How Do You Use a Fly Fishing Strike Indicator?

Fly fishing strike indicators are a valuable tool for the fly fisher who is attempting to Target and catch fish in still waters. The strike indicator is a device that attaches to the leader of your fly fishing setup and is designed to indicate when a fish has taken your fly.

They are typically small buoyant objects, such as a plastic bubble or yarn, that float on the surface of the water and allow you to detect subtle takes of your fly by detecting movement.

Using a strike indicator is relatively simple, but it can take some practice before you become proficient. The first step is to attach the strike indicator to your leader.

The most common method is to tie a small loop in your leader, approximately two feet from your fly, and thread the strike indicator through this loop. You can also use split shot weights or putty to attach the indicator when necessary.

Once attached, adjust the position of the indicator so it sits just above your fly and doesn’t interfere with casting or line management. This can be done by adjusting the size of the loop in which you attach it, or by adding additional split shot weights.

When you cast out with an indicator attached, it should sit on top of the water and move with any current present in the water. If you have adjusted it correctly, it should remain just above your fly at all times, allowing you to detect any subtle takes on your fly.


Fly fishing strike indicators are an invaluable tool for any angler attempting to Target fish in still waters. Attaching them correctly and adjusting their position correctly will ensure that they do their job properly and that you can detect subtle takes on your flies. With some practice and experience using them, they will become second nature for any angler looking for success on their next fishing trip!

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Lindsay Collins