Dry Fly Floatants; Keep Your Fly In Everything's Sight

As spring approaches, Trout anglers look forward to the hatches to come and the dry fly opportunities of warmer weather.  Keeping your dry fly floating well so it can be easily seen by both you and the Trout improves success.

The most common products for dries include paste style floatants such as Gink, Loon Aquel, Scientific Anglers Floatant, Dave's Bug Float, Tiemco Magic Gel, Pure Float, Cortland Dab, Mucilin, etc...  Common powder/desiccant products include Shimazaki Dry Shake, Loon Top Ride, Frogs Fanny etc...

Paste floatants are great when a dry fly is fresh out of the box, but once the fly becomes waterlogged or covered in fish slime (good problem) adding more paste doesn't help much.  At that point it is best to have a powder style floatant.  Both Dry Shake and Top Ride have powder floatant as well as dessicant to dry the fly.  Frogs Fanny is powder only, but also works well.  Frogs Fanny sports a brush applicator (attached to the lid) vs. Shimazaki Dry Shake and Loon Top Ride both have flip top lids that you gently close over your tippet (fly attached) and shake the product to absorb water and add powder floatant.

Adding some type of floatant will keep your offering floating much longer than fishing without product.  I like to use both paste and powder products to maximize flotation.  Use paste when the fly is fresh out of the fly box and powder/desiccant once the fly is waterlogged.  Carrying and utilizing both types of floatants will increase your dry time.

Also of note, dries and emergers tied with CDC don't take most paste floatants well and in most cases paste floatants actually take away floatation.  I know of two paste products (please share others in the comments below) that work well on CDC, my favorite being Tiemco Magic Gel, the other is Hends CDC Oil.  Powder products such as Frogs Fanny, Top Ride or Dry Shake all work well on CDC.

Check out these links for several of the floatant brands mentioned above:




Keep it dry and drifting naturally...

More Gear


Ross Evolution R Salt

Ross Purnell, Editor - November 21, 2017

The original Evolution R has a braking system derived from 7 stacked stainless steel and...


5 Proven Wet-Fly Methods for Steelhead

Dana Sturn - December 07, 2017

Dan Sturn breaks down his five favorite wet-fly methods.


New Fly Lines of 2018

Fly Fisherman - January 18, 2018

Here's a list of the best new fly lines of 2018.

See More Gear

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.