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Why are my dry flies floating on their side?

Joined:
2006/9/23 0:52
From Lock Haven, PA
Posts: 478
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I noticed a lot of my dry flies are floating on their sides instead of the hook point facing down...why is this happening? I'm half tempted to start tying my flies sideways but I feel it maybe be hurting my hook ups and they just aren't floating right. The fish don't seem to mind too much though but I have been missing fish I thought I should have had. I thought the hook from the bend down would weigh too much to stay afloat but thats definitely not the case.

Posted on: 2007/4/27 16:45


Re: Why are my dry flies floating on their side?
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Big John,

I don’t know what type of dry flies you are tying. I’ll cover the three main types:

Catskill flies (hackle would around the hook shank) have to be proportioned right to ride upright – hackle length 11/2 – 2X gap of the hook and tail the length of the shank. When you set it down on a flat surface the bend of the hook should not touch the surface, it should ride a little above.

With parachute flies use hackle 1 hook size larger than used for Catskill flies, also splaying the tails on parachute flies gives it more stability.

With Comparadun dries, the wing should spread 180* around the top of the hook and splayed tails are a must.

Those are the 3 main types of dries and tips for tying. One other thing, your wing may be too long or heavy, that also can cause the fly to ride sideways. Hope that helps – good luck!

Posted on: 2007/4/27 17:11


Re: Why are my dry flies floating on their side?
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If you are tying Catskill dries, pay attention to the length and weight of the wings. If they are too long or too thick, the weight will pull the fly over.

Posted on: 2007/4/27 18:00
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Padraic
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Re: Why are my dry flies floating on their side?

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I'm talking about my traditional/Catskill style and I use mostly burnt hen hackle wings for most of my patterns and I do splay or split the tails. I'm just really confused on what I'm doing wrong because I never noticed this before with my flies.

Posted on: 2007/4/27 19:45


Re: Why are my dry flies floating on their side?
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Then afishianado's advice about the hackle is worth looking at. If the hackle is oversized or uneven it can cause some severe problems.

Posted on: 2007/4/27 20:29
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Padraic
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Re: Why are my dry flies floating on their side?

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2006/9/11 13:05
From Lewistown
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big john,
My suggestion would be to look at the hackle. An easy fix is to trim about a 1/16th of an inch off on the bottom of the fly; or at least any long fibers. I use whiting 100's and occassionally get a long fiber that throws every thing off. After trimming set it on your desk and like previously said the hook bend should just be off the table. If the fly still tips, the wings are probably too long.

Posted on: 2007/4/27 22:36
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Re: Why are my dry flies floating on their side?
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Big John,

Watch your proportions and the size and weight of your wings for Catskill flies and learn to tie them well.

Also, I find my success increases during hatches using parachutes and comparaduns. I fish 80% of the time with those types flies and 20% with traditional Catskill flies. I find myself using the traditional flies when employing movement to the fly, since when properly tied, the hook bend does not bite into the water since the fly rides ON the film, which makes it easier to move without creating a wake.

Most of the time the lower riding parachutes and comparaduns seem to give the fish a more realistic profile riding IN the film. Also tie some of your patterns with an Antron shuck instead of a tail. That sometimes triggers strikes when conventionally tailed flies of the same pattern aren’t working.

BJ – think of it this way – the glass is half full, since you have mastered tying crippled duns that ride on their side! Good luck – good fishing.

Posted on: 2007/4/28 8:45


Re: Why are my dry flies floating on their side?
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Quote:
Also, I find my success increases during hatches using parachutes and comparaduns. I fish 80% of the time with those types flies and 20% with traditional Catskill flies. I find myself using the traditional flies when employing movement to the fly, since when properly tied, the hook bend does not bite into the water since the fly rides ON the film, which makes it easier to move without creating a wake.


I agree with everything Afishianado said, especially paragraph 3. I did want to add a footnote to the paragraph above. I mostly agree with it. However some hatches, such as baetis, seem to do better with the Catskill tie. My theory is that some bugs sit higher off the surface film than others.

Posted on: 2007/4/28 9:13
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Padraic
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Re: Why are my dry flies floating on their side?
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Pad,

Baetis ride higher? Interesting – I’ll give some BWO Catskill ties vs. parachutes a try and see what happens.

Another Catskill tie that works well is a March Brown. They seem to be very active on the water when hatching. I always keep a few heavily hackled Catskill MBs with me at all times. Many times employing movement will catch fish, while they will totally ignore a dead drift. Observe the naturals and try controlled movement with any hatch, but a little movement with a high riding March Brown has worked for me many times.

For major hatches I usually keep a few traditional and a few parachute and/or comparaduns ties for the hatch and let the fish decide.

Pad - thanks for the Baetis observation – I’ll give it a try.

Posted on: 2007/4/28 9:49


Re: Why are my dry flies floating on their side?

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2006/9/23 0:52
From Lock Haven, PA
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Thanks for all the info...I think I might be tying up some more parachutes instead of the catskill style. I like tying parachutes but I'm not a fan of comparadun styles...never have been and honestly don't think I ever will be except for maybe during a spinner fall. I'm going to tie up some hendricksons today and take them out and see how they do for me this afternoon parachute style.

Posted on: 2007/4/28 10:56


Re: Why are my dry flies floating on their side?
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I definately agree on the MB. I'm not sure why, but the traditional Catskill tie works best for me... even though I think the colors are all wrong!

Posted on: 2007/4/29 6:55
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Padraic
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Re: Why are my dry flies floating on their side?
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I don't think much of the comparadun styles either. But give this pattern a try:
http://shop.flyfishing.about.com/fly_archive/details/1473.htm

I've found that the local flyshops around here have snowshoe in a variety of colors, white, dun, dark dun, tan etc and varying the colors allows you to imitate a number of hatches. It makes a great rusty spinner (just use rusty spinner dubbing for the body)that is very tough and floats like a cork.

Posted on: 2007/4/29 7:00
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Padraic
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Re: Why are my dry flies floating on their side?

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2006/9/10 7:44
From Enola, Pa.
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I love comparadun style flies, always my first choice!

Posted on: 2007/4/29 7:44


Re: Why are my dry flies floating on their side?
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John,

Don't give up on the catskill ties. Good info so far. I'll give my two cents which may reiterate some previous posts.

First, trouble shoot the ties you have done. Take one and drop it a foot from the table. It should come to rest on the table upright (I know, it won't). but look at it closely. and ask these questions....

Q. ) Is the hook touching the table or would it if it were upright.

If the hook is or would be touching the table, the the tail may be too short or too "wispy".

Tails; Use a stiff dry fly hackle barb for tails, about the length of the hook shank (eye to bend. ) Short tails cause the hook point to ridr too low and tips over the fly.

Q. ) Is the hackle sized properly?

The hackle along with the tail should provide a support span for the hook point. If the tails are long enough, the hackle may be too short. If both are the proper length the hook point, (being the heaviest part of the fly) will act as a plum bob and balance or steady the fly upright.

I'v never seen wings tip a fly over. but if they are balanced over the hook shank you shouldn't be having a problem. Just be sure they are not too much longer than the hackle once finished.

The profile of a catskill tie is dependent on the hook point to steady the fly upright. If you eliminate the obstructions, it will do the job itself.

Again, you should be able to drop you fly from a foot or two and it should fall into a "three point stance" like a football lineman. If it don't see why not using the above information.

Maurice

Posted on: 2007/4/29 8:22
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Re: Why are my dry flies floating on their side?

Joined:
2006/9/18 8:28
From Attitudinally, one mile south of Lake LeBoeuf
Posts: 855
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>>Why are my dry flies floating on their side?>>

Do you have any inner ear problems that might manifest themselves as transitory epidodes of vertigo? This can mimic the notion that your fly is floating on its side, when actually it is you that is sideways...:)

I only mention this because it happened to me..

Posted on: 2007/4/29 10:39



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