Improve Your Wade Fishing with Dry Flies // Powerhour Tip of the Week

July 18, 2019

Dry fly fishing, especially while wading, is the heart and soul of this great sport.  Just think about it, your feet are wet and you can feel the energy of the river right there against your legs.  You are stalking your prey and attempting to surgically dissect the stream with a mix of patience, accuracy, and efficiency.  Use a hunter's mindset.  This is not a game to the trout.  Moving your way upstream quietly and efficiently is critical. You must go find the trout in this scenario.

The problem is that most beginner to intermediate anglers don't efficiently work their way upstream when fishing fishing either smaller waters (smaller than a 2 lane highway) or an inside bend.  most can cast ok once the line is worked out to a critical threshold of 25-30', but making cast after cast while moving your feet is very tough.  That's where my "roll cast recovery tip" comes in.

You need to cover country in order to be effective with dry flies because if trout are going to eat your dry fly it is typically the first presentation, with the exception to this rule being a hatch with actively feeding trout on the surface and your bug is competing with naturals for their attention. 

Additional Tips for Better Upstream Dry Fly Fishing

  • Leaders should be a minimum of 7.5' long for creeks, 9' long for mid sized water (think single lane country road), and possibly up to 12' long for flat water spring creeks.  4X - 5X tippet is the norm.  Use new leaders, knotless, and make sure they are straight (not coiled up).
  • Keep your feet moving, but do so quietly. Trout are prey, never forget this.
  • If your goal is to catch a nice trout, do so with the absolute minimum of casts.  I've guided for 20 years and will tell you, less casting but better casting is FAR more effective.
  • Use and learn the video tip here, it's how every pro and expert angler I see approaches fish upstream.

Suggested Gear for Dry Fly Fishing Upstream


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