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Lateral view of a Female Hexagenia limbata (Ephemeridae) (Hex) Mayfly Dun from the Namekagon River in Wisconsin
Hex Mayflies
Hexagenia limbata

The famous nocturnal Hex hatch of the Midwest (and a few other lucky locations) stirs to the surface mythically large brown trout that only touch streamers for the rest of the year.

27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

Cptenn94
Chattanooga

Posts: 17
Cptenn94 on Nov 4, 2015November 4th, 2015, 4:41 pm EST
First let me start by thanking all of you with the help you guys have given me in the past. Right now I cannot do much fishing because of my school and work schedule.

I recently tried a popular strike indicator and now it has become my favorite. However I am curious about what other people think about different indicators.

The strike indicator I used was called new zealand strike indicator. It is essentially very buoyant wool and a certain sized tubing to make a removable strike indicator. I have not used it by itself, but with some ginks floatant on it, it floated really well despite being submerged countless times. I somehow found the product after I was looking for a better strike indicator that was removable without damaging the line.(I attempted to make a indicator with earplugs, but I could never get it to work the way I wanted)

Now my favorite indicator on a mountain stream of course is a dry fly, but on a larger river such as my local tennessee river, this new zealand indicator works better for me.


Anyways I just wanted to share a indicator that I found works well for me. And ask what kind of indicators do you enjoy the best? Or do you prefer no indicator at all?
Bigskydrift
Nemissoolatakoo

Posts: 2
Bigskydrift on Nov 4, 2015November 4th, 2015, 9:02 pm EST
I am using the New Zealand as well. After trying / using different types of indicators, this is my favorite (other than a dry fly) ! So simple, works great !
“I’m in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection. But with Montana it is love. And it’s difficult to analyze love when you’re in it.”

John Steinbeck,
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Nov 4, 2015November 4th, 2015, 10:45 pm EST
I have tried every style indicator out there from yarn, to foam, to Thingamabobbers (which until recently were my preferred indicator for steelhead) The only time I nymph is when I steelhead fish and I don't like yarn indicators because they will sink and I don't want to full around with dressing them. The indicators that have a slit down one side and attach to the leader via either a piece of rubber, tubing, or toothpick almost always come off when you are performing aggressive roll casts. I hated indicators that have a hole through the middle and once you put them on you are stuck with them unless you want to cut off your fly and remove your split shot.

Recently I saw some ads for an "air lock" indicator. I saw them on the Orvis web site but to tell you the truth I felt they were too expensive. I found them on Ebay for one quarter the price at Orvis and bought them.

They are, in my mind, the best fly fishing indicator on the market. I saw some of my friends a few days ago on a steelhead trip and gave them almost all of my 3/4" Thingamabobbers.

This new indicator will not kink your leader like the Thingamabobber and you can put it on, or take it off, without removing your fly. Thingamabobbers held pretty good on the heavy butt portion of a tapered leader but were useless when you wanted to move them down to 3X or 4X sections if the water was shallow. The Air Lock indicator will hold tightly on 5X tippet and can be put on, or removed, in less than 15 seconds.

There is a little plastic threaded stud on top of the round float. There is a slit in the center of the stud. There is a little rubber washer at the bottom of the threads. There is a little knurled nut that screws down over the stud.

You remove the knurled threaded nut, insert the leader into the slot, replace the knurled threaded nut and tighten it own securely. If you want to reposition the indicator up, or down, the leader just loosen the nut about 1/2 a turn and slide the float down, or up, to wherever you want it and retighten. It is an awesome indicator and insanely popular. A guy who I went steelhead fishing with went to his local fly shop in NJ and the store owner told him he had sold 1000 of the 3/4" size in a few weeks and he can't get anymore as the manufacturer is having trouble keeping production numbers up to the demand. Here is a link to a video.

http://www.fishairlock.com/
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
0weight
0weight's profile picture
Statesboro, Georgia

Posts: 2
0weight on Nov 8, 2015November 8th, 2015, 6:44 am EST
I usually fish dry fly only; however, when I have to (and it kills me to do it) if I throw a wet fly I use New Zealand strike indicator. They are great.
Troutnut
Troutnut's profile picture
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Nov 9, 2015November 9th, 2015, 11:04 am EST
I like the Thingamabobber so far, but the "air lock" sounds like an improvement... I'll have to check them out.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Nov 9, 2015November 9th, 2015, 5:17 pm EST
Just picked up a few of these. Looks like they will work well. Thanks again, Matt!
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Nov 9, 2015November 9th, 2015, 5:37 pm EST
I think once you try them you will be lovin' them! It is so nice to see at the end of the day the butt of my leader is still as nice as when I first took it out of the package. Also last week there was a very swift but shallow run with steelhead in it and I was able to slide the air lock down onto the 4X section and it held tightly.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Cptenn94
Chattanooga

Posts: 17
Cptenn94 on Nov 16, 2015November 16th, 2015, 4:12 pm EST
Well thanks for your input. I think the fishing lock might work better for me for fishing along the TN river, and the new zealand indicator for fishing small mountain streams like I enjoy doing.

I will certainly have to pick up a couple of the airlocks. I could probably use them outside fly fishing as well.
PaulRoberts
PaulRoberts's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Nov 19, 2015November 19th, 2015, 8:03 am EST
Matt, are you mostly high-sticking with these indicators?
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Nov 19, 2015November 19th, 2015, 11:45 am EST
Paul,

Matt, are you mostly high-sticking with these indicators?


Both, at the beginning of the day when I'm still well rested from a good night's sleep I'm really focused on getting a good drift and keeping as much line off of the water as possible. So yes, I roll at about a 15' - 20' cast and lift the rod high so there is no line on the water. The drift is just so much better than when I leave the line on the water.

However I can get around that line on the water issue quite easily by throwing a huge upstream mend into the line so the belly that was forming below the indicator is now well above the indicator. Then I can wiggle out another 6 - 8 feet of line if I want to extend the drift. I use my 9' #7 2 piece Gatti most of the time on the Erie creeks. Sometimes I use a 10' 6" #6 and when I stick my arm out it is like a 13' rod. It's easy to get the drift on the other side of a seam or some soft water and into the swifter flow.

Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
PaulRoberts
PaulRoberts's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Nov 19, 2015November 19th, 2015, 11:55 am EST
Thanks, Matt.
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Nov 19, 2015November 19th, 2015, 12:11 pm EST
Matt, have you tried any Czech nymphing methods with steelhead?
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Nov 19, 2015November 19th, 2015, 12:25 pm EST
Louis,

Matt, have you tried any Czech nymphing methods with steelhead?


It is totally unnecessary. Those steelhead are very unsophisticated. If they are in a pool, or run, and you drift the right fly through, at the right depth, they are going to clobber it. Those are the kind of fish I like - aggressive.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

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