An optical technique devised for the detection of the ultrasharp angular resonance of long-range surface plasmons (LRSPs) is described. The LRSPs propagate along an 8 nm-thick palladium (Pd) film deposited on a one- dimensional photonic crystal structure and bordering a gas environment at another Pd film interface. At such a small metal film thickness, the scattering attenuation losses prevail over dissipation losses inside the film and we use this scattering as an input signal to pick up the angle of the surface plasmon resonance by a closed feedback loop via an angle-scanning piezomirror. As an implementation of this technique, we detected a 0.5% hydrogen concentration in nitrogen at room temperature with a signal/noise ratio of approximately 100 and response and recovery times of about 5 and 15 s, respectively.