Trout Tips: Dust your fly

This time of year, when dry-fly fishing is about all I do here on the creeks and streams of the Yellowstone region, I have become a fan of the silica-based fly "dusts" that help soak up water from spent dry flies and give them a second life.

Most of us, when fishing dries, apply that initial coating of a greasy "floatant," and that can work great for a dozen casts or so, or until a hungry trout comes calling. After that, reapplying the floatant is generally pointless. This is where the "dust" or the powder comes in that serves as a desiccant—I use Loon Dust, simply because I trust the company and know that the product is, at worst, environmentally inert. There are other brands, however, and they all generally perform the same service—making wet flies dry again.

Loon Outdoors - Loon Dust

A simple application of the desiccant to a water-logged dry fly can literally keep a fly that's been working all day floating all day, too. But a lot of anglers never think about what this stuff can do on a traditionally wet fly, like a nymph, for instance. Applied near the head of a nymph, the desiccant can give the drifted fly the impression of having that air bubble that a lot of nymphs have as they rise in the water column on the way to actually hatching out. 

Silica desiccant is a handy tool, particularly for dry-fly anglers. Don't get caught on the water without it. 

— Chris Hunt


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