Orvis Fly Fishing
What Should I Do If My Indicator Moves While Mending?
Nymph fishing is one of the fundamental methods that any trout fisherman should master. Day in and day out, through a variety of water conditions, indicator nymphing is the most consistent way to catch fish. Trout eat primarily subsurface, with exceptions being given to hatches where food is easily available on the surface. But more often than not, even during a heavy hatch, there are still lots of fish eating nymphs and emergers under the surface. Consistent dry-fly or streamer fishing isn't always available on a year ‘round basis. At all times of the year there are drifting insects available for fish to feed on subsurface. Learning how to present sub surface nymphs to fish is a deadly effective technique and can provide you with fish in the net when it seems as though nothing else is working.
Don't be afraid to mend multiple times throughout a drift. How large a mend and how many mends you do depends largely on the water type you are fishing. If the line is bellied or causing your indicator to move faster than the speed of the current, then it's time to mend again.
What if my mend displaces the indicator?
Let's say you make a cast at a slight upstream angle, and right when the flies land you throw a huge upstream mend. Because the leader hasn't sunk very much and there is not a lot of tension in the line yet, when you mend it can be common that the leader and indicator come out of the water momentarily. Have no fear, in many ways that means that you're doing just the right thing. It is a very common occurrence and there is no need to pull the flies out and recast.
Moving your indicator while mending will happen mostly at the beginning of your drift. Since you will likely be mending again while you make a pass through the run, it can also happen right in the middle of your drift when it seems as through your flies are on the bottom and in the sweet spot.
Here's what to do if this ever happens:
Indicator nymphing can definitely be a struggle to figure out in the beginning. All it takes is one good day where the flies, casts, indicator depth and mends all click together in unison and you catch a pile of fish. Nymphing is deadly effective but it does take some time on the water to make sense of it all. Don't be worried if you move your bobber while making a drift. The number one concern while nymphing is getting the flies on a good drag-free drift, so keep mending and finish out the cast. Learn from your last cast and make slight changes on the next pass instead of ending a drift prematurely with a new cast.
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