Unicoi Outfitters is north Georgia's premier guide service and fly fishing outfitter, located on the Chattahoochee River near alpine Helen. Look for fishing reports, gear and book reviews, and general musings here from our staff and guides.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Trout "Golfing" with Indicators

Strike indicators are sorta like golf clubs. Since they’re small and light, I usually carry a large selection and pick the right “club” for the shot at hand. Here’s a brief list. Feel free to add your own ideas, once again, as your comments enhance our conversation and help our minnows.

1. Deep winter pools = the Airlock (formerly a Thingamabobber or a balsa crappie float).
2. Cold, shallow, and faster water= a 4-color piece of Orvis 0X tactical sighter tippet (supple mono) for my Euro nymphing rig. I pre-rig a few with tippet rings and carry them in an empty leader bag.
3. Shallower spring pools and runs with naive fish=bright orange Lightning Strike football Indi, sized to match the freight to float. The surgical tubing in the slit makes depth adjustments quick and easy.
4. Same as #3, but smarter fish= change color to white to match stream bubbles and foam.
5. Flat water and nervous fish= yarn Indi that won’t land with a loud “plop” like the Airlocks and footballs do.
6. Spring searching= a buoyant dry to match the current hatch while floating the nymph or soft hackle below it.
7. Late spring, low water nymphing= a tiny bead of Orvis or Loon strike putty.
8. My “summer stealth Indi” = yellow stimulator, often cast and drifted downstream so the flies and not the leader are the first items entering the trout’s sight window. Other UO staffers really like the chubby Chernobyl.
9. “Universal indicator” = # 14 parachute Adams. When Jimmy and I are clueless and searching, whether here, the Smokies, Montana, or Argentina, we revert to “Ole Reliable!” Everything eats an Adams. Pick or tie one with extra hackle and a thick para post for better floatation with a dropper.

That’s my trouting “golf bag” of Indi’s. What’s in yours?

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