Copyright 2014 James Marsh
Few anglers would question the fact that dry fly fishing is the most enjoyable form of fly fishing. There's no
doubt that the visual aspect of dry fly fishing is what makes it so popular. Your fishing a fly you can see
versus a fly you cannot always see. In many cases you can see the fish take a dry fly. When that is
compared to fishing flies you can't see, to fish you can't see, it is obvious which method is the most popular
one. Although the dry fly usually refers to trout flies, they are also used to classify steelhead flies, striped
bass flies, some saltwater flies, panfish flies and other types of flies made for catching fish. To make it
simple, fishing dry flies is fun. In other words, a dry flies are flies that float on the surface of the water.
Dry flies are usually very light and made of materials that resist soaking up water. Materials from birds and
animals such as deer and elk hair, CDC (Cul de Canard), rooster and hen feathers, and hundreds of other
types of natural materials. They also use some man-made materials such as plastics, and of course, all dry
flies have a metal hook in them. In fact, hooks made for dry flies are classified as dry fly hooks and are
generally lighter than other types of hooks.
Keeping the dry fly dry by manually drying it is important. I like to use a soft cotton cloth but many other
types of materials will work. You can also dry a dry fly by false casting it in the air several times. Just don't do
it over an area you intend to fish.
Most dry flies require floatants to help the material they are made of resist soaking up water and sinking
down into the surface skim. These floatants come in liquid and powered forms. Those that use CDC have to
be treaded differently with respect to adding floatant. CDC floats naturally without added floatant but specific
floatants for it have been developed.
Dry flies can imitate mayflies, adult stoneflies, adult caddisflies, adult midges, terrestrial insects that get into
the water, frogs, rats, and many other types of fish food. Probably the most used dry fly this day and time is
the Parachute Adams. They are sold by just about every fly shop in the World and by Perfect Fly. We don't
promote them for wild trout streams over our specific mayfly patterns but we do offer them at a low price for
those anglers than insist on using them. All of our Perfect Fly mayfly dun patterns use the parachute style of
hackle. That is what made the Parachute Adams an effective trout fly. It imitates the legs of a mayfly dun
much better than vertically wound hackle.
The single biggest problem in fishing a dry fly is getting a drag-free drift. This is especially true in pocket
water type trout streams with conflicting currents. The different currents tends to grab the fly line and drag
the fly faster than the speed of the water the fly may be drifting in. This can spook trout rather than attract
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Our most popular mayfly dry fly
Blue-winge Olive dun
Our most popular adult stonefly
Little Yellow Stonely (Yellow Sally)