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bleonskis 02-24-2013 09:59 AM

Basic Dry Fly Setup
Hi! My name is Brandon, and I live in Colorado. I am a novice fly angler fishing this way for barley a year. Recently, I have been researching on how to setup a basic dry fly rig to no prevail. I have been in contact (believe it or not) with my local fly shops to receive horrible service and no real information. Personally, I think they're just racist ass holes. My problem is I can't seem to get my dry to float. Is there a specific leader or setup that I need? I have floatant, but my fly still sinks to where i can't follow its progression down the drift. I am not using fluorocarbon when attempting to dry fly. Please Help! I can nymph fairly well, but I want to advance my skills in this beautiful art . I fly fish on local rivers and streams. Also, I understand how to match the hatch and read water. Thanks for any information that may be provided! Tight lines my fly fishing brethren. :fishing:

jpbfly 02-24-2013 10:15 AM

Re: Basic Dry Fly Setup
:welcome:Brandon...think the tippet has nothing to do with your problem...which dry pattern do you use?do you fish fast waters?Looks like your dries are not made with good quality hackles...I understand you must be angry with the guys at the flyshop ....but watch out your language here please;)

bleonskis 02-24-2013 10:26 AM

Re: Basic Dry Fly Setup
Sorry sir I thought the internet was uncensored. I apologize. I use all patterns pretty much. Mayfly, beatis, caddis, midge, Griffith gnat parachute Adams all that jazz. I buy them from the fly shop I hope they're high quality haha

---------- Post added at 11:26 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:24 AM ----------

I try not fish to fast of water. I try to find a steady run that isn't too fast or too slow

alexs 02-24-2013 10:29 AM

Re: Basic Dry Fly Setup
Give us a concrete example: size of tippet, pattern and size of fly, type of water fished (flat, riffle, pocket water). What floatant do you use?


bleonskis 02-24-2013 10:33 AM

Re: Basic Dry Fly Setup
Haha that's my question to you bro. I don't know what I'm doing obviously

---------- Post added at 11:33 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:31 AM ----------

Loon outdoors aquel

alexs 02-24-2013 10:36 AM

Re: Basic Dry Fly Setup
Before going any further, if you are fishing small size flies in water with a decent current, drag can pull the fly under the surface in no time. The fly has to fall on the water surface with a slack tippet and you have to avoid drag. The moment drag sets in, pick up your fly and make another cast.


williamhj 02-24-2013 10:38 AM

Re: Basic Dry Fly Setup
Sorry to hear about the bad service , I've found some shops, or perhaps just some of the employees at the shops, aren't the best. In fact there are some I avoid because of rudeness so I vote with my dollars not venting my anger. That said, there are great shops that should be helpful. What part of CO are you in? Perhaps some on here can help point you towards a good one.

x2 for what JP said regarding quality of flies. I've found some cheap hackled dry flies don't float well because of the materials. Also, as he asked, what flies are you using and what water are you fishing?

Other possible causes:

- drag - if your fly is dragging in the current (creating a wake or being pulled under) this will cause it to absorb water and sink fairly quickly
- if your cast causes the dry to slap down on the water this can cause the fly to break the surface tension and sink. This is helpful if you need to get a nymph down deep but not if you're presenting a size 18 blue wing olive dry

For a set-up a simple 9' tapered mono leader should be just fine and, baring the above, your dry should float decently. Over time most non-foam dries can start sinking through normal use. You can use your gel floatant and also desiccant powder, but remember they are used differently. The gel floatant needs to be applied before the fly is wet, it helps prevent the fly from absorbing water. Once the fly is wet the gel doesn't help. That's when the desiccant powder comes in. You put the wet fly in the tube with the powder and shake, or put some powder in your hand and rub the fly in it and it helps dry the fly. Eventually, the powder might stop helping, when this happens it's good to put on a fresh one and let the soaked one dry-out.

If you can, get a guide for a day or a half day. If you're in the Denver area, I see groupons fairly regularly for guides/fly fishing schools and the prices are pretty good. Focus your time with your guide on learning and you should get a lot for your money.

bleonskis 02-24-2013 10:49 AM

Re: Basic Dry Fly Setup
Thanks William and sorry for my language. I didn't mean to offend anyone. I live in Pueblo, and unfortunately I don't have the time or the money for a guide service. :( So a nine foot mono leader is all I need? I usually try to fish like a size 20 dry. That's too small then? What size should I fish?

williamhj 02-24-2013 10:59 AM

Re: Basic Dry Fly Setup
Size depends on what the fish are taking on the water you're fishing. This summer you'll have fun fishing size 6 and 8 foam hoppers that float forever and can get some big strikes when grass hoppers are being blown into the water :) In CO though, size 20 and smaller isn't unusual, especially when fishing the tailwaters. What size tapered leader do you use? For that size fly I'd use probably 6x or 7x. Do you know the name of the flies you're using or can you find a picture of them online? Something like a griffith's gnat usually floats pretty well since it's covered in hackle.

Have you found fishing reports online? I've not been to any of the shops down your way but know some of them have online reports. Even if they aren't helpful in person they can't stop you from using the info they put online :)

Watch the Orvis shop at Parkmeadows Mall in South Denver for their free Fly Fishing 101 class. Not the same as a guide but it's free and helpful.

nickj 02-24-2013 11:00 AM

Re: Basic Dry Fly Setup
Shimazaki Dry Shake is the absolute best stuff in the universe. It'll dry out your sopping wet dries and float them like they're brand new. You do need to be fishing dries basically upstream. As far as a local, really good shop- Angler's Covey in Colorado Springs. I know, they're about 40 miles away.. they're about 70 miles for me but they're my first choice. Sorry, I don't know of any in Pueblo.

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