It’s summer and you're getting the dry fly box in order. You have tiny emergers, a range of beetles and of course, the big stuff. Here's how to keep them floating...
1: Keep them off the water. Instead of wading upstream, dragging your fly behind you in the river, hold your fly in your hand (hook point out) until you're ready to cast.
2: False cast. This is one of the better uses of false casting. A flick or two will disappear much of the water amongst the hackle and that clinging to the more porous materials. Ensure you false cast away from the fish to avoid spooking it with water spray.
3. Rubycell fly drier. Simply squeeze your fly between one of these from C&F to suck away moisture.
Aquel is a premium, all-purpose floatant which waterproofs your fly and sticks better than other products. Simply squeeze a tiny amount onto your finger tip and work through the hackle, wings and tail of your fly.
Lochsa is a premium gel floatant which works well on all flies and materials including CDC. It won't gunk finer hackles or mat hair wings like other gels.
Both Aquel and Lochsa are temperature stable (ie, won’t liquefy and empty the entire bottle in one squeeze on hot days) and being silicone based will not leave an oily slick on the water around your fly.
Top Ride is a general purpose dry fly powder floatant / desiccant which both sucks moisture from waterlogged or slimed flies and indicators. The wide mouth on the pottle makes it easy to drop larger flies in and simply shake them dry. Use this once your flies are wet to give them new life
Loon Dust is a finer form of Top Ride which comes with an applicator brush. Use Dust to revive wet CDC, or smaller, finer hackles.
May the rise be with you!