Dry flies need slack. So give it to ’em, George Harvey style

by | Jun 30, 2017 | 15 comments

Hatch Magazine published my article today: Dry flies need slack. So Give it to ’em, George Harvey style.

It’s about using George Harvey’s leader concepts to give the dry fly some slack. With s-curves and circles on the water, you fool a lot more trout.

Here’s what the leader should look like on the water.

Illustration by Dick Jones

I share a leader formula in the article. But more importantly, I also discuss Harvey’s leader concept, and why it’s so much different than a standard leader approach.

Find the full article over at Hatch Magazine.

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 600 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

Trout Like To Do What Their Friends Are Doing

Trout Like To Do What Their Friends Are Doing

If you fish hard and pay attention to the details, you’ll often catch, miss or turn enough trout to learn something. At the heart of the puzzle is an eternal question: What do the trout want?

The best days start by learning what most trout in the river are doing. So, gather data toward those questions, and then branch off from there.

Fly Fishing Leader Design

Fly Fishing Leader Design

At the heart of every good leader design is an intentional balance between turnover and drag. Nothing is more important than the leader.

Material diameter and material stiffness. That’s what matters. And these two qualities determine a leader’s turnover power and the amount of potential drag . . .

Euro Nymphing Fly Line vs The Mono Rig

Euro Nymphing Fly Line vs The Mono Rig

I’ve received countless questions about my thoughts regarding euro lines and mono rigs. And while this is also one of the most common questions I’ve fielded through the years, it has a complex answer that I’ve never tackled in an article. So let’s fix that.

Here are my thoughts on euro nymphing lines vs a Mono Rig. These views address all seasons, all distances and many variations . . .

Know Your Weights and Measures

Know Your Weights and Measures

Consider your fly size and weight. Know your tippet diameter. Understand the length, thickness and weight of your leader’s butt section. And learn to accurately judge the distance you are casting. All of these elements are intertwined. And advanced angling starts by being aware of the stats. Know your weights and measures . . .

Walk Along — Jiggy On The Northern Tier

Walk Along — Jiggy On The Northern Tier

This article is part of the Walk Along series. These are first person accounts showing the thoughts, strategies and actions around particular situations on the river, putting the reader in the mind of the angler.

Tuck. Drop. Tick. Lead. Now just a five-inch strip with the rod tip up. Pause slightly for the fly to drop. Focus . . . Fish on!

What do you think?

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

15 Comments

  1. Love the artical. Trying to find a way to reduce the times my dropper is wrapping around the leader. Blood knots are not doing it for me… does it happen to you? Any tricks?

    Reply
    • Hi Taylor,

      No dropper on the dry fly leader in this article. I think you might be asking about the slideable dry dropper system from a couple weeks ago. Send me an email. domenick@troutbitten.com

      Reply
  2. Could you add a tippet ring to the end of the 4x so you don’t have to keep making new leaders or will it affect the drift

    Reply
  3. Domenick, why the Gold Stren? What advantage does that bring?

    Reply
    • Good question, man.

      Two reasons:

      First, when the leader lays on the water, the gold stren gives me some sight for a portion of my leader. I can see if it’s about to drag, judging its position in the currents.

      Second, I sometimes use the dry fly leader to nymph, perhaps with a tightline dry dropper system, or just tight to one nymph. In that case, the glod stren is usually above the water, and acts as a traditional sighter.

      Again, if you are fishing long flats and pools, in gin clear water over fussy trout, maybe don’t use the gold stren. But I honestly can’t say I’ve seen my trout ever spook from a foot long piece of gold stren going over them. It’s pretty subtle.

      Give it a try, and let me know how it works for you!

      Cheers.

      Dom

      Reply
      • That makes perfect sense. Thanks! Love this site.

        Reply
  4. Dom, thanks for another great article. Two quick questions. Is Maxima Chameleon and Maxima Clear mono interchangeable, and are their benefits or instances when you’d use one over the other to construct your leaders? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Justin,

      I’ve fished with 5 different Maxima lines for the butt section of a Mono Rig. They are not interchangeable, no. In fact, they are quite different.

      What I want in a butt section is the perfect combination of stiffness and handling. Stiff mono functions more like a fly line — you can get more fly line type performance from it because it doesn’t collapse (not too flexy). But most stiff lines coil too much and are a bother to work handle and work with coming off the reel.

      There’s a good reason that so many experienced long liners choose Chameleon. It has just the perfect mix of qualities, stiff but in a good way.

      https://troutbitten.com/2018/01/24/ask-an-expert-for-euro-nymphing-or-the-mono-rig-what-leader-material-do-you-like-for-the-butt-section/

      Here’s a quick rank of the Maxima lines I’ve used. This is just my own preference.

      Chameleon
      Hi Vis — just SLIGHTLY less handling
      Ultra-Green — softer
      Clear — a little too stiff, handling suffer
      Crystal Ivory — no good for a butt section, in my opinion. Too stiff. Bad Handling.

      Hope that helps.

      Dom

      Reply
      • As always, thanks for the advice.

        Reply
  5. Howdy! Long-time reader, first-time commenter here. I made the switch to tight line techniques two years ago – only technique I fished during that time. Starting to work other presentations back into my repertoire, starting with suspended techniques over the last month or so. Next step is adding back dry flies, which I aim to do with this leader formula (plus some experimentation).

    Here’s my question: to what do you connect this leader? Fly line? More mono? I have Cortland competition nymph line rigged on my reel now (wish I didn’t, since I haven’t once needed it for nymphing purposes). Wondering if I should get a traditional floating trout line for throwing dries off this or a similar leader, or whether I can get away with my current setup, sans brand-new $80 line.

    Thanks for the great stories and instructional material. It’s really changed my fishing for the better 🙂 >~‘;>

    Reply
    • Hi there,

      Thanks for reading, and thanks for the question.

      I strongly recommend keeping a fly line on the spool that matches your rod. Give yourself the option to swap out leaders quickly and get back to casting fly line and a standard leader. It makes no sense to me to limit yourself by attaching the Mono Rig to a bunch of backing or a competition line. I love options. I love versatility. You could carry an extra spool, but WHY? It’s much easier to just swap out leaders if you do it this way . . .

      https://troutbitten.com/2017/03/21/get-me-back-to-my-fly-connecting-and-disconnecting-the-mono-rig/

      Couple applicable things in here too:

      https://troutbitten.com/2018/09/30/fly-fishing-the-mono-rig-q-a-lines-rigging-and-the-skeptics/

      Hope that helps.

      Cheers.

      Dom

      Reply
      • Dom, thanks for the explanation. Helps a lot!

        I think you are right that the competition line doesn’t offer as much utility as the traditional weighted/tapered fly line. My goal for the next year is to continue adding back techniques (tightline -> indicator -> dries -> streamers -> wet flies), and I think the traditional fly line will better help me to do that.

        Thanks again! Looking forward to getting your book.

        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