Happy Twanging ...

Happy Twanging ...

I wanted to take a minute today to talk about fly care when fishing, more specifically how to care for your dry flies and present them correctly. The relevance of the above image will become clear at the very end of this email!

All of the flies I've been emailing about for the last month or so have all been dry flies - getting you ready for the dry fly season to start in earnest - so, I thought it was about time to give you a few tips on how to keep them floating.

This email is not at all prescriptive, it's more of a 'this is what works for me' - why not give the tips a try and let me know if works for you?

But first, I want to cover the basics - why we need flies to float in the first place. 

When 'dry fly' fishing the premise is that we are trying to imitate an insect that the fish would expect to see on the surface of the water. These insects appear on the water surface during one of four stages:

  1. When first emerging from their shucks
  2. When sat on the surface waiting for their wings to dry
  3. When returning to the water to lay their eggs; and
  4. When they have died and are floating away on the surface

Each of the above stages can be replicated by the use of potions and powders to allow the fly to sit correctly in the water - for example, an emerging fly needs to sit in the water, rather than on it.

When fishing with dry flies, there are three inexpensive items you use to take care of them and keep them floating:

  1. Something to dry them with
  2. A liquid/gel floatant; and
  3. A powder-based floatant

I'm going to take each one in turn and explain how, and more importantly, why you use them.

We will start with:

Something To Dry Them With

OK, I know, a piece of paper towel or Amadou does just as good a job as virtually anything else, but there is one specific type of paper towel which does the best job ever! It's made from Bamboo (see above), it is so absorbent, doesn't disintegrate and can be machine washed. The only problem is has very recently been difficult to find!

I've been using the one pictured above for the last three or four years and there's nothing which comes close to it - so we bought all the stock we could and have made our own small (roughly 4" x 3") towels with a handy carabiner clip, making them ideal for attaching to your pack/vest. 

We don't sell them individually as they are very 'Heath Robinson' (whoever he was), but we do include them in our Dry Fly Care Kit - which is what this email is all about!

Next, we will move on to:

Liquid/Gel Floatants

A liquid/gel floatant should the the first thing you reach for when the fly comes straight out of your fly box. Liquid/gel floatants are great at covering the fly quickly - just rub a small amount in your fingers and then apply to the fly on the areas which you want to float (usually only the hackle).

Only ever apply a gel/paste/liquid floatant to a fly that is 100% dry - i.e. it's straight out of your fly box and not seen the water that day. Applying this type of floatant to a damp fly will lock in the moisture and not allow it to float.

As you've probably already gathered we are including one of our Rubber Duck Gel floatants in our Dry Fly Care Kit.

Next, we will move on to:

Powdered Floatants

Once you've had a fish, or your fly starts to sink, give it a squeeze between your drying towel or a piece of kitchen roll. Once you've removed the water and the fly is dry you can then freshen up the fly using one of the powder-style floatants. Just brush the powder deep into the feathers and give it a blow to remove any excess.

As you've probably already gathered we are including one of our Weatherby's Powdered floatants in our Dry Fly Care Kit.

*** Keep reading to the end of this email for the best 'Fly Drying' tip I have ever been told - you will be glad you did! ***

As we are about to get into the 'dry fly' season, we thought we would put together a 'Dry Fly Care Kit' that includes all you need to keep your dry flies floating.

Our kit contains:

  • Handmade Drying Towel - made by us from the most absorbent material available (bamboo), these are fantastic at absorbing moisture.
  • Rubber Duck Gel Floatant - Only apply this to your fly when it's straight out of the box and 100% dry - otherwise it will lock moisture in (not keep it out)!
  • Weatherby's Dry Fly Powder - Use this to refresh your fly once it's been dried with your towel. Brush the powder into the feathers to keep your fly afloat.

How to Use Your Kit:

  1. Take your fly from your box.
  2. Apply a little of the Rubber Duck floatant to the fly - you only need a very small amount. Rub the floatant between your fingers and then into the feathers of the fly.
  3. Catch a fish (or if your fly starts to get waterlogged)
  4. Use the Drying Towel to squeeze any water and moisture out of the fly
  5. Brush the Dry Fly Powder into all the feathers of the fly and give it a blow to remove any excess powder
  6. Catch another fish and repeat from step 4.

We've stocked up on all these, so have plenty to go around, our Dry Fly Care Kits are available now for only £17.50 - including FREE delivery. Grab one while you can.

*** Just a gentle reminder that all our products are now shipped FREE OF CHARGE to anywhere ***


Dry Fly Boxes

If you're looking for somewhere to store your nice new dry flies, then look no further, as we have just received some stunning boxes from those fly box masters at Tacky Fly Fishing:

While we’d all love to have a full complement of flies at our disposal at all times, carrying every pattern in the arsenal doesn’t always make sense. For those quick trips to the river after work or just a prospecting mission at your local pond, the Tacky River Mag offers plenty of storage.

The workhorse of the Tacky line, the Original River Mag Fly Box features automatic storage when time is of the essence. Ten compartments provide specialized organization for each type, size, or colour of fly, while silicone walls prevent mixing between distinct patterns. A strong, magnetic base and clear lid mean you'll spend less time fumbling with your fly box and more time on the water.

  • 100% recycled plastic box
  • 10 magnetic storage compartments
  • Original patented silicone anchoring technology
  • Withstands an extreme temperature range
  • Latchless waterproof closure
  • Durable and tested for long-lasting strength
  • Dimensions: 7" x 3.75" x 0.75"
  • 100% Recycled Plastic Box
  • Patented design

Go on, what are you waiting for, buy one and fill it up with our flies!

We've only a few of these (as they are pretty hard to come by) available now for only £34.99 - including FREE delivery. Grab one while you can.


When fishing with dry flies there is one key aspect that the fly angler needs to concentrate on - keeping them afloat!

Keeping your dry flies floating on the water - not in it - is one of the main skills for effective dry fly fishing.

Why not give this Top Tip a go and use the 'Elastic Band' method to remove water from your fly:

  1. Attach an elastic band to your vest/pack.
  2. Hook your fly around the elastic band.
  3. Holding the tippet, pull the fly to stretch the elastic band.
  4. Channel your best Eric Clapton/Jimi Hendrix/[insert favourite guitarist here] and twang the elastic band a few times with your free hand.
  5. This will shed all of the excess water from your fly!

As a special treat, this weekend only, for each Dry Fly Care Kit ordered we will include a Special 'Fly Fishing' Elastic Band for FREE - they're not really that special they only cost us £1 for 50 and you can use them for purposes other than fly fishing!

Tight lines & happy twanging.