February 26, 2009
Strike Indicators, Bobbers, and Training Wheels
By Kirk Deeter
I've always chuckled at flyfishing double-speak. The classic example: a "strike indicator." I have an idea. Let's call strike indicators what they really are... bobbers. Yarn, foam, balloons, plastic, whatever. They float on the surface... when they go under, they tell you to set the hook. Like a bobber.
Actually I have a better idea. Let's call them training wheels. Okay, they're not really wheels, per se, but you get the point.
Yesterday, I went fishing with two friends; one used an indicator, the other went classic... just watched his leader where it dipped into the water. A slight wobble or bend, he set the hook, and caught twice as many fish, easy. I've seen it with my own eyes, through a scuba mask in the river... the indicator lands, the fish scatter.
Not always, of course. And there are situations when indicators are essential. They're great teaching aids. Just like training wheels. I'm going to try fishing more without indicators this summer. My deteriorating eyesight being what it is, I'll probably be back on the yarn by July.
But I'll try to call that yarn indicator what it really is. A bobber.