There are loads of fly driers on the market… And yes, within years, when needed, we’ve also tried out the corner of our t-shirt, handkerchiefs, elastic straps, microfiber patches, silicate powder, silicone gel, fancy plastic tubes etc. Some were good, some were bad and some were absolutely useless. Using all sorts of chemicals in order to keep your flies dry will eventually alter them: they can change their color, or turn fragile, and if you’re used to fly fish with CDC-flies, we’re sure you’ve also come to the same conclusion: applying anything else on CDC except some drops of CDC oil, will destroy it. In any case, before applying the oil, the fly must first get dry…

How do We dry them? Here’s a short story of our favorite amadou fly drying patch we use in dry fly fishing: Revolution-Amadou.

Amadou itself is for us a very interesting piece of material with an even more interesting story that is still being written by our Transylvanian folk for generations now. What astonishes is that it is a natural material, made out of beech tinder fungus, better known as “horseshoe fungus”. But how does it get the smoothness we all know, similar to velvet, when the fungus itself has a woody consistence and texture?!

In our search for an answer we’ve let ourselves guided through a specialized workshop in the core of Transylvania – where our guests have also got the chance to go during our tour To Nymph or Not to Nymph – the first thing we found out is that the iceman Ötzi, an old hunter, who would have been now at least 7300 years old, had ingenuously used it before. He succeeded in making fire out it by igniting it with the help of pyrite and flint. But that’s not all of it! He apparently also used the thicker layers of this fungus for tying up wounds and stop bleedings. How amazing is that!? This article mentions that its disinfecting and anti-inflammatory properties had been already known and proven also in the Middle Ages and in the Modern times as well. It will maybe remain a mystery When the horseshoe fungus has started being used in the fly fishing scene, but one thing is sure: fly fishermen in England and France started processing it and using it as a fly drying tool during the 20th century.

Different methods have been used in order to smoothen this fungus and just as different were the results: not every tinder fungus turned out to be a good fly dryer and not every assiduous procedure, using chemicals etc. has proven itself effective. The best way shown to us during the workshop was to just use water and then have the hands of a master handicraftsman in order to first roughly and then gently transform the middle layer of the beech fungus into a gorgeous, smooth and silky amadou.

Some of the handcrafted pieces can get as thin and large as a table cloth, and some can stay thick and soft and serve you as a super sponge for your delicate dry flies. So, yes, as you can imagine, these are exactly the pieces of amadou we prefer and they are exquisitely embedded in a unique, modern tool called Revolution-Amadou.

Everything about this tool is special: first, it is hand selected and then 80% handmade, it’s highly innovative by integrating a now patented drainage system and it’s based on a sustainable concept: by fostering this traditional handicraft in Romania, by not being mass-produced and by the fact that once you get it, it will accompany you for a lifetime. How come? Well, while the perforated, long-living carbon fiber plates are part of the whole system, the premium quality amadou sheets get dry much faster than within other tools and they can be replaced on request if they get soaking wet or damaged in any way.

See how it works here and then make yourself a present and start the new season with one piece of your own ;) And if you’re still not convinced by what we’ve wrote, here are some sincere statements of the ones who have it. You can choose now from the original Revolution-Amadou, or the Revolution-Amadou GTX, which redefines the former drainage system while effectively using the properties of the breathable membrane. Try them out and let us know what you think of them!

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