I went fishing last week and noticed my dry fly sinking after a couple of casts. I know that they get wet and people can bring liquids and other things to keep them dry. But I was wondering, is there a way to keep them dry without bringing all of that stuff. Could it be because I am casting to much?
I aslo wanted to know, when you cast a dry fly on a smooth lake, how long should you keep it there? I know it depends and you should move it and imitate it like a real fly, but i was just wondering is there a rule of thumb for that.
I learned a trick from an old fellow fishing a bamboo rod about 30 years ago. I was watching him from the trees and when he was ready to pick up the line he began to shake the rod tip. the 'shake' was transmitted down the line and as he lifted he put more energy into the snake like undulating action moving from the rod tip end of his line toward the fly end.
I ask him why he did that. I ask if it was because he used a bamboo rod. He told me that he did it with any rod and that breaking the bond between the line and the surface film of the water helped him to stop his fly from 'slurping' under water each time he wanted to pick it up to be repositioned.
I have been doing this ever since and can tell you that if you discover that you've forgot your magic floatant this is the next best thing. Following the pick up a tight loop back cast will fling any excess water from the fly and your back in the float of things. Practice will give you a result where you will have most the line up off the water before the fly jumps into the air. You do not want it to do a submarine on you each time you pick up. When you have this down, you can get the line almost all in the air before the fly sort of hops off the surface. If you are fishing a really long line this technique has its limitations for application but for most situations it will be of great help.
On a lake I let it float till I get a rise unless they are cruising then I cast in their path.
Wipe your fly...put some floatant on it....if your dry fly sinks after a couple of casts it may come from the bad quality of materials(bad hackles,heavy hook for example)
When you fish a lake or a pond try to locate fish or fish rising to present your fly...slightly moving the fly sometimes works but it's not a rule.
I would venture a guess that most fly fishers "bring out the stuff" and treat their dry flies both prior to and during the day's fishing, especially after hooking and landing a fish. I keep a very thin chamois leather patch on my chest pack with which I dry the fly. I will then either treat it with a little dry-shake powder or apply a very, very sparse new coat of fly floatant. I like the ones that aren't quite as pasty as Gink, such as Orvis brand or one of the various preen oil type floatants as it doesn't take much, just a thin film on the fingers, to get a dry fly back and floating like a cork. For any flies with CDC I will always use a combination of the chamois patch, dry shake and preen oil. Remember, when using dry fly floatants, no matter which type you use, less is more.
Ard's comment regarding the shake is a wonderful way to minimize drowning dry flies and the advice to get a couple of hard, tight loops will shake off most of the water and I use this method most of the time myself.
I blow on it real hard and force the water off, then I pat it between the special drying patch I have on my vest then shake it in Loon Dust, blow off the extra and it's good to go again. I treat it with the liquid floatant first and let dry thoroughly. Usually though I get quite a few floats before it needs treated again. If you are floating it through some rough riffles it may not last as long either. I'd try an Elk Hair Caddis if that's the case.
"I fish because I love to; because I love the environs where trout are found; because trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience...because only in the woods can I find solitude without lonliness..." Robert Traver 1964 (Judge John Voelker)
I use both desiccant and paste together. After drying my fly with my bandana I'll dunk it in a pill bottle of desiccant. The desiccant that's sold as "official" fly drying powder is the same as the little white packets that come packed in everything from vitamins to electronics. It's also sold bulk in buckets used to dry flowers. You probably already have some.
Then I'll touch a little (store bought) paste to my fingertips and touch it to the fly's body, tail and hackle. Like Kelly says, less is more.
Ard's tip about how to lift the fly from the water is essential to not dragging it under and further soaking it
I specialize in the 'I forgot my float stuff' catagory and have learned to cope. After a fish slimes a fly it's a whole new ballgame but at least I got the fish right?
You see, up here I do so little dry fly fishing because of the big fish wet fly thing that every time I run across a hatch and rising fish I'm usually not carrying everything I would have when just trout fishing................. So I do the shake a lot
Ard, can you describe this rod tip shake technique? Is it just a twitch then lift or side to side shake or...? I don't know if I've ever seen anyone do this, or maybe I just haven't noticed. But since everyone else here seems to be familiar I wonder what I am missing!
Vaseline, but if you dont want to carry anything. You can stick your finger in your ear and try get a bit of wax on it then rub it into the fly. As you can imagine the effectiveness of this method varies from person to person.
Your backcast will snap most of the water off the fly if you use a good crisp stroke.
I'll sometimes throw in an additional false cast; just to dry off the fly; particularly if its been in the water for a while or if I've missed a take and the fly actually went underwater with the fish.
Sometimes you'll hear a "snap" or "ping" from the fly when it turns over at the end of the backcast. When you hear that sound, you know that your fly is traveling at a speed that's more than sufficient to get most of the water shaken off it/out of it.
But, before my fly hits the water for the first time, it gets a light coat of Gink (unless its CDC-based; in which case I use a powdered CDC desiccant).