Copyright 2014 James Marsh
All fishing flies get wet, that is unless they land in a tree when they are cast. Well, on second thought,
many wet flies never do actually get wet because they stay in the fly angler's fly box and are never used.
Many of the older, original wet flies end up as a collectors item. It is a fact that wet fly fishing isn't as
popular as it once was. It was one of the very first types of trout flies. Some of the old timers and some
anglers that have recently been introduced to the wet fly, think they are the most effective type of trout
Trout are primarily feed below the surface of the water but even so, anglers generally prefer the dry fly.
When they do fish below the surface, most anglers use nymphs. The wet fly in several different forms is
the basis for fly-fishing, as it is known today. Anglers from past years relied heavily on the wet fly as their
primary method of fly fishing for trout. Today it is used very little but it is becoming more and more
Some may think fishing the wet fly is a simple method. Quite the opposite of that, it is as involved as most
any other type of fly fishing for trout. I have had anglers ask me, what the advantage of a wet fly is over a
nymph. These same anglers rarely know the difference in a nymph and a pupae because they lack a
basic understanding of aquatic insects. The wet fly imitates a caddisfly pupa accenting to the surface very
well. Nymphs are found on the bottom unless they are emerging to hatch on the surface of the water. It
could be said that wet flies are effective in imitating emerging mayflies, but I don't think that's an
advantage over fishing a mayfly emerger fly, especially if it is a specific imitation of the hatching mayfly.
Fishing wet flies is usually done in a searching manner, without any specific place in mind. Of course, it is
far more effective if presented in areas that have a concentration of trout. Many fish a wet fly the same
way they swing streamers or on the swing. Swinging the wet fly allows you to cover a lot of water fast. By
taken a step or two downstream on each presentation, you can cover an area of riffles or a large pool
Wet flies are also used effectively with the Czech method of fly fishing. Sometimes two, even three, wet
flies are fished using this method. I think wet flies is better than nymphs when using the Czech method.
This method works best in fast riffles and runs.
The Japanese used the Tenkara method of fly fishing using wet flies hundreds of years ago. It is still an
effective method of fishing today that's gaining in popularity.
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