How do you keep dry flies, well, dry?
I have been trying my luck with dries the past three times I went out. I am cheating and going to the local small lake and catching bluegill (although I did catch one stocked trout and almost got pummeled by a couple knuckleheads who didn't like me tossing it back in).
Of course, the one that worked the best was a foam thing I made. Just a small piece of white foam with a couple twists of hackle near the eye. I tried an F Fly and, tonight, something called an M Fly I found on the Internet. It looks like an F Fly with an extra little piece of duck butt (can't remember the name of those feathers) and a piece of chenille for a short tail thingy (which I used a piece of ostrich feather) all on a size 18 hook.
****, they're small.
Anywho, I get out to the lake the first day and I have only about 20-30 minutes. I set my son up with a spinning rod and finally get my fly rod and reel together. I caught about 4-5 nice bluegill in those 20-30 minutes...well, less, because my son wanted to try the fly rod and he caught one. I had oodles of nibbles, a bunch of takes, and, like I said, I landed 4-5...more if I weren't using barbless hooks with the little foam fly.
The next Saturday morning, I caught that trout and about 14 bluegill on the little foam fly and the F Fly. That was great.
Tonight I used that little M Fly for the first time and also the little foam fly. I caught about 8 or 9 nice bluegill (I never knew they were as pretty as they are). I had I can't tell you how many little nibbles and I hooked and lost so many fish it was driving me nuts. I need to learn how to set a hook right using a fly line and those teeny, tiny hooks.
But all three times, after a while, the fly would start sinking. I would try to dry it off on my shirt and that did not work. I tried shaking it in that Loon stuff and that worked for a cast or two but then they started sinking again. I took of and put on a bunch of flies during these times.
It seemed to be a lot worse after I caught a fish. It seemed like the spit and slime really tortured the flies. Even the little foam things started to be completely under water. Not far beneath, mind you, just not floating on top.
Am I at least approaching this right? Am I supposed to be swapping out a lot of flies whenever I fish dries? Or am I I doing something really wrong?
Oh, and I have been trying to false cast, especially tonight because I had a lot of room and nobody around. This works sorta but not all the way.
Any advice to keep these things floating is appreciated--especially after you catch a fish on one.
Oh, and if anybody has any tips on hooking a fish and keeping the darn thing hooked using small, barbless hooks, that would be great.
One thing I have noticed using dries: it is neat watching that fish get attracted to the fly when it lands or when it sees it. It stalks and then, POW! It hits the fly. Some pows are little slurps, I swear. Slurp-n-spit-out seemed to be the name of the game tonight.
“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” –Henry David Thoreau