The dry fly has been evolving for more than 100 years. It started in England, crossed the Atlantic, and then took the world by storm in the Catskills. Despite the fact that the Catskill-style dry flies are still widely used today, Catskill patterns are plagued by issues that fly tiers have been trying to overcome since the style first emerged.
Catskill-style dries are highmaintenance. They require frequent applications of floatant to keep them from sinking, even on slow moving streams. When properly tied, they ride unnaturally high on the water’s surface. You can trim an upside-down “V” from the bottom of the hackle to sidestep the problem, but that only causes a fly to sink faster than its already unacceptable rate.