Why Do Fish Eat Indicators?

Indicatorfly_2

As usual my good fishing buddy Jeff sent me some smart ass photograph (pictured above) after a weekend of fishing when I wasn't invited. Typically these emails are just a photo, no caption and I'm left to decipher what the hell was going on.

What, was that sorry excuse of a fly? I inquired in my return email. Turns out he and his friends were fishing for trout in Wyoming on the North Platte river last weekend and the fish were absolutely slamming their indicators on the surface, a lot. Jeff claims they tried throwing everything they had for surface bugs. The fish just kept giving them the middle finger. They would not eat ANY dry flies. Eventually in total frustration they devised this heinous creation. An indicator-fly. Problem was the fish wouldn't eat it...

I've seen this phenomenon a handful of times in my life and it's always very perplexing. Why are those fish keying in on a giant orange floating ball, most likely attached to 30lb test and not even entertaining the thought of eating a delicious looking insect?

Seriously, I've never heard a realistic answer. Help a brother out here... What are these fish doing?

TR