What is Fulling Mill Dry Sauce?
Dry Sauce is a silicone gel floatant used to add buoyancy to dry flies and keep them riding high on the water surface. Gehrke's Gink was the first liquid silicone floatant to become popular, and is so widely used that many fly fishers refer to "ginking" their flies - effectively making it a brand name that's become a fly fishing verb. Dry Sauce appears to be a very similar material, albeit in much more classy packaging.
What's special about Dry Sauce?
Fulling Mill says Dry Sauce is temperature stable and won't change in viscosity. That's definitely an issue with Gehrke's Gink. It's a great floatant for fishing dries, but on a cold day it becomes thick and gloopy, and on a hot day it turns very runny. In hot weather it can sometimes leak all over your gear and clothes leaving very dodgy looking stains that are hard to wash out, plus an almost empty floatant bottle. My Orvis Sling Pack bears such a scar...
To test out Fulling Mill's temperature stability claim I put my Dry Sauce in some hot water to simulate a British heat wave, and shoved it in the freezer for a little while to make it think I'd gone dry fly fishing for grayling in mid-winter. It really didn't change in viscosity very much at all, remaining nice and gloopy, even when warmed up quite a bit! It was usable when chilled, too.
How do you use Dry Sauce?
There are a couple of important tricks to using silicone gel floatants like Dry Sauce and Gehrke's Gink. The first is not to use too much and the second is to make sure you rub it between your fingers first.
To prepare your fly, simply open the lid, squeeze out a tiny amount and rub it between your thumb and forefinger for a few seconds.
Take your dry fly and work the silicone gel through the hackle, wings, tail and body and try to work it into the fibres so they stay separated. You need to try and avoid clogging them up with too much silicone, otherwise the fly won't float as well and may not be as effective at fooling the fish.
Silicone gel floatants like Dry Sauce aren't right for every fly. They'll clog the fibres of Cul de Canard or CDC dry flies, but for most other patterns they work really well. If you're using delicate patterns or those with CDC feathers in the mix, then I'd recommend using a powdered desiccant like Fulling Mill High Glide instead. These don't clog the finer feather fibres and make these flies float really well.
What's Dry Sauce like to use?
Dry Sauce keeps flies afloat well - it's easily on par with Gink - providing you don't add too much, and it appears to be far better at coping with high temperatures, so should last you longer than a comparable bottle of Gink I'd say.
Like Gink, Fulling Mill Dry Sauce comes in a bottle with an attached cap, which I really like. Not only is there no lid to lose in the river, but you can also attach the bottle to your lanyard to give you easy access to the bottle while you're fishing, without the need to buy one of those fancy little floatant holder gadgets.
Silicone gel floatants like Gink and Dry Sauce don't stand up to being submerged or slimed by fish quite so well as flies treated with powdered desiccants like Frog's Fanny or Fulling Mill's own High Glide.
Personally, I find the powdered desiccants a bit more versatile and effective, so if I was to choose one floatant I'd opt for one of those over a silicone gel, but that's not to say gels don't work really well, too.Fulling Mill / YouTube.
How much does Fulling Mill Dry Sauce cost?
Fulling Mill Dry Sauce is available from most good fly shops and can be bought online from Fulling Mill for around £7.50 for a 14ml bottle. It's a nicely packaged alternative to Gehrke's Gink, works well and shouldn't go as runny when the weather is hot.
Available from: Fulling Mill