Splashy Presentations Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia
In order to solve the problem of splashy presentations when you are fishing dry flies for trout ,just aim higher. Act like you are casting your fly to land on a coffee table a foot over the stream. This is very easy to achieve and it allows the dry fly to settle gently onto the stream.
Murray’s Fly Shop
PO Box 156
121 South Main Street
Edinburg, Virginia 22824
Phone Number: 540-984-4212
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
I make this in my fly shop with special ingredients in order to achieve the three most important functions I believe we need in a dry fly floatant. This cleans, drys and waterproofs a dry fly all in one step.
Some anglers soak the dry flies they plan to use in this solution for ten minutes a day or two before they are going fishing in order to build a semi-waterproof coating on each fly.
Many years ago I used to tie my dry flies with thick clumps of spade hackle and could not explain why I got many refusals from rising trout. It finally dawned on me that I was using way too many hackle fibers in the tail. I had been using so many that it possibly looked like part of the fly’s body to the trout. Even though I may have been tying a dry fly on a size 14 hook which matched the natural insects, by the time I tied in a very thick clump of tail hackle fibers, my fly looked like a size 10 to the trout.
I now use only enough spade hackle or straight moose body hair for my dry fly tails to help float my flies and my catch is greatly improved.
For dry flies I like to use a very fine poly blend of dubbing material such as Fly Rite 34 on the left which I use on my Mr. Rapidan Dry Flies. This material is very fine, making it easy to dub flies as small as a size 24 with a smoothly tapered body. It is lighter than water and is does not adsorb water thus producing a high floating dry fly. This comes in many colors and is inexpensive.
For nymphs and pupa I like to dub blends of natural furs because these produce buggy looking insect bodies. Counter wrapping these bodies with gold, silver, copper or olive wire produces a neatly segmented tapered fly body. However, if you wind the same ribbing materials with a forward motion you can produce an insect body with translucent living appearance.
Dry flies that are coated with old floatant that have matted hackles can easily be brought back to life by carefully steaming them over the stream of a teakettle spout. Be very careful when doing this because you can get a bad burn from this hot steam. I use very long tweezers or a tea strainer but I am still very careful. Set your revived flies aside, well spaced out for two days, then you can return them to your fly boxes.
Fly Tying Tip: Need dubbing material for fly tying? Blend your own custom colored dubbing to meet your fly tying needs.
I am a great believer in blending my dubbing materials for dry flies and nymphs. For example, when I first developed the Mr. Rapidan Dry Fly, about thirty years ago, I wanted it to have a body color which matched that of the Epeorus pleuralis adult mayfly. There was no dubbing material, either synthetic or natural fur, which matched this insect so I had to blend my own dubbing to get the mottled tannish-yellowish-olive body of the real mayfly. After much blending with various colors I camp up with the perfect mixture.
You can easily blend natural furs and fine diameter synthetics in order to get the exact color you desire. I especially like Australian Opossum, Mink, Beaver, Muskrat, Hare’s Ear and very fine synthetics. If you are tying nymphs leave some of the guard hairs in the natural furs, if your fly tying calls for dry flies remove most of the guard hairs. If I am tying only a few flies I will often blend the materials with two fine tooth combs. If I am tying a large number of flies I use a food blender or coffee grinder to mix the furs after wiping it down well with a fabric softener sheet to lessen static buildup. Next week I cover dying fly tying materials.
When I teach my winter fly tying classes, the beginning fly tyers are amazed how quickly they learn to tie great deer hair bass bugs. I teach this with two simple rules, (1) Be sure to clean out all of the short hair and fuzz from each pinch of deer hair before you tie it on and (2) Keep a bare hook shank ahead of each pinch of deer hair you tie on.
This two hour class will teach you how to tie drys, nymphs, streamers and deer hair bass bugs. We do not supply the materials, you can purchase a fly tying kit from us or watch!
Many trout refusals of dry flies result from one of two problems which can be easily corrected. First the fly may be too large for his liking. Here we simply switch to a smaller fly. A dragging dry fly is another cause for refusals. Here a slack line cast, or a different presentation position, or a different presentation angle or dropping your dry fly closer to the trout’s feeding station will enable the dry fly to drift naturally and the trout will take it solidly.
There is some aquatic grass drifting on the stream and even though there is a good hatch on, the large trout before you seems to feed mainly on the duns that are drifting amid the drifting grass. Every time you cast to him your fly lands in the grass. Then for a few seconds he moves over to the edge of the grass and takes three duns. Now is your chance. Quickly cast your fly two feet upstream in that open current and you will probably take him.
When your dog goes on point and you put up a covey of quail you seldom hit anything if you blast into the covey. You are much more successful if you pick out a specific bird and aim carefully to drop that one, then go to the second bird. This also holds true if you try casting into a pod of rising trout because you usually get drag before a specific trout sees your fly. A more successful tactic is to pick out a specific trout and present your fly accurately to that fish.
Yes, you can fish dry flies when it is getting so dark that you can not see the fish take your dry fly. Since you must be aware of the strikes in order to set the hooks the easiest way to do this is to fish down and across stream with a tight line so you can feel the strike. I do this when fishing for smallmouths during the white fly hatch, hexagenia hatch and caddisfly hatch. It also works for trout on these hatches if the stream is large enough for a downstream approach not to scare the trout. It’s a great trout technique with the Neversink Skate like Ed Shenk’s ties.