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  1. #11

    Default Re: How heck do i see a dead drifting size 20 dry fly

    It can be real tough, depending on the fly and light, etc. I posted a video on the forum about a week ago. On the first cast to the third fish, even though it was a short cast, I couldn't see the fly. The fish I was casting to rose, and I thought he was on me but he wasn't. I got lucky and that didn't spook him. The next cast I could see the fly and the fish took.

    In a couple of months here we should have a prolific trico hatch. Large groups of large fish will be rising simultaneously very close together. There will be an incredible amount of naturals on the water, not to mention weeds and debris. Very tough but so much fun. Then there will be the late September snow blizzard and BWO hatch, and a lot of guessing if that rise was on my fly. Man, I love this game!

    I have no experience with droppers or two flies, so can't help you there.

  2. #12

    Default Re: How heck do i see a dead drifting size 20 dry fly

    I love fishing little dry flies, midge and/or blue wing olive hatches are about as good as it gets for me. I do two things that help me see my flies at distance. I tie parachutes with white poly yarn posts because I find, for me, white is the most visible color under the most light conditions. The other thing I do is fish a shorter leader that is always about the same length. This way if I can see the end of my fly line I always know about where my fly is. You'd be surprised how many fish you hook when you can't see the fly, but a fish rises about where you think your fly is. This is especially useful when fishing in low light conditions, which is often the best dry fly fishing of the day.

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  4. #13

    Default Re: How heck do i see a dead drifting size 20 dry fly

    Greased leader technique works well for fishing tiny dries and emergers. Use a silicone floatant on your entire leader except the last 12 - 18" this makes your leader visible on the water and you want the last 12-18" of your leader just under the surface. Using a degreaser(Loon snake river mudd) for the last section helps sink your tippet. It also helps to cast to one particular rising fish and use short, accurate drifts.

  5. #14

    Default Re: How heck do i see a dead drifting size 20 dry fly

    Once in a while, I'll tie on an ant pattern. The big Bluegill will come up an sip ants off the edges of pads and weeds, and an ant pattern works wonders.
    I can't see them, but it's never bothered me. I just fish them like a sinking pattern. Usually, the swirl gives them away, but as with any sinking pattern, watching the line for twitches is what gets me the most hooks sets.

    Treat them like a wet fly ... "Feel the strike!"

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  7. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: How heck do i see a dead drifting size 20 dry fly

    I found that the type of water being fished often dictated whether or not I would venture below a size 18 dry fly. If the water was glassy and smooth it sometimes called for a more precise imitation which in turn meant using a #20 or even a 22. If the water was flowing along with some surface swirls and tiny waves then a #18 usually was as small as I had to go for most areas I fished.

    On broken surface water it can be very hard to keep track of a small fly, I'd advise losing the dropper and using a good floatant so that the fly is riding high and dry. Seeing an 18 or 20 when they are riding right on top the film is way easier than say spotting a spent wing Trico that is partially submerged. My fly of choice through most hatches on the spring creeks of Pennsylvania was a #18 Blue Quill. Used those through sulfur hatches and of course for BWO hatches, it seemed more a case of presentation than the fly.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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  9. #16

    Default Re: How heck do i see a dead drifting size 20 dry fly

    Make short accurate casts with no longer then 10 of fly line past last guide of rod. Walk slowly upstream casting to fish you see rising steadily. I like to use an Elk Hair Caddis with 3-4 tippet to small size 20 fly. 9 foot 3x leader 3 4x to elk hair then 3-4 5x to size 20 dry/emerge. Short casts to steadily rising fish what could be more fun!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    PNW--College Place

    Default Re: How heck do i see a dead drifting size 20 dry fly

    Someone mentioned a furled leader. I like using CutthroatFurledLeader's HiVis Nymph leader. There are times when the sun hits the water just right and I can't see my fly--I try to get it to where it "should" be and the orange color of the leader helps me to get a better estimate of where the fly is. I'm so happy with these leaders I have one on each of my reels. May not work for everyone but where I fish it works just fine.


  11. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Anthem, AZ
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: How heck do i see a dead drifting size 20 dry fly

    Quote Originally Posted by jayw2942 View Post
    So i am new and have yet to catch a fish with a dry fly. Ill see tiny mayflies and midges flying around so ill throw on one. Problem is once its in the water i cant see it. I guess it will be obvious when a fish rises and takes it but i also have a nymph drifting below it so i wont know if a fish takes that. I was thinking about puting a tiny piece of colored yarn somewhere on my line just to detect any movement in the line?
    I haven't had a chance to read all the responses yet, so if someone has already mentioned this, I apologize for the repeat.

    As my eyes have slowly become a little less able to see small flies on flickering waters, and when a larger "indicator" fly seems to spook my quarry, I have found that using a small pinch of white or green wool, a la "New Zealand Strike Indicator" kit, about 3-4 feet above my fly works very well and doesn't spook the fish. It also casts as if it weren't there at all.

    An added benefit is that I've found that little bit of wool makes it a lot easier to notice when I need to mend my leader (as opposed to my fly line), whether I'm fishing dries or not.

    "Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn." ~Chuck Clark

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