So most of the entires so far have been very heavy on the salmon fishing side, yet a lot of those tips carry over for all aspects of fishing. A few weeks ago in the FishingREAL podcast we shot our first episode on the riverbank, we showed what a little bit of work to a section of river can do and towards the end of the episode I showed the adjustable indicator for the euro style of nymphing.
Let’s make one thing clear! I am by non means an expert of this technique but I could clearly see the potential of nymphing in this style and the very first time I gave it a go on the local trout stream I was amazed at just how many takes I was actually getting. Now converting those takes into hook ups is another story, some times the small indicator would stop, twitch, go slack or be violently pulled under but an effective method of fishing no doubt! There are plenty of great videos on YouTube showing the technique, Czech, Polish, French or commonly known as euro nymphing, check them out!
Now these are not your ‘pimp’ or ‘thingmabobber’ indicators you might see on a stocked Stillwater. All the indicators are in line with your leader, in fact they actually become a part of your leader, just another step in the process. You can connect them with loops, tie them in line or add tippet rings. However, one problem I had with the in-line euro style indicators was that they were fixed in place, the only way to adjust the depth of your flies was to cut your leader an re tie the knots. This gets tedious after a few times and I ended up trying to make do with an all round leader set up, but it was never quite right and I found myself missing a lot of takes if I was having to hold the indicator too far out of the water.
Believe it or not but the very first attempt at making this adjustable leader came from having a bit of a laugh one day on the river bank and it involved cutting up, of all things a packet of crisps and threading a piece of packaging on to the leader. As silly as it looked it worked! There is a video somewhere of it being cast for the first time and it registering a take, hooking a fish and adjusting the depth, Norn Iron nymphing? Despite the comedy of the situation the principal carries over, an in line adjustable indicator that would allow me to quickly change depth of the flies and effectively (for my abilities) register takes as I moved from pool to pool.
It was actually when reading another blog about nymphing that the idea of using backing as an indicator became clear, whilst the article had suggested tying the backing in line I decided to use a piece of braided backing, the same hollow braid we use for braided loops. The first attempts were done at the river bank as I weaved the braid in and out of the braid every cm, it functioned, registered takes and could be slid up and done the leader but would keep bunching up, it just didn’t look good. So attempt two saw me inch worming the leader thought the braid as if it was a fly line going into a braided loop, it took forever but I got there in the end, a much better result! The indictor lay perfectly in line with the leader and could be easily slid up and down the line to change the fishing depth. However upon fishing a mistake was realised, I had made this indicator about 6’ long, it was very easy to follow down the current but it was also affected by the wind, the slightest breath caused it to act like a sail. Now I have adjusted the indicator into its latest version, melted ends of braid to stop fraying, three inches in length to stop the wind catching it and threaded with a needle to make it easily added to any leader setup.
Give it a try for yourself, all you will need is a braid, lighter and a needle. Then you can fish every pool, riffle and run effectively without having to make do with a set length. It might not be suitable for competition fishing but for the majority of anglers out there it will certainly help you learn the technique.