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  1. Default Re: Basic Dry Fly Setup

    Awesome thanks man! I usually fish a 5x leader. I try to match the hatch here on the Arkansas. I use BWO pale morning dun parachute adams elk hair caddis. Like i said i can nymph fairly well. I just need to learn how to dry fly properly. i will make a stop at that orvis shop next weekend. I work a lot.

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  3. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Down East, EH!

    Default Re: Basic Dry Fly Setup

    William j, thanks for the tip on gel and powder floatant. That is something I didn't know. Been using both of these products off and on and not in the proper manner. I have always coated my new flies prior to use and repeated the process when they were soaked. Last summer I picked up a powder but the shop didn't tell me the difference. Most time I find some of the clerks just assume that you know what you are buying in gear if you don't ask questions. My fault for that. Others just love what they are doing and are a great source of information. That is what I like about this site. Informative.

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  5. Default Re: Basic Dry Fly Setup

    thanks nick!

  6. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Anthem, AZ
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Basic Dry Fly Setup

    Basic dry set up:

    9 ft. mono tapered leader in 3x/4x/5x, approx. 2 ft. of mono tippet appropriately sized (i.e., 4x leader/5x tippet/fly). Fly. Optional second fly. I gernally use Aquel on my flies, mucillin on my leader (I used to grease my leaders from the loop to the tippet knot, but I don't do that anymore. I've found that I only need to grease from the loop to about a fooot short of the tippet knot). I try to dry my flies with dessicant at least every 8-10 casts, and after every fish hooked.

    I had the same problems you seem to be having when I first started about 5 years ago, and your question brought back some half-forgotten memories of the difficulties I had when I first started throwing dries. Now, I'm no expert, but here are some of the things I've learned over the years that might be of some help to you.

    Leader/tippet selection is dependent on situation. For example, when I fish small, light patterns I tend towards 4x or 5x leaders. When fishing heavier patterns like hoppers or beetles or cicadas, I use 3x or even 2x (note: you can, of course, cast a #8 hopper with 4x leader, but the fly catches so much air and the leader loses so much speed that they alight on the water much like para- flies, meaning very lightly). Here's the reason: smaller, lighter dries are supposed to drop gently to the water surface, whereas terrestrials like hoppers need to splashdown. 4x/5x leaders allow for softer presentations, while heavier leaders tend to promote heavier landings.

    Also, fly size can be dictated by speed of current, water clarity, wind, etc. Generally speaking, the lower the light, the faster the current, murkier the water, and/or windier the conditions, the bigger fly you can use. The reason being, all of these conditions reduce the fish's ability to see either you, your rod, your line, your leader, and sometimes even your fly if it's small enough. You might make multiple perfect presentations, but if all these conditions are working against you, then the fish might just not see your offering. Upsizing might get your fly noticed, and eaten.

    If your fly is sinking early (assuming you are mending correctly and on time), then upsize until the fly stays up until the end of the drift.

    Another way to keep smaller flies above water is to tie on an 'attractor' fly such as a stimulator or a humpy (#12 or #14), tie on another 2 ft. piece of tippet (either same diameter or down one size) and then your #20 fly. The larger more bouyant attractor fly acts as a 'bridge', preventing your smaller fly from being dragged under so easily. The cons are line twist (I usually try to untwist my line between flies after every 5 casts or so), and increased difficulty performing a good mend. Accuracy can also be a problem depending on how much wind there is on the day in question.

    Anyway, don't want to bore you to tears, so I'll finish up there. Hope that helps, and good luck.

    "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

  7. #15

    Default Re: Basic Dry Fly Setup

    If you want to save a little money I highly suggest looking into furled leader and then using whatever line you need for tippet. I bought some leaders off Joni, and her leaders are amazing quality, I am in love with them and they lay out so nicely on the water.

    I have never fished your area so I really can not comment, but most of the advice on here is good stuff. I personally never use any powders or gels. I just use the rubber trick to flick them around and dry them out. Works fine for me, and obviously once they get so wet it is just easier to swap it out with a new dry one.

    Best of luck to you and dont worry about the language we are all adults here for the most part, I wouldnt go around cursing all the time on here, but I personally have been known to have a bit of a sailors mouth, many people claim it is lack of vocabulary, but that is far from the truth for me, I just think it makes my sentences more interesting hahahaha

    Best of luck out there, and remember to always have fun, whether you are catching or not. Most of us do this for the stress relief, if I wanted to be stressed fishing I wouldnt leave my office lol


  8. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Boise, Idaho
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Basic Dry Fly Setup

    Many of the points / recommendations that I would make have already been mentioned. Having a proper drift / mend is a key factor. Also, decent flies do make a significant difference. I personally do like gel floatants such as Aquel / Gink /etc. Spending a few moments to make sure the floatant is applied appropriately (rub into hackle etc.) and not simply dumped onto the fly also aids in floatation. Make sure the fly is dry prior to applying any floatant. The idea of using a large dry fly as an indicator is a great method for fishing very small flies. Like so many aspects of fly fishing and life, practice will pay huge dividends.

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