Do you sink your dryfly leader?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by tinman207, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. tinman207 Active Member

    Posts: 137
    Ratings: +104 / 0
    I was just watching an old fly fishing video produced in the UK in the 90's. It was pretty funny watching these guys land big old trout and then club them with metal clubs and pile then on the bank. Anyhow, one guy was rigging up a dry fly and said the most important thing in fishing dry fly's is put floatant on the fly and a sinking agent on the leader. I had never heard this, and was always taught to dab some gink on the fly and then run my fingers up the leader to float it as well. His rational was that fish see a leader on top of the water and not when it is submerged. Is this a convention I was just never taught? It makes pretty good sense to me, but I have been on guided floats where the guides were putting floatant on the leader like I was taught. Just wondering what others do.
  2. miyawaki Active Member

    Posts: 3,213
    Kent, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +839 / 1
    Most nylon leaders will float or at most, sink ever so slightly. A light coating of river mud will help break the surface tension. On the other hand, flourocarbon leaders will sink. They sink enough to pull down flies in stillwater. I never use flourocarbon for my dry fly work. Most importantly, I like the "stretch" of light nylon tippets to help cushion strikes.

    Leland.
  3. Richard Olmstead BigDog

    Posts: 2,486
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +786 / 0
    Anything floating in the surface film will refract light differently from a smooth surface, so a floating tippet will certainly create a visible distortion. Whether this is sufficient to prevent a fish from taking a floating fly is the question. I suspect that there might be some circumstances where it could, and many where it will have no affect. If the surface is glassy smooth it is more likely to be a problem.
    D
  4. FlyinFish Active Member

    Posts: 126
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +77 / 0
    That's why I like to use FC with my dries - sink the line. I feel like the line sitting in the surface tension is worse than being barely submerged. Also, FC is a bit more abrasion resistant, and I really like it when fishing nasty, bushy creeks with tight quarters. This all comes at the cost of the stretchyness and suppleness Leland mentioned. It's a trade-off.

    But I only do this on the TIPPET, not the whole leader. sinking the whole leader any more than it already does will make getting drag free drifts really difficult.

    I've known folks that like to use FC for this reason, and I've also known guides who fish very technical 12' leader, size 22 dry, downstream presentation type of water and they hate FC. I guess it's all about how you personally fish and present the dry...
  5. Chad Lewis NEVER wonder what to do with your free time

    Posts: 881
    TriCities, WA
    Ratings: +152 / 0
    There's a new-ish book out called "What a Trout Sees". The authors state that without question trout see the leader and tippet all the time, no matter what line you're using or what the presentation is. Still hard to say what might look spookier to the fish but tippet size is ruled out as far as hiding the tippet. Smaller tippet might mean a more natural presentation, and that's certainly worth going for. Whether or not a floating leader spooks fish might be a concern. I've also heard folks say that you gotta sink your tippet to fish dries, but you're gonna sacrifice presentation in moving water. Definitely easier to sink the leader in stillwater and make a good presentation.