02-28-2009, 09:17 AM
Re: Dry Flies
Hey Goose, welcome to the board. As you can see a lot of different recommendations, so to break it down a little...
Floatants come in a couple different types:
Paste- probably most popular, usually a silicone based paste. Put a dab in the palm of your hand, rub until it becomes a liquid, then rub into your fly between thumb and forefinger. Examples are Gherke’s Gink (widely available), Cortland DAB, Rio Poo Goo, Tiemco Dry Gel,Loon Aquel, Wilson Creek Pure Flote, Mucilin Paste. You can also get a jar of facial cream called Albolene and transfer some into a small container for your vest for a couple of bucks a quart.
Spray- sold in pump and aerosol spray. They don’t work on flies that are already wet, so not much use on stream. They can be used for pretreating flies (but if you want to do that you’d be better off with Scotchguardor RainX). Example is Cortland Dry Fly Spray and a few others
Powder- if your fly becomes water logged or slimed by fish, unscrew the lid, drop your fly in (still on the leader), put the lid back on and shake. Some also come with a brush to work the dust or crystals into the fly. Examples are Top Ride, Loon Blue Ribbon Super Dry Powder, Frogs Fanny Dry Powder, Simizoki Dry Shake, etc.
Liquid- Many of these are sold as shop “special brews”, based on old timey petroleum based floatants made from stuff like kerosene and paraffin concoctions, sold as secret formulas in some shops. If you see some of this stuff unscrew the cap and take a whiff. If it smells like the EXXON Valdez, put it back on the shelf. To be fair, this stuff WILL float flies like a cork, but it smells and is not the eco friendliest thing to use. And if you smoke you could be caught up in a napalm fireball and lose your eyebrows…
You can also pretreat flies by spraying with Scotchguard or RainX, but even if you do, carry some floatant on stream.
For some dry flies, made with CDC feathers, use a patch of highly absorbent Amadou (a natural tree fungus sold in some fly shops) or Samadou (less expensive synthetic version) instead of a paste.
I usually carry a paste type (for putting on when I tie a fly) like Gink and a powder type (for restoring slimed flies) like Frog Fanny or Simizoki.
Hope this helps.