Author: Will Rice
Hang ‘em high and dry
The stone flies started popping and suddenly it looked as if the sky was full of small helicopters. I dug into my box and pulled out the biggest stone imitation I could find and fished around for my floatant. The good news is that I had a couple of stimulator patterns that would do the trick; the bad news is that I had left my floatant in another pack.
The first fish crushed my fly and took it right to the bottom of the hole. I put this in the good news category. The bad news was the next time I made a cast, my fly wobbled in the kill zone for a few seconds and then proceeded to sink. I dried the fly on my shirt the best I could and then aired it out with two or three false casts. It floated…. but not the way I knew it would if I hadn’t forgot my gear.
Fast forward a few days. I’m prone to making rookie mistakes, but I rarely make them twice. This time around, after listening to my shop cohorts rant about the merits of greasing a line and a fly with Loon’s Payette Paste, I showed up to school prepared and willing to try something new.
When you are fishing small or high elevation creeks, the presentation zone can be pretty small. You need the right cast and just as importantly, the right drift. And when that drift needs to be short and accurate, having a fly that is going to ride high and dry on the water can be the difference between catching fish, and not catching fish. Here is a system that works, because after all, it is called dry-fly-fishing for a reason:
1) Take the Loon Payette Paste and apply a small portion to your thumb and index finger. Rub the body of the fly thoroughly prior to it hitting the water. Then move to the rest of the fly (hair, rubber legs, etc) and make sure you have it greased up. Don’t over do it or you’re going to sink your bug like the titanic.
2) Now move to your leader. Grease your thumb and index finger and apply it to the entire length of your tippet and leader.
3) Fly line time – repeat the same process to 12”-18” of your fly line (just above where it connects to your leader).
4) Commence fishing.
Once your bug has been dunked a few times by browns, brookies, rainbows or cuts, dry it off on your shirt. Now it is time for the Shimazaki Dry Shake. Pop it open, push in your fly, shake it…. Remove it. Fish.
This one-two combo can be the difference between catching fish or not catching fish… or maybe the difference between catching a few fish and a whole bunch of fish. Hang 'em high... and keep 'em dry.