View Full Version : How to fish small dry flies?!?

10-27-2006, 11:20 AM
OK this may be a stupid question, but how do you fish a small dry fly? I'm talking about small Blue Wing Olives in size 16 - 18. How do you see your fly?

10-27-2006, 11:24 AM
You guess where it is and watch for a splash.

10-27-2006, 11:45 AM
Good question Griff,

Agree with first post. Also, a good question is what kind of water you will be fishing? Ripples-forget about it! useless you are really lucky.. Short casts are the order of the day, on smaller water, in small pools,pocket water and runs. We are talking delicate presentations and stealth! This is FF at it's greatest-IMO. Also, use a floatant...
Good luck....DryFly1

10-27-2006, 11:48 AM
And if you happen to miss the hook-up on the splash you"ve just donated a $2.00 fly to that big Hemlock behind you. That's what makes fishing the GSMNP such a wonderful sport! I love it though!!!!!! slickrock

10-27-2006, 01:27 PM
well, you could use a parachute bwo, that could help. sunlight conditons on the water play the biggest part for me. I almost always wear polarized glasses, which I think are a must when when wading and spotting fish, but I've learned that in certain light I can see the fly better without them. sometimes better with them. I sometimes wear them on end of my nose like reading glasses so i can either glance down through them or quickly look above them. also, you could just use a bigger fly. the more I fish, the more I'm starting to realize that I can get away with breaking just about any rule as long as I'm confident, the fly is presented nicely,and I'm stealth. I learned this from a friend who fishes with a generic rod he bought from walmart, wears old army surplus camo pants with a black tshirt (no waders) combat boots, and fishes year round 99% with the biggest, gaudiest yellow stimulator he can tie, with an occasional adams or yellow humpy. he always catches more and bigger fish than I do.

10-27-2006, 02:34 PM
I tie my small dries with a visible wing. I've gone to parachutes with most my dry flies and use "High Vis" or turkey flats for my posts. I tie with the "color for the pattern" for most of the flies, then tie some with green, yellow, orange posts. My old eyes have problems with locating any size dry fly at certain times and places on streams. *When I hit a problem time, I just switch to a color post that is visible. Poloroids help also. I carry an Amber set in my vest which can be a big help.
Randy Sale

10-27-2006, 04:34 PM
Great question in that I have always wondered if other people were better at seeing the smaller dries than I am. I have never fished with anyone else since I have moved to TN and have had trouble on certain days to see my fly.

I have learned through trial and error that most everything that you guys have said about how to combat the problem is correct. Especially the quote about just guessing where it is and looking for a splash. Nothing has beat that one yet other than the amber colored shades.

Keep Guessing...

10-27-2006, 04:38 PM
he always catches more and bigger fish than I do.

I appreciate the compliment ::). *You'll catch some big ones some day. ;D

10-28-2006, 12:05 AM
I carry a pair of cheap amber colored Polaroids in my vest or backpack. I use them on low light overcast days, or with the early evening glare (esp. in the West), they are JUST AS EFFECTIVE under certain conditions as the grey lens are on bright days. Bill Dance and/or Jimmy Houston recommended them for certain light conditions for the hardware tossers on their TV programs. I tried it and it helps me ;)

A Suggestion-- I hardly ever fly fish without wearing some type of eye protection. I feel naked without it. My dentist who flyfishes showed me a picture of a fly in a person's eyeball.
Randy Sale

10-29-2006, 02:34 AM
Well as someone who fishes 18-22's on a regular basis, I suggest a larger more visible lead fly.
IE Stimulator or an Elk Hair Caddis. There is no law that says that you can't fish two dries.
The stimulator will allow you to get a better approximation of where your dropper be it wet or dry is located. I think the important thing to remember is to keep your loops a little more open in a two fly rig. If you need to fish long leaders and small dries. I'll even throw on a palsa pinch on indicator to fish smaller less visible flies. There are somedays where trout don't seem to mind a bright indicator parachute post. But if they are keyed in on those little bwo's and they are refusing your offering, I'll tie on a more natural colored dun and fish it with a taught line from an upstream position.

Just my $.02

10-30-2006, 12:52 PM
Thanks for the replies and suggestions guys. I think I will try Duke's suggestion and use a stimulator for a lead fly and the BWO as a "dropper". I've been useing the guess and watch for a splash method but thought there had to be a better way. I'm just gald to hear that I'm not the only one that can't see a small BWO floating down the stream. :)