This tip was emailed to me in reply to the "Thinking Outside the Square
Box" article. It is a different way of considering floatant on dry flies.
There are other articles in the Tying Tips Archives on this topic, but
this one strike me as an example of some radical thinking. ~ Steven H. McGarthwaite
There are flies for fast water that are large and bushy
designed to ride on top of the surface film, through "no hackle" dry
flies designed for much calmer waters, suspended in the surface
film, through hackled and foam patterns where the majority of the fly
body is suspended under the water.
Each of these styles (there are many in between), pose problems
for the tier, in that there is a balancing act between the abilities
of each to float, and proportioning the fly properly. How often has it
been that a dry fly that works is too pared down to float
consistently, that after several runs through a pool, or in removing
the slime after catching fish, it sinks, and in changing to a heavier
hackled pattern the fish will not bite? How often have you dried a
fly of fish slime added more floatant and it still sinks?
Fortunately technological breakthroughs have occurred, and you
can now purchase floatants that when applied will make your fly float
virtually indefinitely, the only problem with these floatants is that
they must be applied at least 24 hours before one goes fishing.
These products when applied to the whole fly create a fly that
floats ON the surface film, a fly that floats ON the surface film is
in my mind a fly that has few applications.
I will propose several uses for this floatant, that will allow
you to use this product advantageously, so that you can "custom
dry" your dry flies according to the conditions on a lake or
stream, allowing you more versatility in your fly design, confidently
knowing that they will float, how you want them to.
Now, to create dry flies using the methods I propose, you
must first choose the hackle you wish to use, sizing it and placing
it in rows 14s-16s-18s, and then apply your floatant TO THE HACKLE.
Once you have done this your hackle INCLUDING the stem of the hackle
is virtually impervious to water. At this point you walk away, leaving
the treated hackle for several days so that it can dry thoroughly. For
large fast water flies I like to repeat this process giving each hackle
two coats to ensure maximum float ability of the hackle.
I do this because having treated the hackle in this way I
have confidence that an adequately hackled fly will float, and then I
can create a body for the fly that can be designed to float ON, IN, or
BELOW, the surface film. You can then judiciously apply floatant to the
body of the fly OR NOT and if designed properly your fly will perform
as it should. This method works particularly well with parachute
flies, and emerger patterns.
I can only point you in the right direction with this, as
experimentation is the life blood of our sport, and each of us have
our own ideas of how the flies we create should appear to fish below
the surface of the water, but I can find no disadvantages in using
this method. ~ Nicholas Gaitt (B.C.Nick)
Please check out the Fly Tying Section, on the
Bulletin Board, on FAOL too.
If you have any questions, tips, or techniques; send them along.
Someone else thought up most of this material before we did,
they just forgot to tell anyone about it. Or else we just
forgot about it, while learning something else. Let us
share with each other, all the things we know!
~ Steven H.
McGarthwaite (Chat Room AKA Parnelli)