Re: Tough time setting the hook with a dry, need some help
There will be a multitude of responses to this question but I will offer mine now. If you are actually striking hard enough to pop the fly up out of the water you simply need more experience with dry fly fishing. With time and a good number of fish taking the fly you will become more relaxed and refrain from the Bass Master hook set style.
I fished dry flies a lot over the years and found that if I simply allowed the fish to grab the fly and re-submerge 90% of the little buggers hooked themselves and all I had to do was gently raise the rod tip therefore increasing the angle of the line / hook to the fish as it was attempting to return to its feeding station. The phenomenon of focusing much of your attention on a floating dry fly in anticipation of a strike from a fish is similar to the effect of winding a spring and when the ever surprising splash happens at the terminal end of your tackle very often we are startled by it and almost jump, thereby twitching the rod back way too hard.
Allow the fish to take the fly and try to react as if you have been doing this for a large part of your life. Calmly raise the rod and feel for the resistance. If it is there then quickly reel any extra line onto the spool and begin to play the fish as it will be hooked. Many times you will net a fish and find that the hook is barely in the lip. When you realize this, thinking back to all those hard strikes you have made will perhaps suggest that you in fact pulled the hook from the fish. Anglers often say "I missed him" when in fact they had the fish on and lost the bond between the hook and fish by over reacting.