Dry Fly Techniques
Dry fly angling is at the top of any fly fisherman's list of funfishing. The visual dry fly catch continues to excite manyanglers as the best way to angle the fly. Many anglers try tokeep themselves busy with various fly tying techniques as well asnymphing techniques. We will discuss several of those techniquesbelow, but for now we will start with dry fly techniques.
When I go to a stream, new or old, I put on a nymph first. Thereare exceptions (fish rising everywhere to an obvious hatch) thatmake me poke around in my compartment box, but the indicator andnymph are my first choice. I can catch fish while I am observingwhat is going on in the stream. When I have things figured out, then I go to the dry fly. This is where I have the most fun.
Equipment is important! Try to use as long a fly rod as you canget away with. Some anglers use a 5'6" fly rod for dry flyfishing, but generally, a longer rod eight feet or longer isdesirable. A medium action or faster is desirable to have thereaction and hook setting speed that dry fly angling sometimestakes.
It is also best to use large arbor reels. A large arbor keeps afly line supple, without curls from a tight diameter storage. Afine drag system, or none at all, in important to protect thefine tippet from breaking when a fish runs. A fly rod must alsobalance. The reel weight must make the fly rod at the point whereyour index finger rests on the cork grip "balance." That would bewhere the fly rod hangs level on the balance of your index fingeron the cork. This makes the feel of the cast second nature. Youwill get to a level where casting becomes second nature, you willfeel the fly trailing on your leader, the rod tip bending, andthe fly line loop during your cast like you feel the tracking ofyour wheels on the highway while you are driving.
Understanding these important aspects of fly fishing is notdifficult, it just takes some experience. You will soon get to apoint where you understand each and every aspect of yourequipment and fishing technique in focused detail. Especially ifyou continue to go after trout with a fly rod, particularly a dryfly rod. Just remember to balance your equipment. You will seethe merit of that as you fish!
Fly line choices come into play when thinking about dry flyequipment. I like fly line colors in gray, green or white. Colorsother than this are used to catch fishermen at the fly shopcounter. At fly line weights less than 4-weights, double tapersor weight forwards, you will find you will have a very hard timetelling the difference. A double taper will last twice as longbecause you can turn the fly line around when it is worn. But Iseem to gravitate toward a weight forward. If you like to "shoot"casts, the weight forward seems to work better.
If you want, you can experiment with mini shooting heads andcustom made lines for your dry fly fishing pursuits. Loop offersmany different fly lines available for experimentation. Leaders are an important aspect of dry fly fishing. Many anglerslike to use Rio leaders, which are very supple, yet the buttthrough midsection is stiff enough to make the leader straighten, or "turn over." For small streams, a 9 foot leader in 6x isperfect. If you need to step down to 7x, a length of tippet canbe added.
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