There are many products available today to aid anglers while fishing dry flies. However, the success of these products is still very dependent on the way that anglers cast and land their fly on the water. The very best products for floating flies will not be near as effective when applied during poor casting methods. Appropriate casting techniques combined with the right type of floatant on a dry fly is the most effective way to keep it floating the longest. Not only will this minimize the amount of floatant required, it will keep your flies in the water for much longer periods of time which will result in more fish caught.
Along with using false casts to help dry flies out during drifts, theres is one other very important thing to consider while fishing flies. The way in which a fly lands on the water is a huge determining factor in how much water flies absorb. The harder a fly lands on the water, the more likely it will be to absorb water on impact and sink quickly. I advise anglers to pretend the water that they are casting to is four feet higher while laying out the line on their cast. What this does is encourages anglers to stop the rod tip higher during their casting stroke. By doing so, an anglers line will completely lay out above the water to ensure a soft landing that doesn’t absorb as much water. This is a very small detail that will make a very significant difference in how long a fly stays floating high in the water.
Selecting the right type of floatant for the type of fly being fished will also help to keep flies floating better. Floatants come in many forms such as powders, gels, shakers, etc. If you do prefer the gel type of floatants, it is still important that you carry dry powder floantants for flies tied with CDC. I am a huge advocate of Frog’s Fanny. I feel that it works extremely well on CDC as well as all types of flies. To see a pretty cool fly floatant test by Trouster.com click HERE. They did a pretty cool test that compares most major brands based on aspects such as cost, floating duration, fish slime durability, weight suspension, etc. Whatever fly floatant you settle on make sure you spend as much time as possible drifting and as less time as possible reapplying.
Keeping dry flies floating longer is another area of the efficiency angle of fly fishing. I believe in practicing efficiency on the water in order to maximize catch rates. While fishing dry flies, the longer period of time flies float without tampering the better opportunity an angler has at catching rising fish. After all, we never know how long the hatch will last. By practicing these methods while fishing dry flies, an angler has a much easier time capitalizing on the opportunity to catch fish on the surface.
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