Your Question Answered! Flipping Floatants!

Friday, 22 July 2022  |  Sarah
Your Questions Answered!
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 I often stare at the millpond in front of me and watch the most wonderful imitations ever to tempt a rainbow sink out of sight after only a relatively short time.

My question, is simply how do you keep a dry fly afloat?

both before and especially after the remarkably elusive quarry has taken it
and I have re-cast.

Dry flies dressed from fur and feather generally need some form of floatant application before we even think of casting them out. 
There are several good quality fly floatants on the market these days that include liquids, sprays, powders, pastes and gels. 

To be fair, they all perform well and depending on what you require from them, each has its place.  

 

For instance, if fishing large dries in a big, rolling wave, liquid in a bottle floatants that coat every fibre of a fly, provide excellent floatability. 

Others that give superior buoyancy are spray floatants.

The only thing is that both of these treat the entire fly, making it difficult to get a pattern to assume a specific attitude in the water during certain fishing scenarios, like when fishing emerger patterns for example. 
 
Paste and gel floatants address this problem admirably. 

Paste / gels come in tubes, often with a nice applicator nozzle.  Simply, squeeze a tiny amount of this onto your index finger, a quick massage between finger and thumb render the floatant watery that is then easy to apply.
It’s then a simple matter of anointing the required part of a fly, be it, tail, hackle or wing.

Gink is a household name these days though other gels work just as well. 
 

Sometimes, after prolonged use, with the best will in the world, your dry fly still sinks, especially after being subjected to the slimy jaws of a trout or two. 

Powdered floatants can be applied on a fly prior to use though we consider them best for revitalizing delicate dry flies. 


After landing a fish, your drowned fly is simply popped in the container and a couple of shakes usually renders the fly as good as new.


Though those with a small applicator brush are handy too, as you can get right to the roots of any hackle/wing. 
Mucilin grease is also good for revamping tired dry flies.  Available in a tub this has a stubborn consistency, to soften then, rub between index finger and thumb then apply.
 

If you’re doing a lot of dry fly fishing, it’s worth carrying a small cloth to treat sodden flies to a little TLC after catching a fish.

Possessing superb absorbing properties, amadou is superior here though does cost a little more.

Amadou is definitely required on CDC flies that are temperamental at the best of times, especially after extensive use. 

If drenched, rinse the fly in water before drying with a false cast or two.  Finally, bring the CdC back to life with a coating of powder. 
The Essential Fly Fishing Shop
The Essential Fly Fishing Shop
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