Technique: Skating the dry fly

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Skating a dry fly on the small stream.

I was catting around on YouTube and caught this quick video from Reds Fly Fishing about an essential tip for dry fly fishing:

On small streams, in shallow, rocky waters, skating the fly absolutely works. I’ve used this technique for a while now when fishing downstream, and it often produces a take when nothing else seems to be working.

I think it’s because in those faster riffles, fish don’t always notice a fly dead drifting. Or, they notice it, but maybe the dead drift looks unnatural. Either way, the skating technique works.  It’s a great technique to try when you only have a few short feet in a particular run, and you can’t really cast upstream and drift the fly across your intended target.


It’s always amazing at how different fly fishing on small streams can be. I’m finding it more and more common that traditional methods just don’t apply any more. They’ll work, but don’t be afraid to try something unconventional. We’re all after that perfect drag-free drift which is supposed to be the holy grail, yet many times, it’s the exact opposite that gets them rising.

Cory Perry
I'm a husband, father and fly fishing geek living in Greenville, SC. I'm down with slinging flies, tying flies and spending every minute I can enjoying the vast outdoors with my family and friends.

1 Response

  1. Ben Mckinley says:

    Enjoyed the video, thanks.

    Love skating dries, Goddard caddis’s work really well for me. Not to spam, but if you click on my name it’ll take you to a video of myself catching a nice brookie skating a caddis pattern.

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