A Look at Strike Indicators: Part Three

A Look at Strike Indicators: Part Three

In this final post, we are goin to look at two variants -the “Release Indicator” and the “Hopper-Dropper”. I believe both were developed out West. 

Release Indicators

Release Indicators were created for trout fishing in lakes and ponds. In these situations trout are usually feeding deep, typically on chironomides. So the distance between your indicator and your fly may be 15 feet!  You cast out, let the fly sink and patiently wait for a strike. Hooking the fish may go well; landing the fish may not. If the indicator stays securely in place on the leader, you can’t reel the fish in close enough to net. Especially from a boat, which is the most common way lakes and ponds are fished. A “release indicator” remedies that. When you strike, this indicator releases its grip on the leader, and as you reel, it slides down to the fish. Bingo, you land your trout. Clever that. 


I don’t use the “Hopper-Dropper” tactic a lot, but I do enjoy it. You should too. The idea here is suspend a weighted nymph or wet fly off the bend of a high floating dry fly. In effect, the dry becomes your indicator. Grasshopper flies are one choice, hence the name, but many big dry flies work too. Foam Chernobyl Ants come to mind, as do large dries such as a Stimulator or Royal Wulff. To made up this rig, simply tie your wet fly of choice off the bend of the dry on a short piece of mono. Typically 18″ of 4x or 5x, does the trick. Cast it out. Now you’re simultaneously fishing both a dry and a wet! Cool. You gotta love it.  

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