Author: Trout's Staff
Welcome to the first installment of “Trout’s Tips & Tricks”. This is a new weekly offering of advice, knowledge and secrets intended to make you a better angler. Whether a new knot, a cool new application of an old piece of fly fishing gear, or just some random and useless knowledge, we hope that all our customers and friends enjoy this fun new offering.
For our inaugural Trout’s Tips & Tricks, I wanted to highlight an old tactic for fishing to wary tailwater trout; UNDERWATER INDICATORS. There is no doubt that there are certain times of year when larger indicators (i.e. Thing-a-ma-Bobbers, Yarn Indicators, etc.) can and will spook fish. This creates a dilemma for most anglers, as without an indicator it can be very difficult to know where your flies are in the water, and even harder to detect the strike of a feeding fish. These are prime times to utilize underwater indicators.
Now you may ask, “what is an underwater indicator?”. Put simply, it is anything that you can see that is below the surface of the water. There are many different options here, most notably is a product called Biostrike from Loon Outdoors. This is a great puddy like material that can be applied to your leader and give you a very visible object subsurface. I have personally had the best success with Biostrike by applying it around my weights on my leader. The down side to Biostrike is that during the process of casting, mending, etc., I have found that the material easily falls off and requires frequent reapplications.
Because of this issue with Biostrike, I have gone to using brightly colored flies as my underwater indicator. Eggs, scuds, and worms in bright, visible colors not only are easy to see subsurface, but they are a realistic looking and often a great attractor to a fish. When using a fly as my underwater indicator, I will usually use it as my lead fly on a two or three fly nymph rig. I will then trail my second fly at least 18″ behind my lead fly, followed by the a third fly roughly 10″-12″ behind that. I’ll then add or take off weight depending on the speed and depth of the current. I have found that the best part of this system is that by having something easy to see below the surface of the water, my eyes tend to focus in better and I can usually see many more fish then I initially did.
So the next time you’re out on the water, give this method of nymphing a try, I guarantee it will change the way you fish in the low water months of the year.