Streamside | DIY Shake Fly Floatant via Living Fly Legacy

by | May 8, 2017 | 4 comments

A few years ago I took a chance and bought thirty-two ounces of powdered, fumed silica from an ebay seller.

“What the hell is that?” You might ask.

It’s the fine, white powder used for drying flies and keeping them riding high on the surface. The ebay listing came with an assurance that the stuff was just like the Frog’s Fanny we buy in fly shops. It was. And it still is. Even after gifting many of my friends with small bags of the magic powder, and re-filling my own bottle countless times, I still have half the quart left.

Each season I end up losing the bottle somewhere on the river or in transit, so I go to my fly shop and buy another bottle of Frog’s Fanny that I refill with the quart when it’s empty. Sure, I could probably find a ten-pack of empty bottles with little brushes on the caps real cheap on ebay too. But I feel like I better pay it forward once in a while to the fly shops and the people who came up with the idea in the first place. So yeah, I’m cheap, but not that cheap.

Chris Cutler writes the blog, Living Fly Legacy, and it’s one of my favorites for a lot of reasons. I like that Chris night fishes, and he thinks outside the box. I particularly like his point that night fishing with mice is a sham (check that one out). But I digress. I like Chris’s creativity and his do-it-yourself independence.

So I was pleasantly surprised to see that Chris had also bought way too much white powder in a bulk container. But he took it a step further. In his latest blog post, Chris details how to make your own little shaky dry fly bottle with all the powder and pebble pieces needed to suck your flies dry and get back to fishing the surface. Nice.

Here’s the article link.

Open container — insert damp fly here. And the DIY holster. — Photos from Chris Cutler

And here are some excerpts:

… The material is called fumed silica. It is a common additive in epoxies as a thickening agent. It is remarkably hydrophobic.

… The next thing you will need is some Silica Gel (balls). This is usually easy to come by if you know where to look.

… The last thing you need is some type of container. I chose an old film canister. It was the perfect size.

In characteristic form, Chris lays out the whole thing and makes it easy to do-it-yourself too. Good stuff.

Thanks, Chris.

Enjoy the day.
Domenick Swentosky
T R O U T B I T T E N
domenick@troutbitten.com

Share This Article . . .

Since 2014 and 700+ articles deep
Troutbitten is a free resource for all anglers.
Your support is greatly appreciated.

– Explore These Post Tags –

Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

More from this Category

Leaders Relaunch in the Troutbitten Shop

Leaders Relaunch in the Troutbitten Shop

Troutbitten leaders are back in the Shop. There are some unique features to Troutbitten leaders that make a big difference. These are hand tied leaders in four varieties: Harvey Dry Leader, Standard Mono Rig, Thin Mono Rig, and Micro-Thin Mono Rig. Standard Sighters are also available, and they include a Backing Barrel. The Full Mono Rig Kit contains each of the three Mono Rig leaders, three foam spools and a twenty-inch Rio Bi-Color extension.

All Troutbitten leaders come on a three-inch spool, making long leader changes a breeze . . .

#3. Sticking the Landing: Nine Essential Skills for Tight Line and Euro Nymphing

#3. Sticking the Landing: Nine Essential Skills for Tight Line and Euro Nymphing

The goal is to stick the landing on the sighter — to end in the final position perfectly, rather than struggling to find it after the landing. The best anglers learn to adjust the amount of slack — and therefore, time to contact — within the cast. That’s the art of a good tuck cast. So we tuck and then stick the landing on the sighter at an angle and depth where we expect to catch that contact . . .

Wet Wading Gear and a System for Fly Fishers

Wet Wading Gear and a System for Fly Fishers

Did you know that breathable waders only effectively breath when they’re underwater? Fun fact, right? The permeable membranes can only pass water vapor while submersed. Not such a big deal when you aren’t producing much water vapor (evaporating sweat), but it’s a messy, clammy situation when the mercury climbs and the water drops. Amiright?

What to do, then? Wet wade. Good wet wading has nothing to do with a pair of old sneakers and cargo shorts. Don’t do that. Instead, here are the elements of a good wet wading system . . .

What do you think?

Be part of the Troutbitten community of ideas.
Be helpful. And be nice.

4 Comments

  1. There are many varieties of fumed silica. I did a bunch of research a few years ago and found what I believe to be the best formulation (Cab-o-Sil TS-270) for our needs. And I found it availble for $10/qt plus shipping here:

    http://www.eplastics.com/m/mobile.html?item=31822

    Reply
  2. Doh: Can-O-Sil TS-720. I mistyped in the above comment.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the reference, Mark! I have another friend who is particular about the type as well. I only bought the stuff once, and I must have gotten lucky. Thanks for sharing your research. Very helpful to everyone.

      Reply
  3. Not all fumed silica will work. There are two common kinds hydrophilic and hydrophobic. There are several brands out there the most common is CAB-O-SIL the standard M5 grade is hydrophilic you need the TS-720 which is hydrophobic. The hydrophilic powder will make a paste that just doesn’t work well. You can find the hydrophobic powder for about $30 a lb, or a gallon jug. That will fill more than 50 of the dry shake bottles from Loon or Orvis. If you are lucky enough to have an unlimited supply of the silica gel packs you can make your own floatant for almost nothing. I asked a young lady at a shoe store to save a small pile of the gel packs for me, in one week I had a coffee can full which again is enough for 3 lifetimes of floatant. I give them away to friends and I have a handful in my truck that I give to newbies. I could probably sell them but I don’t. Tight lines all!

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Articles

Recent Posts

Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

Pin It on Pinterest