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.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Bobbers (Strike Indicators 101)

Bobbers are great fish-catching tools. And if you’re not using a bobber this winter, I’ll bet my loaded Simms vest that you’re not hooking all the trout that took your fly!

Bobbers come in many shapes and sizes. My first was a big red & white orb on the end of my cast from a Zebco 202, as Dad and his 2 1/2 year old son caught pumpkinseeds from a NJ city park pond.

Now bobbers come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and names, from “strike indicators” to “bushy dries” to “sighters.” The key for you winter trouters is to match your bobber to the water conditions and the freight that bobber must carry. To simplify things, carry at least three different Indi’s:  a yarn indi for real soft water and light bugs, a small cork or foam football for normal flows and weights, and a bigger, round indi for heavy freight in deep/fast water.

If you want the details, here are 3 great references. We will have them in today’s blog post, which we will link in our bio.

First, read my “golfing” column in the April 2021 issue of The Angler magazine. I list all of my bobbers and when I use each.


Second, Troutbitten once again has a great article by Dom. Subscribe to his site today! Check out his fresh article here:


Third, Orvis Guru Tom has a great, short video on indi-fishing. Check it out here.


Combine 1) the right freight load with 2) the right bobber and 3) a drag-free drift, 


and all those strikes will warm your buns this winter!  Stop by either UO shop if we can supply you with the right bobbers and freight for your next trout treks. Good luck.

Unicoi Outfitters: Friendly. Local. Experts.


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