Fishing with Dry Flies
Very little has been written in this country about the "how" of dry-fly fishing, and for this reason, and for the further one that all the large tackle dealers now carry a stock of dry flies and the salesman will doubtless try to sell you some, it may be well to describe as briefly as possible, and with no pretense of treating the subject expertly, what the dry fly is and how it should be fished. The dry fly is a floating fly and is to be fished upon the surface of the water, wherein it differs from the ordinary flies, which are without exception "wet" flies, and to be fished more or less submerged.
The dry-fly purist casts only to a rising trout; he does not fish all the water, according to the custom of the wet-fly fisher, but waits until he sees the circle of ripples made by a rising and feeding fish, and then casts to that particular — very particular, indeed — trout. He works up-stream, casting slightly above the rise, and floating the fly down over the fish. Between casts two or three "false” casts are made without allowing the fly — only one fly is used — to strike the water, in order to dry the fly. Paraffin oil is used on the fly to make it float better and more impervious to the action of the water, in dry-fly parlance, to prevent the fly from drowning. The flies used are very small and in most cases exact imitations of the prevalent insect life of the stream. When expertly practiced the method is a very deadly one. Some dry-fly fishers do not insist on waiting for a rising fish, but fish the best of the water in the manner of the wet-fly caster, a method more appealing to the American angler. Without going into the subject further it may be said that there are occasions when, if you have a few dry flies in the fly-book, you may be mighty glad of it. A list of approved patterns, selected with American streams in view, is given below. Dry flies are usually tied upon eyed-hooks without snells.
Camp, Samuel Granger. Fishing Kits and Equipment,. New York: Outing Pub., 1910. Print.
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