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High riding fly floatant

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 06/26/2011 (7145 reads)
apocalpsenow.j"I love the smell of napalm in the morning." That was the first thing that ran through my mind when Bill Dryflyguy shared with me his fly floatant. See we were on the Little J and Dryflyguy was kind enough to put me into a good spot on the water. He even shared with me his sulphur fly that he matched with the hatch coming off at the time. The big treat was the addition of some of his fly flotant.

He broke out this little bottle and offered to give the fly a little extra life on the water. I am always up for something new and took him up on the offer. Bill quickly explained that this was based on old recipe of lighter-fluid and Mucilin Paste. I thought it may be prudent to hold off on that evening cigar until things dried off.

If you are not familiar, Mucilin Paste is a both a line and dry fly dressing that is found in most every fly shop in the world. A staple on its own for many.

I gave my sulphur a ride that night and my fly stayed up probably 4 times longer than with my normal choices of Gink or Frog's Fanny. It really worked well. The fishing was pretty damn good too.

Bill and I took a little time to discuss the recipe that actually has been around for quite some time. George Harvey has been closely connected to putting this together.

Quickly after the trip I rounded up some napalm lighter-fluid and red Mucilin. It is pretty easy to put this together with about an ounce of lighter-fluid and Mucilin. Not much Mucilin needed and too much will just leave a white film on the fly. So start off with a 1/4 teaspoon and mix it up. It will mix in after a bit. A good container with a tight lid is a probably the most important part of the equation.

You can test a few flies before you go out flyfishing and as I did with Bill while on the stream. Comments and ideas welcome.

Light em up if you got em! Well only after your fly dries first.
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Published: 2011/6/26 22:53  Updated: 2011/6/26 22:53
Joined: 10/11/2009
From: Southeastern Pa
Comments: 216
 Re: High riding fly floatant
are you required to yell "incoming!" or "fire in the hole!" before casting? I'll just yell it anyway cuz its funny.
Published: 2011/6/26 22:54  Updated: 2011/6/26 22:54
Joined: 10/11/2009
From: Southeastern Pa
Comments: 216
 Re: High riding fly floatant
oh and not to be picky but I believe it's "staple" not "stable"... may be I'm wrong...
Published: 2011/6/27 0:42  Updated: 2011/6/27 0:42
Joined: 09/21/2006
From: Pittsburgh
Comments: 827
 Re: High riding fly floatant
After putting time and effort into getting a dry fly just right, it always seemed like a shame to me, to go and matte up the hackles with some thick, gooey floatant. And I don't think that any of that stuff floats the fly all that well anyway.
So, I started using a liquid type called orvis super float. Just a quick dunk of the fly , and off you go. And flies treated with that stuff floated like a cork.
Unfortunately, it contained a carcinogen - and Orvis quit making it.
So, I decided to give this home made stuff a try - after reading about it in one of George Harvey's books.
And though it's not quite as good as that old super float, it still works better than all of the other floatants currently on the market IMO.

One drawback to it however, is when you fish in cold weather. The stuff will get quite thick in temps under 50 degrees or so. To counter this, I just keep the bottle in my shirt pocket so that it's closer to my body heat. And that keeps it fluid.
Published: 2011/6/27 7:34  Updated: 2011/6/27 7:34
Joined: 09/24/2009
From: Montgomery County
Comments: 38
 Re: High riding fly floatant
Not to put a damper on your recipe, but lighter fluid has a few carcinogens as well.
Published: 2011/6/27 8:58  Updated: 2011/6/27 8:58
Joined: 09/09/2006
From: Gettysburg
Comments: 439
 Re: High riding fly floatant
"Charlie don't surf!"
Published: 2011/6/27 17:26  Updated: 2011/6/27 17:26
Joined: 07/03/2007
Comments: 10
 Re: High riding fly floatant
THey had a similar concoction at a fly shop in Montana last year. They called their home made concotion "Fly-agra".
Published: 2011/6/27 21:14  Updated: 2011/6/27 21:15
Joined: 10/15/2009
From: Dispositionally, one mile south of Lake LeBoeuf
Comments: 303
 Re: High riding fly floatant
Back in the 80's, Orvis marketed what was almost certainly a combination of TCE (trichloroethane, a dry cleaning fluid and general industrial solvent) and silicone. They called it "Superfloat" and it worked fantastically. You dipped your waterlogged or fish-slimed fly once in the stuff, false cast once to evaporate the TCE and leave the silicone and away you went, high floating down the line. But by the mid-80's. it was gone and no longer available. I don;'t know whether Orvis got environmentally conscious or if they started getting complaints from people who had newborns with three eyes...

TCE is pretty nasty stuff, a known carcinogen. During my summers in college, i worked in a copper mill. I swept floors and helped out where necessary. A lot fo the stuff we swept up was lubricants from the cold draw extrusion process and it really gunked the brooms up.
But we had a big vat of TCE. Dip the broom once and it was clean as a whistle.

I think I'll stick with my green Mucilin, Frog's Fanny and fake chamois cloth. I don't need another eye...
Published: 2011/6/27 23:10  Updated: 2011/6/27 23:28
Joined: 09/21/2006
From: Pittsburgh
Comments: 827
 Re: High riding fly floatant
Frogs Fanny has a warning on it's bottle - saying not to breathe any of it. That would be pretty hard to do IMO - unless you wear a filter mask - because it just seems to fly around everywhere when you dab it on the fly. They also tell you to wash your hands after handling it. I guess it's not completely kosher either.

FWIW - mucilin also makes a liquid floatant that you dunk the whole fly in. I've used it too, but don't think it works quite as well as the home made stuff.
I also have no idea what it's composed of either
Published: 2011/6/29 6:34  Updated: 2011/6/29 6:35
Joined: 09/13/2006
From: Tioga co. formerly of bucks co.
Comments: 355
 Re: High riding fly floatant
reason i only use "Jack's Flystuff" all natural and floats em like a cork. permanent.
Published: 2011/7/1 9:19  Updated: 2011/7/1 9:19
Joined: 03/25/2007
From: Central Jersey
Comments: 6
 Re: High riding fly floatant

I fished with Bill on a very rainy day last year on the Delaware. I had a very difficult time floating a fly that day, more trouble than I ever recall having using FF and Aquel.

Bill did not experience the difficulties I was having so early this year I queried as to his magic formula. I mixed some up, and I have never had a fly float as well.

Yes, the stuff is flammable. Yes, it requires a good container. And yes, there are probably some things we should not be breathing. But I will recommend this mixture highly. It works great.

Nice pic of Bill at the top, maybe next time he will put his shirt on.

Published: 2011/7/3 12:34  Updated: 2011/7/3 12:34
Joined: 02/21/2010
From: Solanco, PA
Comments: 9
 Re: High riding fly floatant
if your not even suppose to breath it in, why would you want to subject a fish to put it in its mouth if your gonna c&r? just asking, seems weird.
Published: 2011/7/3 12:36  Updated: 2011/7/3 12:36
Joined: 12/28/2008
Comments: 4
 Re: High riding fly floatant
I fish a good bit with Dryflyguy and his formula does work well especially in the rain. I am set to convert as the Frogsfanny has definitely been breathed and the effects are not comfortable. It is extremely important to have a good bottle to carry it in, I recommend an old glass bottle that is used contain head cement that seal thoroughly after continuous use.

It is true that lighter fluid contains carcinogens but then so does gasoline, something I am having trouble avoiding. I suspect, like most things, if this is used carefully and the fly is allowed to dry thoroughly before presentation the overall negative effect will be comparatively nil.
Published: 2011/7/6 14:55  Updated: 2011/7/6 14:55
Joined: 02/27/2009
From: either at the tying desk or on the river
Comments: 17
 Re: High riding fly floatant
I keep my Mucilin formula in a Sally Hansen Hard As Diamonds nail polish bottle after I've used it all as a head cement and cleaned the bottle with acetone. The brush makes a neat applicator. I hope Oboma's EPA doesn't find out.

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