In order to reduce the cost of traveling wave detection without affecting the accuracy, a traveling wave detection method based on electric field probe is proposed. According to the conditions of the space electric field around the transmission line, the electric field distribution near the transmission line is analyzed by using the mirror theory. Then the appropriate detection position is selected to install the probe to detect the space potential. The probe is not in direct contact with the transmission line, and can be installed and repaired without stopping the operation. The induced current generated by the potential is obtained through the ground wire. Using the inherent time scale decomposition method, we analyze the induced current signal to extract the fault traveling wave signal. The simulation results show that the method of using the probe induced current to characterize the voltage signal on the transmission line is feasible. Moreover, the method has small positioning error and high precision, and can achieve fault detection for longdistance transmission lines.