Dynamic Strike Indicator – Jake Darling

First of all, I want to give a big thanks to Tom Tkacs for giving us a very interesting program. It was information that challenged us and gave us much to mull over.

The info came from Jake Darling, a Unicoi Outfitters guide, and it involved a “new” way to nymph fish, the drop shot. I think this technique came from our “Bass Pro” spin fishermen. If I completely understood Jake, he takes straight 35 lb. mono and uses it as a leader. He ties a slim beauty knot  smaller mono down to the first nymph. He ties the first nymph in and then ties a smaller mono to the first nymph eye (important). He then ties the lower nymph into that mono. He then ties a pretty small mono to the eye of the lower nymph and puts a split shot on that.

Slim Beauty Knot is required to tie thick 35# test to smaller line

He uses a yarn Dave Whitlock strike indicator that has a small piece of old fly line nail knotted to either side of the indicator, and he slides that up or down to adjust to the depth.  The shot is tied to the end of the rig with no knot below it (so that if the shot gets hung, it will fall off without loosing the rest of the rig.)


The positives of this system are fewer flies lost since the shot is the lowest item on the rig (Jake said his clients only lost 4 flies last year). He also said you can get the flies lower in the water column and a better drift. Interesting.

There seems to me to be some short-comings to this rig. First if you are in an area where all you do is nymph, it would be perfect. Or if you were in a drift boat where two fly rods are easy to carry, you could have one for nymphing and one for dry fly action. But if you are a wade fisherman or can only carry one rod, you run into a problem. Say you are nymphing, and the dries start to go crazy, the only way to easily switch is to cut off the whole rig (35 lb. mono does not make a good dry fly leader), then put on a dry fly leader and re-rig. Also, there are a lot of knots in the Darling nymph rig and for those of you who are knot impaired (like Copperhead), it could be a challenge.

I have modified his rig and found that it seems to work pretty good. I went to Buford Dam, used a regular 8′ 4x leader and tied the nymphs and split shot just like Jake instructed and the thing worked pretty good.  I used 6 lb. fluoro to the lower nymph and 7x to the split shot. Pretty easy casting and no tangles. On thing I did change was to use an insta-set strike indicator. It allowed me to put the strike indicator where I wanted on my leader (and I tie my own leaders, which means knots) and not kink my leader. You can also set it to indicate your drift and when to mend and it can be set up for 90 degree nymphing. Insta-set indicator info is on-line. Now, if you want to change the rig out for dries, just cut the flies off, add some 5x tippet and there you are.

I enjoyed the modified drop shot method and will use it in the future. I would enjoy hearing your thoughts on this fishing technique.



Fly Fishing Check List


Instructions:  Please place an “X” or a “√” in the blank.  If not applicable, please write “NA” in the blank.

____ Fishing license/permit

____ Fly rod & storage case

____ Fly reel

____ Fly vest, chest pack, or lanyard

____ Leader(s)

____ Tippet(s)

____ Nippers

____ Forceps

____ Split shot

____ Floatant

____ Strike Indicators

____ Zingers

____ Knot Tying Tool

____ Proper assortment of flies

____ Fly boxes

____ Landing net (with magnetic retractor)

____ Waders

____ Wading belt

____ Wading staff

____ Wading boots

____ Boot guards

____ Bungee cords for the boot guards

____ Cap/hat (regular cap, thermal cap, cap with neck shades, etc., according to the weather)

____ Polarized sunglasses (including a glasses strap)

____ Buff

____ Gloves

____ Stringer

____ Measuring “tape”

____ Weight scale

____ Digital camera

____ Thermometer for measuring water temperature

____ Insect repellent (preferably deet-free repellent to minimize chemical degradation of fly line)

____ Sunscreen/sunblock, when necessary (SPF of at least 15, may want to go higher)

____ Proper fishing shirt and pants/shorts (depends on the season and/or weather)

____ Plastic sandwich bags (for protecting fishing license, electronic car keys, and cell phone)

____ Dry bags for clothing/gear

____ Complete change of clothes

____ Lunch

____ Bottled water, soda, juice, etc.

____ Beer

____ More Beer

Greg’s Winter Montana Trip

Please share these pics from my Montana Trip from late November 2013 captions transferred with the pictures I sent you.  So, permit me to give you a caption for each picture.  Feel free to edit the captions.

Picture #1:  The Big Horn River also borders some private land, including cattle ranches.  These are black angus feeding on moss in the river.  The river is wide and deep so the cattle cannot escape the confines ofGE DIGITAL CAMERA



Picture #2:  The view toward the parking lot/ramp from my brother-in-laws drift boat.  It was a pretty day.


Picture #3:  My brother-in-law, Dave.  Good critic, even better fly fisherman.


Picture #4:  First rainbow of the day, caught using a double nymph rig.


Picture #5:  My brother-in-law netting that first rainbow!


Picture #6:  Another Big Horn rainbow on the same nymphs.


Picture #7:  These nymphs kept landing the rainbows.


Picture #8:  These nymphs work everywhere I go! Montana, Wyoming, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee!


Picture #9:  Brown trout liked the same nymphs the rainbow trout liked.


Picture #10:  Another brown trout caught on these nymphs.


Picture #11:  Dave with a nice brown he landed on a clouser minnow (finally something other than those nymphs).


Take care,



Reminder about JD’s Hot and Cold club trip

I just spoke to JD who is at the Turkey Creek Campground in Almond, NC….. and they are catching fish!!!

The AFFC Hot and Cold water trip will be held June 17th through June 22nd. The first part of the trip will be the Cold Running Water which will focus on trout. Some rivers in the area are the Nanty, ‘Tuck, and all the water around Cherokee, NC.

The second part of the trip (19th-22th) – The Hot Running Water (actually cool) will be the the Little Tennessee River which has a reputation of being one of the best smallmouth rivers in the South East. We will be really close to tons of shoals that will offer great float or wade fishing. Best of all, we will have our very own Tyson “Muley” Reed to lead and educate us on how to fish for smallmouth. Tyson spends a bunch of his fishing time on warm water and loves to catch smallmouth.

This will be a camping trip to North Carolina (although there will be plenty of motels in the area) around the Nantahala Gorge/Bryson City area. If you want to just fish trout, no problem. If you want to fish smallmouth only, no problem… we just would enjoy your company. The campsite is Turkey Creek Campground in Almond, NC.

June 11, 2014 Club Meeting features Unicoi Outfitter’s guide Jake Darling

June 11 Fly Fishing Club Meeting features Jake Darling of Unicoi Outfitters

Our fly casting instructor, Ed Chamberlain is assisting the TU youth fly fishing camp this week and therefore we will not have our usual casting instructions.

Jake Darling in action

Jake Darling of Unicoi outfitters will explain all about Dynamic Indicator Fishing.

  • What is it?
  • When do you use it?
  • Why do you use it?
  • (and I suspect the others… who uses it and how they use it…)

Related subject… here is a great writeup in Midcurrent on indicators

Should be a great meeting, please join us!

 Unicoi Outfitters , who has been a long time supporter and friend of the Atlanta Fly Fishing Club, prides itself on educating new fly anglers.  They offer a variety of learning opportunities, and our staff includes several FFF certified casting instructors, graduates of the Orvis guide school, and graduates of the Joan Wulff school for fly fishing instructors. We are extremely committed to helping you learn as much about the sport as you’d like.   Our speaker this month is one of the most outstanding guides in the state and promises to give you a new technique to add to your arsenal for fly fishing!


Jake Darling of Unicoi Outfitters