How To Go Dry Fly Fishing
How To Go Dry Fly Fishing
This video walks the viewer through a simple example of still water fly fishing. Gavin Hodgson shows you his fly fishing box which has a variety of dry flies in it, selects one appropriate to the situation, and explains how he ties it onto the line and treats the lure so that it will float on the water and look realistically like an insect to the fish.
Dry fly fishing is probably the first thing anybody thinks about when they think about fly fishing. Everybody who wants to start fly fishing imagines catching their first fish on a dry fly, sitting nice, proudly on the surface. And seeing the tick, that's what it's all about, I think that's the epitome of fly fishing. Now when it comes to setting up, we've obviously got to consider the latter? Size, the nylon size that we're going to tie the fly onto, and we choose an appropriate diameter so that the fly isn't going to sit too rigid, but so that it's going to have some kind of movement on the water, and hopefully, we pick a size that the fish aren't going to notice and hopefully, that line is going to be just sunk below the surface, and we treat that, it's very fine, we'll treat that so that it sinks below the surface and at the same time, we'll treat the dry fly so that it sits on the surface. Now, dry flies, everybody's dry fly box looks different, but here are some of mine. This is some of my still water dry flies. And a few of us, in amongst all those we've got various sizes, various shapes, but basically, what we're trying to cover are all the midges, all the upwings and all the sedges, and all those flies there take care of most situations. These are the small flies. Most of these require a very fine leader, very delicate presentations to river fishing, river fishing for trout. Now, I'll tie a dry fly on, we'll see if we can pick up a fish today. There's not a lot happening on the surface, but you never know, sometimes fish is just waiting to see something juicy and they'll come up and take it. Here's an interesting little still water dry fly called Shetland's buzzer. It's one of those flies that you either do well with or you don't, works for some, not for others. Now, the knot I choose is a half blood, I use it for all my trout flies, it works fine. If you look for other titles, we have a number of titles on knots and the improved clench is the knot I've just tied. The half-blood improved clench is the most popular trout knot. Tighten that up. Rather than use teeth, I use my snips to trim that tie away. Now, this fly in particular, as you can see, it's buoyant already. It has foam in the dressing. This foam will sit proud on the surface, we don't need to treat that, but we have many other dry flies that aren't like that. Many of the dry flies are more representations of flies. There's a nice little dry fly there and that fellow is not going to float too well unless we treat it. Now, when it comes to treating a dry fly, we treat this one here, you've got a number of products on the market to choose from. There's a great little comical product called "Fly-agra" but it's a fly floatant and it's a liquid fly floatant. Opening the tub, what I tend to do is I get in the habit of, I'll only put floatant on my rod hand, so this is my rod hand and I'll only put on my line hand. That's just a good habit to get into. As soon as you're crossing over, and what we don't want is to ever have our leader floating where we can't sink it, just a little touch and it is nothing more but a dumpling of a fingertip. And once the fingers are wet, then just brush the dressing. We don't want to ever make that dressing look wet, it just needs to be brushed with the dry fly floatant so that that helps is sit proud. Once we've done that, I avoid the hook. I want the hook to just go below the surface, the rest of the dressing to sit proud. And what this particular substance gives us the option, advantage of, is if we have a dry fly where we want to sink the body but we want the wings and the legs to float, then we only put, apply the dressing to the hackle and the wing and we leave the rest so that it sinks. There you go. It still looks nice, it's not drowned, and that's going to float. So just like every other approach to the water in fly fishing, we're always going to have a look at the edges to see if we can see any fish. And two advantages to my glasses, obviously, the safety, but with the polarizing lens that helps me spot, hopefully, we'll pick something up. Now, when fishing dry fly, there's many things to think about, but in this situation, we're on a still water so I'm not expecting that fly to move really fast, but occasionally, I may well just pop it, just to cause some disturbance and hopefully, a fish sees that and when they see it, it looks like it's an insect trying to break through the surface film. Once an insect breaks through the surface film, then it can hatch and it can fly off. So, a little pop occasionally can just get their attention. Now, hopefully, we'll get a tick, but the things to think about when a fish does tick in dry fly fishing on a river, on a very fast flowing river, fish are going to grab at that fly very quickly and when they grab at that fly quickly, we've got to be fast, our reactions with the rod have to be very quick to set the hook. Otherwise they spit that fly out in an instant. On a still water, however, that can happen, but more often than not, what we get is a sort of head and tail rise where the fish roll on the fly, and we can actually see the mouth open at times. And when that happens, if we snatch too quickly with the rod, then we pull the fly right out of the fish's mouth. So there's an old thing that fishermen use, "God save the Queen". I prefer, this one's a big one, but if you say something in your mind, this one's a big one, then set the hook, then hopefully you get the timing right and the fish hasn't spat the fly out but you've set the hook as he's turned downwards with the fly, which is very important.