DRY FLY FISHING

by Fly Fisherman

I like dry fly fishing more than any form of angling I have ever known. It takes good and accurate casting. If you’ve read my suggestions on fly casting and done some practicing on them, you’ll be able to successfully use a dry fly to catch trout. And will you enjoy it!

A dry fly is designed to imitate a natural adult winged insect floating down the stream. Dry fly casting is done upstream or across stream because otherwise the current would immediately submerge your fly. You have to put a dry fly down gently on the surface of the water, so as not to sink it. Your tapered line and tapered leader help do this. You keep the line waterproofed with line dressing. This makes it float. The fly is treated with dry fly oil and is designed to float on the surface.
The basic principles of dry fly fishing are simple. You cast your fly up and slightly across stream and let it drift on the surface of the water until the current has taken it within about twenty feet of you. During this time take in the slack line with your left hand. You then pick up the line off the water and make a few false casts to dry your line, leader and fly and to lengthen your line again. You are now ready to recast upstream.

Fundamentally that’s all there is to it. Any fisherman can learn to do it well enough to catch trout—the first day. You can spend all the rest of the play time of your life learning to do dry fly fishing better. The fortunate and important point is that the beginner can take trout with the dry fly almost at the start—if the fish are there and feeding.
In dry fly fishing, as in all trout fishing, be sure you keep the attitude that you are stalking the trout. You may think I am emphasizing this point too much, but the more trout fishing you do, the more you will realize how vital it is. If you are fishing from the shore, keep low and not silhouetted against the sky line. If you are wading, move slowly and quietly with as little disturbance of the water as possible.

Wade with your knees slightly bent—just a little springy. Experienced woodsmen and anglers will always walk, and especially wade, that way. Don’t try to stride along in a trout stream like you were walking down a city street. You’ll go swimming if you do. Another thing, don’t go jumping from boulder to boulder either. Keep your feet rather wide apart, your weight on one foot while you advance the other. That way you’ll keep dry.
In wading up a stream be careful not to go through the good fishing water if you can avoid it. There is always a big percentage of water without any trout in it at that time. Try to use this kind of water to wade in while you are moving upstream. Shallow sides of the river, especially silt-covered areas, are good places. Bars, after you have fished below and above them, are good highways upstream. Don’t be afraid to get out on shore if the footing is good.

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