Trouts Journal

Why You Need Dry Shake

Ivan Orsic / Sep 10, 2015

We've been talking alot about fishing dry flies lately and for good reason-- they're catching ALOT of fish right now. We've all waited months and month (or at least I have) for the opportunity to hit the river and not have to dig out a thingamabobber. Whether it's the Tricos, Hoppers, PMD's, Caddis, BWO's or Yellow Sallies, there's still a lot of reason out there for the fish to keep their eyes staring at the surface. We've been sending a lot of customers out the door lately with boxes full of these aforementioned feathered floating replicas (based off our advice, which thank you for taking) yet many of them are failing to take some of our other advice. When asked, "Do you have any dry shake?" the quite frequent rebuttal has been "No I dont' need that".


Dry flies are designed to just what the name implies- stay dry. And a fly that stays dry equals a fly that stays floating which equals a fly that hopefully gets eaten by a trout or ten. So here's where the dry shake comes into play. Once your fly starts to sink, gets eaten by a trout and therefore sunk and slimy, or encounters any other possible sitation that may cause for buoyancy to be at bay, don't just instantly reach for the Gink. While gel type floatants (Loon Aquel, Gink, Bug Butter, etc) all have a very important place in the dry fly anglers bag of goodies, there is a very important FIRST step that needs to be added to your routine. Pull out your container of dry shake, open the lid, place your now soaked dry fly into the white powdery contents while still connected to your tippet, close the lid (I don't personally snap the lid closed, yet just 'hold' the lid closed) and give it 10-12 shakes. Your fly will be jostled around inside and all those little white crystaline powders will work their way into the hackles, fibers and furs of your fly and VOILA, come out completely dry. Once this is complete, give the fly a shake/blow on it to remove any access powders. Then and only then is it time to reach for the Gink. I'm sure some of you may have noticed that applying a gel floatant to a soaked fly really doesn't help the cause. Lastly, I can assure you that adding some dry shake to your program will work much better than the old "squeeze the fly in the bottom of your shirt to dry it off" technique that we've all been seen ourselves do in the past.

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