Dry Fly Fishing Engadin, Switzerland

Dry fly fishing is hands down the most wonderful way to chase trout.

Guiding Engadin

This summer, André and I organised two fly fishing guidings in the beautiful Engadin, Switzerland. Among the participants were beginners, but also advanced fly anglers. One of our goal was to get them hooked on dry fly fishing. During the first weekend, there was one instance I vividly remember: The picture-perfect dry fly fishing.

What is dry fly fishing?

Dry fly fishing is the art of casting an artificial fly, which floats on the surface of the water, to entice fish to bite. Such flies are as light as a feather, which makes it a very delicate way of fishing. Moreover, seeing a fish rising from the bottom to your fly and the visual take add an indescribable thrill.

Success pattern: #20 black ant
Success pattern: #20 black ant

When everythings falls into place

On the second day, our group visited a crystal clear mountain creek. Whereas the more experienced anglers hiked to the headwaters, the beginners stayed with me. On the way along the stream, I taught some basic skills of reading the water. Small streams are challenging in regards to casting. Therefore, I showed them a few tricks in tight spots. Continuing upstream, my goal was that every beginner hooks a fish.

 At one point, I showed Heidi how to fish nymphs. Meanwhile, my gaze met a few rings on the surface, just in the next pool. The trout was sitting right in the corner of the eddy and was facing downstream. Realizing that the current flowed backwards, I seized the opportunity of not having to cast very far. We sneaked upon the eddy on our knees. I changed from the nymph to a #12 black ant and told her to cast right in front of her. Then, the backwater takes care of the drift and the distance. Her first cast was on point and the fly slowly drifted upstream. Due to my Smith Optics Guide’s Choice glasses, I was able to observe the fish slowly rise. Yet, it turned away just in front of the fly.

It was clear to me that we needed to down-size. Hence, I changed the leader to a 6x and tied on a #20 ant pattern. Heidi made another cast and unfortunately hooked the vegetation. Retying the rig again, we tried again. This time, the fly nicely drifted towards the fish and he sulked it down in slow motion. Immediately, I sprang up from my knees and jumped into the creek – without waders – and the rest is history.


Brown trout caught by Heidi on a dry fly
Brown trout caught by Heidi on a dry fly

The Thrill of Dry Fly Fishing

I underestimated the thrill of seeing a client hooking a fish on a dry. Believing the most exciting part of fly fishing is to hook a fish yourself, I was proven wrong. Seeking out feeding fish, choosing the right fly, and in the end experiencing when everything falls into place, is a pure delight. The smile in a happy client’s face is just as thrilling as watching a trout rising to your own dry fly.

Heidi and her husband enjoying the Engadin while dry fly fishing mountain creeks
Heidi and her husband enjoying the Engadin while dry fly fishing mountain creeks

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