What is Dry-Fly Fishing?
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Dry-fly fishing is the skillful art of presenting an artificial fly on the water surface in imitation of a natural insect. A dry fly is an artificial fly which is designed to be “fished dry“, floating on the water surface. Fishing the dry fly is a most effective and thrilling way to catch trout rising to snatch natural flies at the water surface.

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Fishing the Rise

The aim of “fishing the rise” is to locate a surface-feeding (“rising“) trout and skillfully present the trout with an artificial dry fly. Dry-fly fishing ¬†imitates the appearance and motion of the real flies upon which the trout is feeding.

Note: If you do not have the right artificial dry fly to match the natural flies on the water, offer a dry fly of similar size and color. Take note that matching the size is more important than matching the color.

Fishing the Water

  • When you cannot see the trout rising to feed at the water surface, try “fishing the water“. Cast your fly-line to present the artificial dry fly on areas of water where you expect trout to be lying.
  • A trout may be lying just beneath the water surface.
  • A hungry or inquisitive trout may journey from the water bottom to intercept an artificial dry fly presented enticingly on the water surface.
  • Fishing the water can produce excellent sport.

Tackle Notes

  • Fly fishing tackle suitable for dry-fly fishing on rivers, streams and still waters.
  • Suitable rods, fly fishing rod; about 2.6m (8 1/2 feet) – 2.9m(9 1/2 feet) in length. AFTM line rating in the range AFTM 5-7. For large still-waters, where long distance casts of round 32m (35 yd) may sometimes be necessary. A fly-fishing rod of about 2.9m (9 1/2 feet) – 3m (10 feet) in length, AFTM line rating 7-9, may prove a practical choice.
  • Suitable reels – fly – fishing reel; 89mm (3 1/2 inches) – 102mm (4 inches) in diameter.
  • Suitable fly-lines, include: floating double taper (DT), AFTM 5-7; floating weight forward (WF), AFTM 5-7. For large still waters: floating double taper (DT), AFTM 7-9; floating weight forward (WF). AFTM 7-9.
  • Suitable leader point or tippet breaking-strain strengths: 0.921kg (2 lb) – 4kg (9 lb)
  • Suitable artificial flies : Dry flies; hook sizes: (large) 8/10/12/14/16 (small)
  • Line and fly accessories: “Floatants“, fly-line grease to make your leader line float, and dry-fly oil, paste or spray to help your artificial dry fly float on the water surface.


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