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Thread: Dry Fly Fishing in Bad Weather

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Kodak, TN
    Posts
    167

    Default Dry Fly Fishing in Bad Weather

    While out fishing Saturday, the water was very dingy / borderline muddy, it was high and rising and the rain was coming down heavy and in BIG splashing drops. It was tough conditions, but I was making the best of it. I tend to like fishing in heavy rain, and dingy, high water, just not SO "muddy" and not rolling high water. While using the conditions of heavy rain and dingy water to my benefit in a stealthier approach, I tied on heavier flies to get them down and fished the "softer" water. As the water continued to rise, I wound up dead drifting and twitching a black conehead woolybooger to attract strikes from feeding trout, most of which were 10-16" in length.

    Question: As I was fishing, I wondered about other techniques. For the dry fly purists out there, do you still fish in downpours when the rain is so hard and heavy that the surface looks like someone is slinging gravel into the pools? Do you find it harder to keep your flies afloat amidst the heavy bombardment of rain drops? What about dingy water? Can the trout still see and rise to your flies?

    Just wondering....

    Jim Parks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Seymour, TN
    Posts
    17

    Default

    I have caught a bunch of trout on dries in the rain, but I usually don't do it because it's hard enough to track a #16 dry when it's NOT raining haha! I also go fishing for smallmouth on my lunch breaks like 2-4 times a week and poppers/frogs still work great when it's raining. I know poppers are not the same thing as dry flies really, but at least the fish can still pick out a popper on top in a downpour!

    I caught this one on a foam frog popper and it was pretty much pouring rain!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Kodak, TN
    Posts
    167

    Default

    Thanks for the response. It makes sense that the “pop” of a popper would solicit some hits during heavy rain.

    Is it possible to drift a small dry in a downpour & how well can they be seen in dingy water? It seems from my observations that hatches cease during heavy rain as well.

    Just some food for self-thought.

    On the flip side, when the rain hits I get “wound up” and excited for what’s about to happen. I caught my largest Smoky Mtn Brown in a quick, summer cloudburst. She was in less than 2 ft of dingy, rapids below a big pool. When my fly hit the water, the pocket exploded!

    Jim Parks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    NC side of the Smokies
    Posts
    58

    Default

    I have never done well in pouring rain or dingy water with dry flies. When it starts to rain and the water starts to color, I start heavy-ing up my gear and heading for those holes where I think a good brown is laying to drift big nymphs or strip streamers.

    With that said, the biggest fish I ever caught on a dry fly in the park was caught in pretty heavy rain out of Cataloochee on a #10 Beaver Tan dry. A just-shy-of 21" brown. It was also the only fish I caught on the dry after the rain started.
    Specks: the other pink meat.

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