DIY Fly Floatant
A strong do it yourself current runs through the fly fishing community. It’s powerful enough to pull a decidedly unhandy Andy like myself into tying my own flies and building my own leaders. The more talented among us even build their own rods, boats and landing-nets. The technology and engineering required of much modern gear provides a firm backstop to the madness though. Waterproof breathable waders and carbon fiber oars, for example, are beyond even the most ambitious hobbiest’s set-up, and who’s going to manufacture their own hemostats? I’d long assumed that high quality fly-floatant fit into this latter category, but I was wrong. Turns out you don’t have to be Walter White to cook up top-notch bug dope. But why bother? I have my reasons.
First, it’s cheap and easy. Sure a trusty bottle of gink will only set you back $5, but I bet most of you have everything needed to make floatant already kicking around the house. That’s five bucks you could spend on tying materials.
Second, this stuff works better than anything I’ve ever used. I realize I’m opening a serious gear debate can of worms with that statement, so I’ll admit right off that I’m no connoisseur. All I’m saying is that this magic potion will keep your bug higher than a Colorado poet, all day long. It’ll even keep your fly-up and able to seduce after multiple poundings.
Third, next time you’re on the water you can casually offer your buddy a hit of your own personal, private label, secret sauce, dry fly elixir. Come on… how cool is that?
Here’s how to make fly floatant…
STS Outfitters’ Bug Juice
White Gas (aka Coleman fuel or Boy Scouts’ after shave)
Paraffin Wax (aka canning wax or unscented candle wax)
Small Jar (8 oz or less) with tight-fitting lid
Mini Jar for use on the water. These work great.
Step 1: Shave 10 grams of wax (about a ¾ inch cube) into thin flakes and place in jar. Add ½ cup white gas. Cover with tight fitting lid and shake it like it owes you money until wax is mostly or completely dissolved.
Step 2: Shave in more wax, cover and keep shaking.
Step 3: Repeat Step 2 until no more wax will dissolve. Let solution sit over night.
Step 4: Shake one last time and decant into your streamside floatant container.
Step 5: To apply, dunk your fly in the solution, remove and allow 5 minutes to cure. Bugs can also be pre-treated before heading out.
Step 6: Catch and release ‘til the cows come home.