It’s been a long winter of staring at bobbers and anglers all over town are getting itchy to start fishing dries again. Sure, there is midge fishing in the winter but throwing mayflies and caddis are what really get a lot of people going. The spring Baetis are starting to pop in pretty good numbers all over the place and the dry fly season is just around the bend! Here’s a couple of things you can do to get ready for it.
Practice. Casting a dry fly is very different than casting a double nymph rig with split shot and a strike indicator. After throwing nymphs or streamers all winter, odds are your dry fly casting skills are a little rusty. Take the time to go to a local pond or even in your backyard and work on your overhead casting skills. Casting into a hula hoop, hat, plate or any target can really get your accuracy back up to par. Even just an hour a week will make a big difference.
Clean Your Line. A clean line will cast better. Way better. It will also float better, lay down on the water more delicately, and will generally make your day a whole lot better. It doesn’t take long to clean your line and it’s easy to do while watching tv or relaxing at the end of the day. There are a lot of different line cleaners on the market. One of those we have at the shop is the single use Rio Fly Line Cleaning Towellete. It’s only a dollar, and you can clean your line in just a matter of minutes.
Make Sure You’ve Got the Right Line. If you’re trying to cast size 20 dries on a line that isn’t designed for it, you won’t have much luck. You can do it, but it just won’t work as well as it could. General use lines like a RIO Gold or a Scientific Anglers GPX are designed with a shorter, heavier head that can be used for tiny dries, but they don’t lay them down gently enough. Going with a line like a RIO Trout LT or SA Ultimate Trout is much better. The longer taper delivers all the energy of the cast in a much more delicate manner, and the long head makes mending a piece of cake. If you’re going to be fishing dries a lot, it’s well worth it to get a good line.
Get Into the Dry Fly Mindset. Fishing dries is a lot different than nymphing or streamer fishing. It requires a lot more patience and is a more deliberate process. Instead of just mindlessly working a spot you know has fish in it, take the time to just stop and watch for a few minutes. Look for heads, swirls, rises, any indication that fish are eating off the top. Work slowly and carefully, and take the time to get into the proper position before making a cast you aren’t sure about. A lot of times you only get one shot at a feeding fish so make it count. Dry fly fishing requires a different mindset and it takes some time to get into that.
The dry fly fishing is only going to get better in the coming months. For many anglers it’s the most enjoyable part of the entire year. Don’t miss out. Down at the shop we’ve got all the gear, flies, and information you need to have a good day on the water.