Fly fishing for beginners Part 2 Dry Fly

Catching fish with a dry fly is the ultimate. There is nothing more exciting than witnessing a fish breaking the surface and slamming into your perfectly presented imitation and running your line to the backing. The feeling is hard to describe but if you take my word for it, it’s simply a head rush! This is part two for beginner fly fishing for those of you that think this is something you would like to try.

Back on the lake, we have been trolling and retrieving subsurface imitations for most of the morning. Our casting skills have improved greatly and you are now able to sling out a substantial amount of line rather than just letting it out while trolling backwards. Thus far, we have had good success using various searching flies but now we notice more fish surfacing and jumping. It is at this time where we decide to switch to floating line and a dry fly but first we must try to identify the surface insect the fish are feeding on. Look closely on the water and try to spot any kind of live insect or empty shucks. This is where your research and understanding of aquatic flies comes in. When the fly is ready to emerge, it will swim to the surface and break out of the nymphal shuck and rest on surface until the wings dry. The name for the fly at this stage is called a Dun. When the wings dry and the new insect flies off, it is now an adult fly and becomes a Spinner. Fish will take the fly at all three of these stages and figuring out which one is all part of the experience (or fun!) The final stage if the cycle is when the female fly returns to lay eggs then falls and lays spent on top of the water making this another great time to be dry fly fishing. So……..If you can clue in on what the fish are eating then the excitement begins!

Change out your line to floating and install a matched dry fly to as light of tippet as you can depending on the size of the fly. This will be in the 4,5,or 6X range. All you do now is cast out to rising fish and try to cast so that the fly lands naturally and gently then wait. Sometimes the take will come immediately but if not, then you’ll have time to slowly pull in any slack in the line being careful not to drag the fly under. Giving the fly action is not necessary but sometimes pulling it slowly about 6inches across the water may induce a strike.

Other tips: Use a floatant on the dry fly. This will keep it floating longer. It can also be applied to the leader if necessary.
A couple of back and fourth casts without landing the fly is called False casting and it is done to air dry the fly.
Sometimes by trimming the bottom hackle fibers flush with the body will allow the fly to sit more natural on the water.

Have fun out there!:)
Awesome! Thanks for taking the time for a great contribution.
great summary Jim.........very informative
cast, fly lands, WHAM! That dry fly take was nothing short of awesome!

Nice write up!
Excellent OTF!!!!! Dry fly fishing is my favorite and most productive. I love when you can actually see them hit on your fly. I never thought I would be picking up bugs and studying them to see what would work at that moment....:lol: When we were on the Deschutes and the salmon flies were attacking us like kamikaze's (sp?) it only bothered me when they went down the shirt or waders.....(spiders are a different story) It is cool to pick out a fly that you think is the right one and wham!!!

I am trying to convince my 12 year old how much more fun it is than boring gear chucking...One day when my rod grows up I want to hand mine down to him so he can hopefully get into it.

Thanks for the info..... I still have a lot to learn and retain (retain being the key word)
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