Few things will get fly fisherman as excited as the prospect of a good day of dry fly fishing on a beautiful trout stream. And for good reason.

For some, the prospect of watching trout rise to the surface to take your dry fly is the pinnacle of our sport. Few things compare to the pleasure of watching it happen: The rise, the hookset, the fight, and eventually releasing the fish – are all part of what makes dry fly fishing so enjoyable.

What you see is what it's all about

  • At its most basic, dry fly fishing is the attempt by fisherman to present a floating fly on the surface of the water so a fish is convinced it’s a natural, free floating insect.
  • At its most complicated, dry fly fishing is an attempt to precisely replicate a specific stage of an insects’ life by presenting a fly on the surface of the water that matches its color, shape, and size.
  • It’s the most visual form of fly fishing. You’ll locate a fish by seeing it rise, then present the fly to the same spot and hope the fish is convinced it’s another free meal floating by. Watching the rise and setting the hook at just the right time are skills that take time and experience to master.

How do you do it?

Rigging up for dry fly fishing is one of the easiest ways to get ready for a day on the water

  • Grab your favorite fly rod. It may range from a 3WT to a 6WT, but you’ll want a shorter and lighter rod to help with the delicate presentation dry-fly fishing requires.
  • Use a tapered 9’ leader. Try ones measuring 3X or 4X.
  • Depending on the situation, tie on your tippet on to the end of the leader.
  • Most times, 4X tippet is fine
  • For spooky or selective fish, tie on a 5X-8X tippet
  • Use your preferred fly-to-leader knot to secure the fly and cast away

Patience is crucial when setting up to fish for rising trout. Take your time. Fishing a dry fly hatch can be hard work. Practice until you find the right drift and right fly.

Once you find the right combination of drift and fly, you can catch fish after fish and build some of the most lasting memories ever found in trout fishing.