If you have not yet experienced dry fly fishing, fall can be a good time to try it out. While the insect hatches that usually take place in the fall may not be comparable to the more intense hatches of the spring or early summer months, dry flies continue to bring fish to the surface to feed them. As an added bonus, most of the streams are much less crowded at this time of year.
Once you see a trout catch your fly on the surface for the first time, you will understand why fly anglers often prefer dry fly techniques. With a little practice and a few simple tips, you can learn how to fish dry flies.
- Watch the insects float past you, matching the hatch. Take a few minutes to identify the insects in the trees or in the air, or try to catch some. When examining the flies in your box, choose one that is most similar to the insects you see around the creek.
- Learn dry fly fishing techniques (also known as surface techniques) such as range throw and parachute throw.
- Find out which situations require longer leaders. For example when fishing dry flies on flat, clear or low rivers and streams. In such cases, you may need up to 15 feet of leaders. For example, dry fly fishing for trout might consist of a 4 weight rod, floating fly line, and a 12 to 15 foot leader if the water is calm and clear.
- One of the most important dry fly fishing tips is to take a second after each cast to inspect your fly. Check to see if your fly’s wings or limbs have twisted out of position, or if any of the materials are damaged. You will be surprised how often this can happen, and it can definitely make the difference between a shot and an ignored fly.
- Use flotation to keep your flies from ingesting water. Floatant comes in a variety of forms (paste, liquid, gel) but all of them work best when applied to a completely dry fly.
- Remember that a drift-free drift is one of the keys to success in dry fly fishing. Try to land your fly a few feet in front of the fish and allow it to drift towards the fish. You don’t want to scare the fish with a blow of the fly directly on the head. Land upstream of the fish and while you mend your line your fly will have a natural presentation as it swims its way down.
- Take the time to brush up on your knowledge of insect movement as you learn how to fish dry flies. That way, you’ll know when to apply a dead (motionless drift) and when to occasionally give your line a tiny jerk for subtle action.
- Notice how the trout reacts to your fly. When he pokes his nose up and sucks in, lifts the rod, hooks the hook and brings the fish in. If the trout rejects a fly that is swimming directly above it with no resistance, then it is probably time to switch flies or change flies fishing tactics.
After you’ve got some dry fly fishing tips, find some local streams and grab your fly box. The trout are waiting! If you don’t already have your fishing license, you can get it online.