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Old 04-24-18, 12:26 PM   #1
del Monte chucker
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Default Flies in bluelining

So when I go through a lot of bluelining posts, a lot of people say bushy dry flies and not many nymphs. However, one of my most effective techniques is just indicator nymphing, with your basic flies like pheasant tails and hare’s ears. Can you do the same while bluelining, or is it just best to stick with bushy dry flies? Or do you fish with both on the same day at a given creek? Like fishing the nymphs at the deepest pools while using dry flies elsewhere?
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Old 04-24-18, 12:51 PM   #2
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You might wanna give dry-dropping a try. Dry dropping consists of about 50% of my fishing on bluelines, the other half is with a kebari that sits just below the surface. Your dry will act as an indicator and just might pick up a couple fish. You can adjust the length of the dropper if you find yourself at a real deep pool. I catch most fish on nymphs(bluelines&hooch), so that’s my comfort zone as well. Try a nymph with a hot spot like an orange or pink collar.




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Old 04-24-18, 02:50 PM   #3
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"Bushy" attractor dries are often recommended for blueline fishing not because they are the only way to catch small stream trout, but because most people consider dry fly fishing to be the most exciting way to target trout, and small stream trout are generally much more willing to rise to the sorts of big, high floating, easy-to-see dry flies that get can't buy a sniff on more pressured water. Attractor dries get suggested on the theory that if you can catch them on top without resorting to tiny flies and all the contortions necessary to fish them, that's what most anglers would prefer to do. Most bluelines are not forage rich environments (even by the fairly sterile standards of trout streams), so fish need to be fairly opportunistic to survive, this, combined with the low "ceilings" of most small trout streams, means that these fish are often "looking up," or at least willing to make the dash to the surface even when there isn't a major hatch coming off.

That said, blueline trout, like their bigger water compatriots, spend 90% or more of their time feeding subsurface on benthic macroinvertebrates, and that means nymphing works just fine. Indicator nymphing is fairly uncommon as a blueline tactic—as jfgos01 suggested, most folks nymph bluelines with a dry-dropper setup—but nymphing under an indicator can be just as effective on small streams as on larger ones. There are times—early spring high water especially, or parts of the summer when the inchworm "hatch" is where it's at—when fishing near the bottom under and indicator rig will outproduce any other tactic. I also employ it on small streams I know to hold larger fish that are unlikely to come off the bottom for anything short of an active hatch.

Bottom line; it works just fine...
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Old 04-24-18, 04:15 PM   #4
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But you feel silly when they keep smashing your indicator and have no hook to catch them with


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Old 04-24-18, 04:39 PM   #5
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You can always tie on a dry-dropper or just a dry if they're pecking at the indicator.
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Old 04-25-18, 09:30 AM   #6
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I usually go with dries while blue lining. Like others have mentioned, I also dry drop especially when the temperatures are colder and the fish aren't rising. I find that most standard visible patterns of dry flies work well up in north Georgia, including stimulators, elk hair caddis and adams flies. I never tried indicator fishing when truly blue lining. I think the real reward to blue lining is seeing the fish rise to dry flies so, for me going up to a tiny stream and using an indicator rig defeats the purpose.
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Old 04-25-18, 09:58 AM   #7
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I concur with many posts here - don't use a trad indicator, use a dry. In fact, if you go far enough up you will hit pools that only allow for one fly and typically a dry will do it. And it's so so so much fun watching a wily little wild/native fish snag a dry. I once had a speck leave the water, literally jump out of the water after a humpy I was dabbing over a small puddle of water.
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Old 04-25-18, 10:22 AM   #8
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Put me in the one fly camp, but a lot of that is because I just can't cast more than one, it's even more tricky when using tenkara lol.
I like the simplicity of one fly, and I prefer dries (like a big bushy Adams or Stimi) for all the obvious and favorite reasons.
Sure i'll miss plenty of fish that are holding deep, but when they hit that dry........ WHOOOOOO-WEEEE!
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Old 04-25-18, 11:20 AM   #9
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Dry-dropper setups have significant limitations, particularly in regards to the depth they can be effectively fished. In the turbulent, congested waters of a high gradient blueline, you can't reasonably expect to get a nymph more than 18-24" under the surface and still float the dry. In a lot of creeks for a lot of the year, that's substantially suboptimal.
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