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Fly Floatant Review

For many anglers, fly fishing floatant is an afterthought. It's something you goop on your dry fly or yarn indicator and if you're into Slamminflies or Hopper droppers, just about any goop will do. But what if you're into more technical, dry fly fishing. You've spent hundreds, heck mucho thousands of pesos. When you get to the spring creek, western river or world class dry fly lake, you can't see your damn fly cause it's sunk. Oh wait, you're not using your floatant properly or you need to use Amadou or some other horse crap.

The fact is, for small dry flies (#14 or smaller) tied with deer hair, CDC and even foam, most floatant are only good for a couple of floats and/or fish before your fly turns into a greasy glop. Chances are, your greasy floatant is also performing another insidious act. It's accumulating micro debris. Slowly. but most definitely, it is sinking with every perfect cast. Finally, it reaches the point where all dry fly fishers disdain. "I can't see my damn fly". This is the embryonic stage where bobber fishermen are born. This is the point of no return. Most were looking for an excuse anyways. Now they cast, plus or minus whatever, and dredge up trout to their heart's content. You love it, your guides love it and if you look up and down the river, everything's Kombaya. Whoopee.

I would like you to consider this before you fall into fly fishing obscurity. Buy a dry fly floatant that works where you can actually see your fly at any distance even after multiple fish have been taken. You say you're using a good floatant now. I've used it, in real use circumstances, extensively. It was and is part of my job. To see through my video lens, zoomed in, at a floating dry fly. You say you use Dry Fly magic or some other bro-bra pleasing dope. To some extent, they do work, but I also say you must change your fly a lot.

A few years ago I experimented with the liquid hydrophobic desiccants. Every Alcohol, Acetone, Hexane blend mixed with Hydrophobic silicate you can think of. The reason I did this was to produce a similar liquid floatant that is the best available ... bar none! The other reason I tried to reproduce this outstanding product is it can be very expensive unless you figure out how to use it properly.

This wonder product has been out for years but most fly fisher's know it in its powder form, Shimizaki Dry Shake. This hydrophobic silicate powder is the same as Frogs Fanny, all great products but there's something better or I should say more specific. The powder works great in conjunction with all the other goop out there. Especially on the larger dry flies. For my purposes, I haven't used the powder addendum in years and I single dry fly fish 95% of the time. I strictly use Shimizaki Dry Shake Liquid.

As I mentioned, Shimizaki Dry Shake Liquid is expensive when used incorrectly. It should be used in moderation and by that I mean "by the drop". Most anglers that have discovered this liquid gold, take their fly and dunk it in the jar. Do that say 6 to 12 times each outing and your jar is gone within weeks. Instead, buy yourself a dropper bottle. Not the glass bulb squeezers but the Euro dropper. I don't know about you but when trout are rising all about, I don't have time to mess with shit. The Shimzaki Dry Shale Liquid combined with the Euro dropper makes quick work in adding floatant to your fly and the liquid comes with a hydrophobic powder mixture so dusting on additional powder is not necessary. You must wait about 30 seconds for the liquid to do it's magic (unless you're a Type A) but now you have a fly that actually floats and BONUS you can see your fly!

On June 1, 2017, I was out on Hebgen lake fly fishing from the shore. It was day 4 of the "first of the year" Callibaetis hatch. The forecast was the typical late morning winds. Well, right when the emergence began, the wind arrived. Double digit winds. Mayflies are hesitant to emerge when there's heavy chop on the surface especially early spring. I decided to check out my new Echo Dry fly rod and see how it casts with a heavy wind. So I put on my CDC Callibaetis Emerger even though the emergence had ceased and admired how my Callibaetis pattern was floating and visible in the lake chop. For the next hour, I had 4 takes one was after a 20-minute float. A couple of things came to mind, 1) I couldn't believe how well my emerger was floating in that kind of chop and 2) I thought, so this is bobber fishing (without the hanging nymph) and with that thought, I called up my dogs and said "enough of this crap, we're out of here"


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