Hatches 2011: Parafoam Dry Flies by Alex Cerveniak

Magazine — By on October 20, 2011 10:44 am


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.

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4 Comments

  1. Bill Scrimpsher says:

    Alex: then, don’t fish them! Catskill dries are beautiful, I’don’t mind tying them & I sure enjoy the fish they catch.

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  2. Davy Wotton says:

    Alex,

    Frankly l do not agree with your remarks so far as high maintenance Catskill dries.
    There are many reasons why l say this, way more than the space offered here to reply, other than l will state this.
    In the days when these flies were commonly used and for that matter the dry fly patterns that evolved in my homelands (UK ) they were fished with very different tackle set ups than used today, in other words they were not subject to rigors of continuous
    of high speed casting, which is not possible with bamboo, further they were attached to gut and not nylon filament.
    Further fly fishers in those days as a rule fished mainly only to rising fish and not as common practice to day the water 6 to 8 hrs a day.
    If there is any one significant advantage it is the modern floating agents we have, way superior to the oils of yesterday.
    A well tied hackled dry with use of a fine wire hook well dressed will float all day.

    It is still my opinion that natural hackle offers significant advantages over many of the now used synthetics which do not convey the elements of light transmission of color that hackle will do, which is a definite trigger factor to the trouts eye.
    Further, the vast majority of fly tyers today do not know how to tie hackled dries, they are not on their agenda.

    All l will add further is this, If you know how to tie the flies and which flies to use you will catch a great many fish that other fly patterns may not.

    If there is any significant advance it is the use of deer and elk hair, mainly pioneered by Al Troth.
    CDC and foam may have some use but not for all.

    Davy Wotton.

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  3. IDRIS WELCH says:
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    this seems to be a very useful pattern and no doubt will stand upto many sharp teethmwith the “SHOAL” of fish it is going to be held in between these teeth.

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  4. Creg Strock says:
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    There is a cure to the Catskill dry fly issue that I discovered over 4 years ago. I tie all my Catskill dry fly bodies with .005 mm foam. It comes in Olive, Light Tan and Black and the tan can be colored with Chartpak markers to any shade you so desire to match the color of the natural. I use the tan and olive for all my Caddis patterns, the black for my ant and cricket patterns and color the tan with a “Goldenrod” chartpak marker and it’s a perfect match for the Sulphurs. Being foam, it doesn’t sink, need floatant,
    and when you wrap the foam strips, it creates the segmentation on the body that makes it appear realistic. From Green Drakes, March Browns, Gray Foxes, BWO’s, Sulphurs, Caddis and Hendricksons, it works on them all and solves the floating issues. It really has proven to be the best of all worlds.

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