How to keep your dry fly actually dry!

blueduds

Member
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
Location
arizona
Hello everyone!

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.

Thanks in advance. You guys rock!!!!!!:)
 

Ard

Administrator
Messages
20,071
Reaction score
1,633
Location
Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
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.

Ard
 

jpbfly

Super Moderator
Messages
6,978
Reaction score
188
Location
Languedoc/near montpellier
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:eek:(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.;)
 

kglissmeyer1

Well-known member
Messages
1,391
Reaction score
41
Location
Rigby, ID
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.

Kelly.
 

troutslayer

Well-known member
Messages
360
Reaction score
3
Location
Western Maryland
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.
 

Rip Tide

Well-known member
Messages
9,934
Reaction score
264
Location
quiet corner, ct
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
 

Ard

Administrator
Messages
20,071
Reaction score
1,633
Location
Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
Kelly & Paul,

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 :D
 

dean_mt

Moderator
Messages
4,749
Reaction score
60
Location
Western Montana
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!
 

sorby

Member
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Location
Turners Falls, MA
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.
 

Pocono

Moderator
Messages
4,006
Reaction score
34
Location
Merrimac, MA
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).

Pocono
 

rangerrich99

Well-known member
Messages
1,567
Reaction score
139
Location
Anthem, AZ
Um, don't let the fly get wet . . . if possible keep them in a water-tight box.


Sorry, was feeling sarcastic the other day. I use Aquel alot because it's easy, and it isn't temperature sensitive. Some gel floatants get like molasses when it's cold out, then as thin as water when it's hot; Aquel doesn't do that. The only real drawback to gel floatants is that they wash off pretty quick, so you have to re-apply every ten casts or so if you don't get a fish, more often if you're getting bit.

But I also always have a tube of Burt's Bees chapstick on my pocket. If I run out of Aquel, I just rub some chapstick on my fingers, then on the fly.

Some flies get really water-logged after a fish or two take them. I either blow-dry them and/or drop them in a dessicant shaker, then re-apply floatant . . . you get the picture.

Hope that helps.

Peace.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Ard

dean_mt

Moderator
Messages
4,749
Reaction score
60
Location
Western Montana
By "all that stuff" do you mean a 1 oz. bottle of floatant? It really is worth carrying. There is much more stuff that I carry that I would leave behind before the floatant.
 

madjoni

Well-known member
Messages
1,093
Reaction score
19
Location
Montenegro
Some proper advices you got here for beginner guys,but no matter what one can do that dry fly will eventually get wet,and some dries sink like stone then :)
I use gink ,and if I know what flies I will be using tomorrow for example I put some gink on that flies day before fishing and again some when I got on river...It helps a bit :rolleyes:
With dries that have CDC wings I use drier made from amadou fungus..just one litle squeeze and that fly is dry as new ....
When dry fly get slimy from fish then I wash it first,then amadou ....
 

Jimmie

Well-known member
Messages
1,823
Reaction score
15
Location
Upper Mojave Desert
First move with a fresh dry is to grease (Gink) it. After that I do like Pocono and try to keep it dry with false casts. If it drowns I blow on it and brush in a lot of "Frogs Fanny".
After I'm through with a dry I'll hang it on my vest or shirt flap til dry then back in the box.
 

fishnskiguy

Well-known member
Messages
221
Reaction score
6
Location
Now in Sedona AZ
Here is the SECRET OF THE CENTURY!;)

Go to Costco and buy an assortment of Shamwow.

Cut off a 4"X4" of it and stick it in your vest.

It beats a $30 piece of amadou hands down.

Chris
 

Jackster

Well-known member
Messages
1,739
Reaction score
38
Location
NC
Here is the SECRET OF THE CENTURY!;)

Go to Costco and buy an assortment of Shamwow.

Cut off a 4"X4" of it and stick it in your vest.

It beats a $30 piece of amadou hands down.

Chris
That is a fantastic alternate to amadou but, in all truth, 'ain't nothing like the real thing'... especially if you fall into a great deal on it.
Shamwow works great and is what I use in my pond kit for when I'm not wearing my vest.
Another good use for Shamwow is to make a fly that fish can't resist. I good friend of mine always carries a batch of his Shamwow flies and falls back on them when all else fails. He just straps it to hook with the Shamwow overhanging off of the front and rear of the hook.

I'm not sure if this has been mentioned but try not to put floatant on a wet fly. It will trap the moisure in and almost guarentee a poor float.
 

wjc

Well-known member
Messages
2,246
Reaction score
59
Location
south florida
I went fishing last week and noticed my dry fly sinking after a couple of casts.
Blueduds,

It also could well be the quality of your flies or the particular pattern you are using. If you stick the palmered hackle to your lips (the hackle sticking out perpendicular to the hooK), it is easy to judge how stiff they are. The stiffer they are the better the fly, if it's a dry fly. As for flotant, it's necessary regardless. When I lived up north and fished a lot for trout , I used rendered deer tallow for flotant from the thick section around their hips. I think it lasted better than the commercial stuff.

Dean,

Ard is the only person I've ever heard mention that lift-off technique which I have used as long as I can remember. I'm pretty sure I started doing it as a kid fishing poppers for bass to be able to recast without having to stip a lot of line in.

Basically, what I do is extend my arm as far toward the fly as comfortably possible, tip down, and as I draw my arm back, rapidly wiggle the rod. It does not reguire much hand movement.

It breaks the line free of the water surface tension and enables a quick pick up, without the popper/fly submarining. It also results in a lot of strikes both from bass and trout, usually before the fly has traveled more than a foot or so. The fly will also be wiggling as it moves.

Cheers,
Jim
 

bruce m

Well-known member
Messages
619
Reaction score
8
Location
Catskills
Buy some liquid silicone from a shoe store, place a small magnet in the bottom of container and place hooks on magnet, Soak your flies over night then let completely dry for a day. I do this as I tie them, works like a charm.
 
Top