Originally Posted by colter
Also, to keep dry flies afloat nicely i have been using a spray, but I saw a man putting his fly in a container and shaking it to dry it. It seems like there wouldn't be as much as an oily mess, so does anyone know what it is or where I could get one? I would appreciate the help.
In his book Trout
, Ray Bergman describes dissolving candle wax in an organic solvent and then putting it in a small container like you describe. Dipping a dry fly still on the line into the container and shaking would wash the fly and deposit trace amounts of wax, helping it float. The solvent would wash off the fly and then evaporate very quickly leaving a dry, clean fly.
If you decide to do this, don't follow his instructions on which solvents to use. He recommends in order, phenol, benzene, and gasoline. Phenol and benzene are dangerous carcinogenic chemicals. Gas might work, but would smell terrible. I'd recommend isopropyl alcohol.