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What constitutes a good wet fly?

Joined:
2007/1/2 15:46
From York, PA
Posts: 49
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What contitutes a good wet fly? Not what particular fly, but what materials, actions etc. make a fish want to eat a wet fly? I'm more interested in wets b/c during my reading I've come across the opinion that wet flies are more productive (or easier to use) for a beginner than a dry.

I'd like to know some general info, so that I can mess around with tying some generic wets that have a good chance at being eaten. As you may be able to tell, I'm not a huge believer in "match the hatch". Why - Fish brains are small, and from catching many fish with other than fly tackle - I've caught many on lures that did not resemble any live creature. The lures may have mimicked an action of a prey item, but they did not match the prey exactly. That's why I'd like to attempt some generic wet flies.

Posted on: 2007/1/4 15:23
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Re: What constitutes a good wet fly?

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2006/9/9 17:18
From lancaster county
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dont let trout fool you. most of those lures, like a spinner, make the trout aggressively react on there instinct. a educated trout on a high pressure stream will reject your blue quill because it has one less ring than the natural.
but a simple answer for you. your right wets a productive. in fact about 75 percent of a trouts food is subsurface. and about 65 percent of thier diet in general is caddis. so simplily sink a caddis! tie some caddis with lead or weight and see what happens.

Posted on: 2007/1/4 15:58
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Re: What constitutes a good wet fly?

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2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
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I can back mr. brook trout up on this one... sinking a caddis can be highly effective. I've caught many tough tully trout on a cdc caddis of the right size and color.... When the fishing pressure is high, they often refuse the dries but will take the sunken version. I usually just pop a split shot a few inches up the tippet.

As far as materials for good wet flies...

I'd say partridge soft hackle.

Posted on: 2007/1/4 16:16


Re: What constitutes a good wet fly?
Moderator
Joined:
2006/9/13 12:42
From Altoona, PA
Posts: 2259
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Sometimes a question is easy to ask, but takes a LOT of answering. Sylvester Nemes wrote three books answering that question. here's a link to one of them
http://www.amazon.com/Soft-Hackled-Fl ... 6-2798553?ie=UTF8&s=books

As salvenious points out, wet flies that imitate caddis can be extremely effective. But I think you would also like to know what materials make for good caddis imitations and how to present the fly to make it appear to be a caddis.

To do that, you have to know a good bit about caddis and fly fishing. There are a number of caddis species that hatch through the year, many of them are strikingly different in appearance and extremely different in habits. Generally speaking though, you want to fish caddis close to the bank and near clumps of grass or under bushes. Caddis use these for places to hide and rest through the day. You'll want to fish caddis actively, twitching or swinging the imitation.

This is a very famous pattern for emergent caddis
http://www.flyanglersonline.com/flytying/fotw2/011402fotw.html
however, there are other wets that would imitate the egg laying caddis. Wet flies can also imitate other bugs, such as mayflies (in all their life stages) drowned terrestrials, small fish etc. "Attractor" patterns that imitate nothing at all can also be extrememly effective.

You may also want to look at nymph fishing also. If you have a good deal of experience with spinning equipment for trout fishing, any subsurface fly may be easier to adapt to. However, dry fly fishing isn't all that hard either. Give it a try sometime.

Posted on: 2007/1/4 16:23
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Re: What constitutes a good wet fly?

Joined:
2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
Posts: 7608
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When I think of wet flies it isn't what most people think of, it's a Gray ghost, Black Ghost, Mickey Finn, Bucktail, or some other old fly that imitates a swimming baitfish. It is not a soft hackle fly. All of these flies work, but I'm partial to fishing the old style wet flies. It's not that I don't fish soft hackle flies when appropriate, I do, but this time of the year when there aren't many things hatching on the majority of our streams a "wet fly" works really well.

Posted on: 2007/1/4 16:46


Re: What constitutes a good wet fly?

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2006/11/10 9:57
Posts: 24
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not to hijack the thread, but mentioning the tully, did anyone see the front page of the Reading Eagle today? A guy caught a state record flathead catfish at the stilling basin at the very top of the DHALO area. 48 lbs, 6 ounces. So that's where all of the fingerlings went!

Posted on: 2007/1/4 19:47


Re: What constitutes a good wet fly?

Joined:
2006/11/2 8:50
Posts: 6120
Online
Here's a good wetfly:

Tail: Grouse or partridge
Body: Brown and shaggy (I like Hare's ear dubbing)
Rib: Gold or copper wire
Hackle: Grouse or partridge

This is basically the old Hare's Ear wetfly, but with no wing. I think it's better that way.

When you're fishing a nymph, put this wetfly on a dropper further up.

Posted on: 2007/1/4 23:58


Re: What constitutes a good wet fly?

Joined:
2006/9/14 10:34
From Southeast PA
Posts: 521
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As far as the best materials, well, there are a lot of possibilities, but to give you a simple answer, I'll go along with JayL and say that partridge hackle is excellent. As far as the fly, again there are a lot of possibilities, but I would recommend a partridge and orange (or yellow or olive or green, or any color variation that you want). Here’s a good pattern and tying instructions: http://shop.flyfishing.about.com/fly_archive/details/1138.htm

I think you're right about being an easy way for beginner fly fishers to catch trout. The easiest method for them to learn is a down-and-across swing. You just cast it, let it swing across the current, and hold on when a fish jumps on it. You don’t have to worry about a good drift (other than making sure the swing isn’t too fast, but this is more a function of the speed of the current where you’re fishing – sometimes mending can help, but it’s not a big deal). And you don’t have to worry about detecting strikes and timing with setting the hook. And it's a lot of fun when that fish yanks on your rod!

Posted on: 2007/1/5 8:45


Re: What constitutes a good wet fly?

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2006/9/11 11:30
Posts: 581
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My best wet flies in PA the last few years are a black thread ant, a Williams Favorite, and a starling and black.

Black thread ant is two humps of thread with a turn of black hen in the middle. Size 12 for those summer carpenter ants.

The other 2 are for small stuff, particularly in the winter. I tie them in 18 and 20. Williams Favorite is black thread body with silver wire rib and black hen hackle. Starling and black is starling hackle and black body. This has been deadly in the winter for me. Black body not that important - can be thread or some sort of shiny dubbing or even wrapped black Krystal Flash. Just keep the body short (to point of hook) and slim.

Still have a soft spot for bright flies like the Silver Doctor and Parmachene Belle. Any fly that has been popular for 100 years or more will still catch fish.

The Pass Lake is a Midwestern wet fly that has done good service for me in the Poconos for caddis hatches. Doesn't look like much, but I know why people in the MidWest love them.

Posted on: 2007/1/5 11:54


Re: What constitutes a good wet fly?

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2006/9/9 17:18
From lancaster county
Posts: 6435
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sorry to get off subject also. wow! that is a big flathead. he could almost eat the carp as well as the fingerlings!

Posted on: 2007/1/5 13:44
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Re: What constitutes a good wet fly?

Joined:
2006/9/9 17:18
From lancaster county
Posts: 6435
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oh yeah, also i dont know what kind of fishing you do. but there is a wet fly that has the make up of the traditionals that looks like a brook trouts fin. this fly has the orange with white accent on the bottom. i dont know its name but it is extremely effective for brook trout. also most of my favorite wet flys are streamers tied to imitate the natural baitfish in a watershed. yellow or red dace. black nose dace. any fly tied that imitates a minnow that inhabits the said stream is extremely effective.

Posted on: 2007/1/5 13:49
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Re: What constitutes a good wet fly?

Joined:
2006/9/13 22:36
From Tioga co. formerly of bucks co.
Posts: 5502
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For old wets try a cowdung, McGinty, coachman, Trout fin, Professor, etc.. I fish alot of the classics this time of year..

If it doesn't have a wing its generally called a soft hackle or flymph..earlier version of your emergers...
The one's chaz talk about are really streamers, not wets though you can tie them as such..

Posted on: 2007/1/5 14:15
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