Dry Flies

Dry flies, often called floating flies, are designed to float. They are tied with materials that naturally repel water and on light hooks to reduce their weight. They are often coated with a paste or powder to assist buoyancy. The preferred way to fish a dry fly is to cast it upstream and allow it to float back downstream while retrieving the line just fast enough to keep it in control.


Floating Flies book by Frederic M. Halford (1886)

Without question, the world’s pioneer of dry flies was Frederic M. Halford of England. His complete expertise on the subject is evident in his 1886 book “Floating Flies and How To Dress Them”. Over the many years of practicing his craft on the Chalk Streams of Southern England, Mr. Halford wrote this and other books which detail the insects he fashioned his flies after, the various materials he used, how to dye the materials to the desired color shade, the steps used to tie the flies, and how to fish them.

You can browse this book online by clicking here.

The Notes and Letters of Theodore Gordon

The principal creator of the structure and style of the American imitation trout fly was Theodore Gordon. He is the one who introduced and adapted the dry fly to the United States around 1908. The style he created has become known as Catskills style since is was developed for the rapid streams in the Catskill Mountains of Central New York. The first fly he created is adorned with his name, the Quill Gordon.

Mr. Gordon developed his style through correspondence with the pioneers of the dry fly in England. He was also a prolific writer and drafted many notes on the subject. A collection of his writings was published in 1949 and carries the long title “The Complete Fly Fisherman: The Notes and Letters of Theodore Gordon”.

You can browse this book online by clicking here.

Halford Dry Fly Collection

This collection contains dry flies tied in style developed and documented by Frederic M. Halford. These flies were designed to imitate insects commonly found on the Chalk Streams in Southern England.

Catskills Dry Fly Collection

This collection contains dry flies tied in the Catskills style developed by Theodore Gordon. The key features are distinctly divided wings, a generous amount of rooster hackle, and long tails. These features help to keep the fly on top of the water especially in fast-flowing streams of the Catskill Mountains in New York.

Drake Mayfly Collection

This collection contains Drake mayfly dry flies that are similar to Catskills dry flies but have an added level of realism. They have larger wings, known as Wally Wings, and more texture to the abdomens. We’ve designed these flies to imitate several species of natural Drake (Greek for Dragon) mayflies. They do indeed resemble little dragons!

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