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Rusty Shackleford

My hackled flies won't float...

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I've been tying quite a few dries lately and not I wish I had taken the time to test one here and there... I decided to try a couple randomly by dropping them into a glass of water to see how they'd float and it turns out not very well at all. Even my stimulators and elk hair caddis, the only thing that really seems to keep them afloat is their wing, I'll include some photos, I'd love to hear your thoughts on what the problem could be. 

 

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Those flies look great, I can't believe they don't float. Are you using a light hook?

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36 minutes ago, niveker said:

Those flies look great, I can't believe they don't float. Are you using a light hook?

They are all tied on Allen dry fly hooks and I tried floatant as well... It's very baffling. 

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Odd.  I'd take @skeet3t's advice while trying them out streamside. 

Or you could send them to me and I'd sacrifice them to the tree gods for you.  

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Odd indeed... Are you maybe pushing the fly down with your finger? Is there a trout in your glass? Do you have ghosts on your house playing tricks on you? Is it raining inside your house? Is your tap water unusually pourous? Is there a hole in the bottom of your glass letting all the water out without you noticing?

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Those flies should float. It has to be your leader and/or fly line sinking and pulling the fly under. Is your line cracked and waterlogged. 

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13 minutes ago, Poopdeck said:

Those flies should float. It has to be your leader and/or fly line sinking and pulling the fly under. Is your line cracked and waterlogged. 

I haven't actually casted one yet, it's winter here. I just simply dropped them in a bowl of fresh water after applying some floatant to make sure my Wulff style flies were going to ride correctly before I tied anymore and realized that they didn't want to float very well period. I then decided to try some of my more heavily hackled patterns like stimulators, EHC, and even a #14 Griffith's Gnat and the hackle on all of them immediately breaks through the surface so the body and side hackle are the only thing keeping them afloat. 

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39 minutes ago, Rusty Shackleford said:

the hackle on all of them immediately breaks through the surface so the body and side hackle are the only thing keeping them afloat

Aha! There's your answer. That's what they're supposed to do. The hackle (theoretically) imitates legs in the water.

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3 minutes ago, SilverCreek said:

^^^^^

What he said.

Are you using 1Xf (1 extra fine) hooks?

For example, a TMC 100 dry fly hook

tiemco-tmc-100-hook-hi_600x600.jpg

I've been using the various dry fly hooks from Allen, they say standard wire on the package but flyhooks.org has them listed as 1xf and they sure seem like a light hook to me. Maybe I should try a pack of the more expensive hooks for my dries and see if it makes a difference... I figured maybe I'd be good since Charlie Craven's go to dry fly hook is a TMC 100sp-bl which is a 1x heavy hook. 

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1 minute ago, chugbug27 said:

Aha! There's your answer. That's what they're supposed to do. The hackle (theoretically) imitates legs in the water.

I thought the whole idea was that they ride high up on the surface? 

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On those flies the hackle that is pointing down will easily pierce the surface tension, not so with the hackle angled sideways.

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