Video Pro Tips: How to Detect Strikes When Nymph Fishing


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As hatches become fewer and farther between in the fall, most anglers will be fishing with subsurface nymphs or streamers. When you can’t see your fly, detecting strikes can be the difference between success and failure. Trout can reject a fly incredibly fast, so you’ve got to know when to set the hook. In this selection from the Orvis Fly Fishing Learning Center, I discuss various ways to detect strikes, as well as how to properly use a strike indicator.

As a bonus, there’s a great underwater shot of a trout eating a nymph imitation and getting hooked.


As a general rule, the distance between indicator and fly should be 1.5 times the water depth.
Photo courtesy Tom Rosenbauer

3 thoughts on “Video Pro Tips: How to Detect Strikes When Nymph Fishing”

  1. The 1,5 x the depth of the water is relative.
    It all depends on the weight of the nymph.
    The heavier the nymph, the more vertical the nymph will be and the lighter the nymph, the closer to the surface.
    Add the flow of the water, slow or fast, the 1,5x the depth of the water is way out.
    Sometimes it is better to have a way longer section between the nymph and the indicator

  2. “Sometimes it is better to have a way longer section between the nymph and the indicator.”

    Nymph and indicator? You mean indicator and spit shot…. that is the measuring metric.

    And as a rule of thumb, weighted nymph are not well suited for indicator fishing. I could explain, but the reasons are obvious.

    If you want to become a first rate indicator nymph fly fisherman, grab a copy of Aaron Jasper’s Mastering the Dead Drift.

    1. as a rule of thumb, weighted nymph are not well suited for indicator fishing, i use it for deeper waters. or when not using the two fly fishing way. and i use yarn to see my strikes. with shot or with out.

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