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I'm new to the site, read about it in the paper and seems really a cool idea to let people communicate about fishing. I have a topic that I would like to discuss. Strike indicators. I've been fly fishing about 20 years, not a real serious fisherman, but I catch my share. Anyway, I tried using strike indicators for a few years and it always bothered me that we had to use such means to catch fish. Why not just use a spinning reel w/mono and a bobber. I was so bothered that the art of flyfishing was being abused by these articficial aids that I quit using them. I rely on sight of the end of the line and feel to detect fish and I haven't noticed any more misses than before. How about you guys, shouldn't we clean up the art, start relying on our senses instead of gadgets?
 

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Welcome Windknot! Personally, I don't rely on indicators that much because my reflexes are too slow to use them-the fishies have already hooked themselves by the time I notice the little bobber bouncing. Nevertheless, I usually rig one on out of habit. If we want to be purists, why not go back to bamboo cane rods and braided line? Or go back to those huge ineffective fly patterns of yesteryear?
 

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My attitude is to use the proper fly/lure/bait and presentation to catch fish. The fly/lure/bait and presentation will dictate what type of tackle to use. This may be a 6 foot 0-wt rod and a #20 adams, or a 15 foot spinning surf rod flinging bait with an 8 oz sinker. Even tying a "Power-Bait Looking Fly" is fair game!

We may choose to limit our choices of lures and tackle. We limit ourselves to protect the fish stock (I.E., flies and lures only) or for "sporting reasons". These are valid limitations, but we need to realize that "sporting reasons" are not universal, and should not be universal. One persons opinion of "sporting" is not the same as someone elses opinion.

Once I was fly fishing at some lake in the mountains. There was a 12 year old kid near by that was outfishing me 10 fish to 1. He was using power bait. That day I learned that fly fishing isn't the do all-end all of fishing tactics.

I went fishing at Lake Estes a couple of weeks ago. The wind was blowing at a sustained 40 MPH with gusts to 100 MPH. The waves were 3+ feet and actually going over the top of the dam. Fly fishing was out of the question, just too much wind. I had to use my spinning rod with heavy lures.

The point is that everything, and everyone, has their place. Even bright colored spinners and baitcasting reels. Even Snoopy poles and nightcrawlers. While we might not choose to use those things ourselves, as fly fishermen we can and shoold learn from those who do use them.

I'm certainly guilty of using a strike indicator. Even worse, I use the "Fish Pimp" brand-- the most bobber looking strike indicator. Granted, I try to use the small size if possible, but it is still an overglorified bobber. I use these for several reasons... Mostly I fish shallow streams. Streams that are usually less than 2 feet deep at best and often only 6 inches. In order to get a long drift I use a fish pimp to help keep the nymph from catching on the freestone bottom. Without a pimp, the nymph will either hang on the bottom or float too close to the surface. With a long leader (the fish are typically spooky) and shallow water it is very difficult to have good depth control without a strike indicator and some small split shot. I know that it can be done without a strike indicator, but I don't personally know anyone who is able to do it in such shallow water.

There are reasons why I don't use a spinning reel and bobber in this situation. The main reason is presentation. With a spinning reel, even an ultralight setup, the weight of the terminal tackle would have to be large enough to cast. The bobber would have to be larger than a fish pimp and you'd probably need a larger split shot (just to make it castable). The force of this splashing down and the sight of it floating by could spook the fish. On a larger body of water this might not be such a bad thing. Also, the longer fly rod makes it easier to get a good drift vs a shorter spinning rod.

I'm also a gadget freek. Fortunately with fly fishing there are plenty of gadgets to choose from. There are hundreds of fly tying gadgets. Lots of things to hang from our vests. Lots of gimics to put that extra "something" in our flys. There are dozens of floating lines to choose from, and don't get me started on shooting head lines.

For me, the "art" of fly fishing is in the craftsmanship, and only _MY_ craftsmanship. I created that fly, therefore it is a kind of art. I "crafted" that narrow loop in the cast. It's art. I see no art in that tapered leader. No art in those waders. I do see elegance! There is elegance in the fly drifting on the surface. Elegance (and beauty) in the peacefullness of the cast. Just the water, the fish, and I. "Gadgets" do not take away any of the art, elegance, and beauty for me. But that's just my opinion.

A boom box would take away the elegance and beauty. Definately.
 

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I think all flyfishing purists are goofballs. Give me a break strike indicators are ruining the artform of flyfishing.
 

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if you want me to stop using a strike indicator should i also stop putting a pice of worm on the nymph also/

and what is the diff between a big ole cyhernobl ant with a nymph behind it and a strike indicator? same thing only one has a hook in it right

to me fly fishing is to beable to cast something that you wouldnt beable to with out the long rod and special line sure you could drift a nymph behind an adjusta-buble instead of a fluffy strike indicator but that buble is going to make a much larger splash and at times spook the fish

now if you want to talk about screwed up flyfishing just check out how some folks "fly fish" for bill fish they troll around the ocean with hookless jigs till a bill fish starts attacking one of the trolled jiggs they rip the jig away from it and "fly cast" a "fly" to the aggitated fish as they slip the boat out of gear but the boat is still moving so it is just like trolling and the aggitated fish smacks the "fly" and since the boat was out of gear the fish is a legitimate "flyfishing" catch for the records so affter seeing this type of "flyfishing" i dont have much of a problem with folks using strike indicators

besides the idea is to chalenge YOUR self to the level you are looking for right? if you prefer to go indicator less by all means go for it nothing rong there

heck i have spin fisher man heckle me cause i use the small foam flyfishing strike indicators as micro bobbers when fishing for panfish
 

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Windknot, Welcome to the site. Dont let these guys bother you, there are alot of differing opinions on this site. If you want to be a technical fly fisherman and feel using an indicator is cheating then dont use one. But make sure you have a good pair of polarized glasses so you can see any unatural movement of your line. (which in turn would become your indicator) I would say most of the time the indicator is used incorrectly anyways... newer fly fisherman wait for it to act like a bobber. All you want that indicator to do is pause even for a split sec then set the hook. Trout can spit that hook so fast you would never feel it in the line, and probably not even notice watching your line. Indicators help catch fish plain and simple. If you fish to have fun and catch fish then by all means you should use them. If you fish for the challenge and to improve your technique and this is fun for you then dont use them. I know guys who use them (me included) and I know guys who dont, most of these guys watch the trout open thier mouths see the white and set the hook. Unfortunately I am not that good. I have no problem with purists as long as they dont look down at me for the way I fish.
 
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Hi guys, I'm back. I sure didn't mean to start a war, was just wondering what everybody thought. I certainly am not the last word on what is right or wrong as far as fishing technique is concerned. I appreciate the humor in most of the replies and look forward to exchanging barbs in the future. See ya ;)
 

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What I like about Colorado Fisherman is that we accept all. If fishing with dynamite were legal I'm sure we'd welcome those guys here too. But not the catfish noodling guys, that's overboard if you ask me. ;D I'd like to see someone do some Pike noodling. That'd be a great spectators sport!

Even the magazine doesn't descriminate. They give equal time to flyfishing, trolling for walleye, etc.

That being said, I agree with Trout. Flyfishing purists are goofballs. But we're all goofballs of one sort or another here, so you're in good company.
 

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Hmmmm, noodling for pike, sounds like fun, one on one with a 40" toothy monster
 
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I'm Game for noodling for some pike. Well, while were at it lets make the next gathering in SoCal and try to piss off some makos?:)

I have had this debate SO many times. I use indicators, and thanks to them I pick up more fish than my friends who don't.
And alot of people get pissed off when I say this but here it is.....its all well and good to call flyfishing an "art", but lets not forget what its really about, CATCHING FISH. I am a fly-only angler. I haven't touched a spinning rod in years. But I always hear other fly-fisherman talking about the connection to nature and the art of the cast, all icing on the cake IMO. What I am really trying to do is catch some freaking fish. If trout only swam in sewage ponds in Commerece City,  I'd chase them there. If you could only hook into browns in a creek that flowed through a slum in Johannesburg, I'd chase them there. And I'd be using strike indicators. 'Cause thats how I roll.
 

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This whole argument on being a 'purist' strikes a nerve in me. I use a strike indicator, whether it be a pinch of foam or a dry fished above a nymph. I don't see anything wrong with using an indicator as it's just a part of fishing, like using waders, felt pads on my boots, or a floating line.

I don't consider myself to be a 'purist' - in fact, I'm not sure what a purist is, exactly. I relate the word 'purist' to 'elitist', though, and I'm definitely not that.

I fly fish for the challenge of the game, for the excitement of catching a fish on a size 22 nymph that I tied myself, and for the relaxation of being on the water, me against the fish. I don't wear $300 Sims waders or carry a $900 rod. I can usually be found wearing a camo hunting coat, a Bassmasters hat, and a vest I bought three years ago from Walmart. And I still catch plenty of fish without sucumbing to the fashion show that some think is such a necessary part of fly fishing.

I don't bad mouth other anglers for their chosen methods for catching fish. I don't scream "Catch and Release!" to people who take a few legal fish home for supper. It doesn't bother me to see kids or adults drowning worms at the end of a line, and while I love fly fishing and promote it whenever I get the chance, I know that it's not the only way to go and respect others in their methods.

So if fishing with my 'bobber' offends you, sorry 'bout that. I'm just fishing the way that I know how and I'm catching more than most of the other people I see on the river each day.
 
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And I still catch plenty of fish without sucumbing to the fashion show that some think is such a necessary part of fly fishing.
Thank you. As I have said before I love the guys who have Simms g3s, and a 1300 dollar get up, but couldn't tell ya what fly to throw on during a baetis hatch.
I do have an expensive rod, several, will probably buy several more just to have them. But vests,and simms(although those new g3 boots are HOT),and mercedes, and jerks on the water. Hate 'em.

BTW Windknot. Don't be scared off by this thread. We are always clashing. As long as it is done respectfully, its all good. Its just opinons, nothing more. This is a great site and you will be happy you are a part of it down the road.
 

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Interesting topic lol

All i gotta say about it is im a big fan of strike indicators...i guess im not a purist, if thats what defines one. ;)
 
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OK, I think I know what you think. But, in order to determine where the line should be drawn on what is appropriate for flyfishers to do, I have developed a tentative list of "don'ts". Feel free to add any you might think of.
1. dynamite
2. bobbers-plastic kind
3. scuba gear
4. STRIKE INDICATORs
5. crossbows
 

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If you used a good quality flyline to attach your arrow to the bow and glued a fly to the arrowhead, it would technically still be flyfishing, wouldn't it? ;D
 
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Discussion Starter #18
A fly fishing purist once told me, "any fly that breaks the surface tension of the water, is a lure." ;)
 

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salmo clarki said:
A fly fishing purist once told me, "any fly that breaks the surface tension of the water, is a lure." ;)
Haha thats great. >:D
 

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Nice post Fishhunter...

Welcome Windknot...like someone said...nice topic...discussion is a great thing!

We had a beverage laced hour long discussion up at Lake John Lodge a couple of Saturday nights ago discussing the difference between bobbers/strike indicators/floats with Bill Wilcox the lodge owner...we decided they were all the same thing...

I want to use the cross bow...talk about weight forward fly line...WHAM!!!...

What did ya get him on?...Copper John Fred Bear Broadhead!!!...
 
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