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Old 14-10-2014, 08:05 PM
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Default French leader and dries

I've seen a lot of references to dry fly fishing with a french leader. I thought the whole point of the French leader was to use tungsten to turn it over?

How do you go about fishing dries with this setup and does anyone have a link to a video showing said method?
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Old 14-10-2014, 08:17 PM
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Default Re: French leader and dries

There is a miss use of phrase here. French/Spanish Nymphing, should have always been "Fishing French/Spanish Leader". Sorry I've no links or vids but it's down to design and make up of the leader.
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Old 14-10-2014, 08:23 PM

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Default Re: French leader and dries

There is no reason this can't work. I recently used one whilst using one unweighted nymph. In effect, much the same as a dry? With enough weight in the nylon it can be like a fly line. I recently was fishing a twenty foot French leader on a sub six foot soft rod. It worked. I expected all sort of problems but it was just like a regular line.

There is a lot of convention that needs another looking at IMHO. Tenkara made me take a look at French Nymphing which looked so impossiblely difficult just a few months ago. Now I'm thinking about doing all my small stream stuff with nothing else. It's not a fad, it's my experience of trying stuff and finding it works.
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Last edited by beryl; 14-10-2014 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 14-10-2014, 08:25 PM
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Default Re: French leader and dries

I mentioned on a post a couple of weeks back that I caught a brownie using a FL and a dry for the first time. I did have a favourable wind and I spotted the fish rise a few times over a couple of minutes so I dispatched with the nymphs and tied on a TMC size 17 SSHE and cast it out.

It turned over well enough and on the second or third cast it took the fly. I have since then got hold of a better FL and I have no doubt that the one I am currently using would present a dry fly well enough in the right conditions.

Don't have any links but on the fish on French nymphing dvd the method is shown and is successful

Cheers Baz
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Old 14-10-2014, 08:27 PM
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Default Re: French leader and dries

On my last trip of the trout season I had a Hends camou leader on - the nine metre version - and found myself amongst a pod of smutting grayling. The leader turned over a size 24 paraphid accurately, not yet tried a European leader on bigger tries, but I'd certainly try.
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Old 14-08-2017, 11:10 PM
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Default Re: French leader and dries

With the right French leader set up, once the wind isn't squally or badly in your face, I find it a great method for dries. Can be very accurate too, like any fly line with the right technique but with lighter touchdown and slower onset of drag, maybe by a few seconds, depending on the pace and shape of the current etc. But 5 seconds of less drag can be vital on a river. I have probably used a conventional fly line and leader very little this season, mainly using Sunray 3 etc, silk a day French leader but this is also partly to do with finding a method that allows me to fish dries and change to FN quickly without putting on a new line /leader.
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Old 15-08-2017, 01:00 PM
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Default Re: French leader and dries

Like quite a few others who've already commented - I fish dries fairly regularly with a 'FL' on. I really don't like changing leaders when fishing as it's pretty rare that there are steady rises on most of the rivers I fish - so tend to just tie on a dry to the end of my usual euronymphing rig (with the dropper removed).

Some leaders are better than others, and some tapers/stiffness/densities are better suited to casting a dry. I typically use .28 level flurocarbon as a FL, which is stiff enough to turn over pretty nicely with #22 to #14 size dries.

Having a light, fast action rod can help too - these take less weight to load effectively and so are typically better with casting light flies on light lines. It might take a little while to get the hang of casting though. I find that over-emphasising the 'stop' in the cast helps turn it all over.
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Last edited by northern_fly; 17-08-2017 at 12:15 PM.
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