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Using Highly Visible Dry Flies

Published: 14th February 2017 | Author: Simon Robinson

In recent years I have been experimenting with increasing the visibility of my dry flies, whilst I am still fortunate to have good eye-sight, there are certain light and water conditions where it is difficult to see dry flies on the surface. Using highly visible dry flies is the answer.

The best way to do this is to include a ‘sighter’ in the form of a bright post. Conditions where this can help the angler include evening fishing, fast turbulent water and when using a very low riding or small fly.

In these situations, a bright post of Tiemco Areo Dry Wing can make the difference between being able to spot a subtle take and missing the opportunity due to losing track of your fly as it drifts.

hi vis dry flies

Image courtesy of Andy Buckley at

I had also noticed that whilst Klinkhammer and parachute flies are widely available with bright posts, other patterns are often excluded from this high visibility treatment. It is ironic that it is often smaller and low riding patterns such as spinners that benefit most from the addition of a bright ‘sighter’ in the dressing.

With this in mind, I have started to included bright orange or pink posts on some more ‘standard’ dries and some of these are now included in the new range of Fulling Mill Fly Patterns.

One of my all-time favourite sedge patterns is the retirer. Whilst it is a pattern which floats high on the surface it is still often difficult to spot on the surface in fast water, if the light is not favourable, or if you do not have the best eyesight it can be a struggle. To combat this I have included the Hi Vis Retirer Sedge in the Fulling Mill Range – It has a bright orange post which is placed on top of the wing so it is invisible to the fish from beneath.

hi vis dry flies

Another time when even those with good eyesight often need to increase the visibility of their flies when fishing during the evening. Whilst the retirer is a great evening pattern the best fly evening fishing is often a spinner pattern, especially after a good hatch of fly. With this in mind, I have tied the SR Hi-Vis Poly Spinner. This has been very effective for me during evening sessions and has the added bonus of being very visible in low light conditions. Highly visible dry flies

hi vis dry flies

I plan to continue to work on these types of patterns for the coming season and I am currently working on some prototype olive and terrestrial patterns which I hope will be as effective as the patterns above. Highly Visible Dry Flies

If you are struggling to see your dry patterns, or just wish to make life easier in difficult conditions try incorporating some bright materials, ideally in a way that they are visible to you and not the fish. You may find you can put more fish in the net when you’re not missing subtle takes!

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