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LOVE THEM OR HATE THEM, INDICATORS WORK –

BY MATT MCCANNEL

Love them or hate them indicators will improve your success when you need to control an exact depth when nymphing. There has been an explosion of new styles and an amazing new array of colors, but which will work the best for you?

What style and type indicator will work best for you will depend on the places and the flies that you fish. Are you nymphing a large western river with heavy stone flies and big shot or super techy tailwater with small light flies? The style of indicator you choose is personal preference (yarn, cork, pinch-on, thingamabobber, exc) but, the color of that indicator is far more important to me than all else.

The water and light conditions that you are fishing all plays into which color I choose. It’s important to remember that if you can’t see your indicator you can’t see the strike. So, if I am fishing slightly flat water at the back end of a tail out a black color will stand out and more importantly not be as spooky to the fish. If I am fishing in a faster riffle a brighter color will be my choice. The indicator is moving so fast that a bright color should not spook any fish. Which hot color you choose is not critical as you really just need to see the indicator very well.

A lot of us have been in a situation were we have had a fish holding in four feet of water and made a couple of drifts over the fish and one of two things happens. Either you can make lots of drifts and catch the fish or the fish spooks out due to the bright colored indicator floating past it time and time again. If you are fishing a stretch of water that gets a lot of pressure make sure to go with a white or clear indicator. By making this switch to white or clear I have found that I have a great advantage in that situation. Which means I may get more drifts over a fish and that often times is the difference between converting a big fish or blowing an opportunity.

Changing colors of your indicators will make a difference in your success and wont break the bank.