeing a fish sip a dry but that pales to seeing a fish go mach ten and destroy a rapidly escaping baitfish. If it's a really big trout, you're in for a shock. A 16" trout can come out of nowhere and surprise you, seeing a 26" trout do the same thing, three times faster than the smaller fish, will scare you.

Indicators are cool too. Lots of people don't like them as they dislike the style of fishing, that's cool. But, I don't care who is in question, if you don't feel euphoria seeing a bobber go down (river or lake) there's something wrong with you.

Trolling flies is yucko mode and something I try and stay away from. Hooking fish just doesn't feel very satisfying.
 

Squamishpoacher

Active Member
Indicator fishing is far from boring once you catch onto it. I used to think like many that I might as well dig up a bunch of worms and thread one on a hook but no more. And the takes are rarely soft. I've had many days with steady action and I gave up counting. Now it's either a good day, a pretty good day, or an excellent day.

The key thing with chironomids is a depth sounder to find the shoal and read the depth, and a throat pump to see what there on. Carry lots of flies and never discard anything that has worked befire as it likely will work again. And get to know your lakes and fish often.
 

Nick Clayton

Premium
Indicator fishing is far from boring once you catch onto it. I used to think like many that I might as well dig up a bunch of worms and thread one on a hook but no more. And the takes are rarely soft. I've had many days with steady action and I gave up counting. Now it's either a good day, a pretty good day, or an excellent day.

The key thing with chironomids is a depth sounder to find the shoal and read the depth, and a throat pump to see what there on. Carry lots of flies and never discard anything that has worked befire as it likely will work again. And get to know your lakes and fish often.


Yeah I used to be one who had the mindset that indicator fishing was boring. Mostly that stemmed from not knowing what I was doing, and a total lack of confidence. There was never any thought or strategy in what I was doing. Rig up a floater, pick a depth, throw it out there and stare at it. It really wasn't until I met and started fishing with Ira that I learned how much is actually involved with that type of fishing.

If you're not catching fish, you should constantly be moving, adjusting depths, playing with retrieves vs. no retrieves, watching your electronics, watching the water etc etc etc..... So even though you may not be catching fish, it's much more active than many think. And once you do get it dialed in, it's definitely not boring because you're constantly dealing with that pesky indicator plunging!
 

Steve Kokita

FISHON206
Bobber down then tug is the drug. Im super bummed when I encounter calm windless days on the lake...

I’m the opposite, I like super calm days. Cast out, twitch....drink...twitch (indicator that is) and either a slam or the slightest movement that might’ve been missed on breezy days. I have rain gear, not wind gear, especially for fly fishing. My.02
 

Phil Fravel

Friendly
I love it all, with trolling being my least favorite. It seem pretty simple to me. If the fish are showing you alot of surface activity. Match the hatch and have a ton of fun. If i see no surface activity Ill throw on a indicator and fish appropriate flies. I love watching the bobber go down. And in shallow water watching the fish head towards your fly. If that don't work and I can still see fish in the shallows it it time to cast and strip. If I dont see fish in the shallows I go to a sinking line and some sort of leach fly and troll till you get somthing. Then after finding them in deeper water back to the bobber or wet line vertical fishing.
 

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