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JOHNWDecember 29th, 2009, 1:36 pm
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
OK so our esteemed colleague JAD has inspired me to dive into "fishing wets in the classic style". The issue it brings me to is what patterns should I stock up on?
I'm looking for both hatch specific and prospecting patterns. Some like the lead wing cochmen and soft hackle PT are no brainers but what others are "must haves"?
JW
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
CaseyPDecember 29th, 2009, 2:57 pm
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
partridge and yellow for the sulphur season, since you're a PA angler. amazing results, especially fished behind your favorite sulphur dry. (don't tell JAD--it's not classic that way!)

first time i tried this, fished a pool with said dry, 8 misses. then the penny dropped, and i fished the same pool with wet behind dry, 8 fish. now it's my American Express card!
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
JADDecember 29th, 2009, 7:34 pm
Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362
Hello my friend.
John, That's easy just use a Teloganopsis Deficiens. Then again you could just borrow one from Louis or me, but it will cost ya.
All kidding aside, hard to beat a Stewart Spider ( BR -BLK- gray) Turn to the Soft Hackles also hard to top, if fish are working.

Best
JAD

They fasten red (crimson red) wool around a hook, and fix onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cocks wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
JOHNWDecember 30th, 2009, 9:59 am
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
Casey,
I'm thinking if a single dropped from a dry worked well then a cast of 3-4 worked up and across through straight down might be really interesting.

The hatches that have me most intrigued, at least in terms of wet flies, are grannoms, MB/GF, and craneflies. However the reading/DVD watching I've been up to has me starting to think of some not so "traditionl times" for wet fly applications.
JW
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
CaseyPDecember 30th, 2009, 10:53 am
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
yup, wets beat nymphing all hollow.

i try them any time the water is clear, quartering up and across to down. either most of the strikes happen at the swing, or that's when i feel them, whichever. the hardest thing to do is to avoid yanking the fly out of the fish's mouth when the strike is downstream of you--you have to let the fish hook itself, which it will do--i keep telling myself!
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
MartinlfDecember 30th, 2009, 3:14 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3173
JAD, it's mean of you to make up big long fake latin names for nonexistant hatches, you dog you. But I do think the flies you mention will work. I'm down in Alabama now for a few weeks; hope you are hammering the steelhead for me.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
SofthackleDecember 31st, 2009, 4:33 pm
Site Editor
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Hi,
Might I suggest you have a look at my soft-hackle site,listed in my signature. I suggest Partridge and Olive Emerger tied in sizes 14-18. If you can not find partridge hackle small enough, substitute gray dun hen hackle. The Leisenring Spider pattern is also a great fish catcher as well as the Partridge and Orange, Hare Lug and Plover, and check out the Greenwell's Flymph and Little Olive Flymph. All of these patterns are good, but I've picked out a few that seem to work very well.

Try this link as well: Hope this helps

Wet Flies Rediscovered

Mark
"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html
Wetfly1January 1st, 2010, 6:09 am
Johnstown, Pa

Posts: 11
JW,

These wet fly patterns might be to your liking on our website. (www.wetflywaterguides.com) We have many different hatch matcher wet flies that cover all the major hatches here in Pa. And also many different prospecting patterns that have worked very well over the years. All patterns are soft hackles, Flymphs, and hybrids of the old classic style tied wet flies. Wow, as far as stocking up, well that's tough one because I carry 6 different Perrine clip box's loaded with nothing but wets that I use through out the season and believe it or not most of those flies are use one time or another during the season. I don't carry any drys or nymphs just wets and they seem to work just fine when fish are working the surface or when no hatch is present. As far as the classic approach to fishing these flies we fish them on a 3 fly rigged leader casting 1/4 and down. The results are pretty wild and it also gives you the chance to hook up on multiple fish at one time. My favorite hatch matchers are the Blue Wing Olives, Sulphers, Slate Drakes. Prospecting flies the Nat Flash Hare, Picket Pin, Stonefly. Hope some of the patterns will be helpfull on your quest.

Dave
Dave

wetflywaterguides.com
JADJanuary 1st, 2010, 12:21 pm
Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362
Well thanks alot guys and girls.
Now john will be loaded up with all good flies and he will whip the pants off of me again.:)


John be kind to old Men

John

They fasten red (crimson red) wool around a hook, and fix onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cocks wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
JOHNWJanuary 7th, 2010, 2:02 pm
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
"John be kind to old Men"

JAD
Unlike the ungrateful punks WB referred to in the is it getting easier thread I am acutely aware of which side of my bread is buttered and if it were not for the exceeding kindness of "old men" I would not be a quarter of the fly fisherman that I am today.

To all of those who offered suggestions I m very greatful lso and will certainly be delving into the bounty of info in these tying months presented by ma nature until the olives start popping.
JW
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
JADJanuary 7th, 2010, 9:19 pm
Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362
JW
As a man gets older and loses his life long fishing buddies, he is eternally grateful for the younger bucks. Beside you and Louis keep me on my toes:)


And Louis you owe me one for calling you a Young buck.

The other John

JAD

They fasten red (crimson red) wool around a hook, and fix onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cocks wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
MartinlfJanuary 8th, 2010, 9:26 am
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3173
I certainly do, John. But I feel more like an old fart when I'm pulling off my boots at the end of a day's fishing, that's for sure.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
JOHNWFebruary 14th, 2010, 11:26 am
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
OK so I have finally gotten down to tying these guys in earnest but I have a couple of questions:

How does one dub in the Liesenring Style?

What eactly is the difference between a soft hackle, flymph and spider?

Thanks again,
JW
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
JADFebruary 14th, 2010, 2:48 pm
Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362
John
With out a long winded post, Jim Liesenring used silk thread that was waxed. He would lay the thread on his leg while sitting ,and roll the fur dubbing and the waxed silk with his palm hand. The thread was then placed on a cardboard between two slits and allowed to dry or set up before it was dubbed on the hook, as a dubbing brush. The trick is to use the color of silk so with a sparse dub, one can see the color of thread ( like touch dub==LaFontaine ) A great source---http://www.flymphforum.com/phpBB3/index.php

Flymph-- well a flymph is more of a emerger. The flymph is like a S H but has a few more winds with the main hackle.
Loren has a good tutorial---http://www.flyguysoutfitting.com/flymphsbs.html

Best
John

They fasten red (crimson red) wool around a hook, and fix onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cocks wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
WbranchFebruary 15th, 2010, 3:14 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2727
I've never caught a trout on a soft hackle or flymph and maybe no more than half a dozen on wet flies. I've tied lots of them but never tie them on my leader - after a year or so I give them away. I'd love to see someone fish soft hackles during the LJ weekend so I could watch the technique and maybe gain some confidence in fishing them.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
SofthackleFebruary 15th, 2010, 6:03 am
Site Editor
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Hi John,
JAD has given a pretty fair description of the Leisenring dubbing technique, which I and many others feel, is one of the very best ways to dub. Of course it takes a little practice and a bit more time, but it's worth it, IMO.

Also, I might add that Flymphs might be considered "emergers", however I feel they imitate MORE than just an emerging fly. I have taken trout on flymphs in many given situations, not just during emergence. I believe once you begin using them, you will see the same.

Spiders, to my knowledge, were/are the precursor to both soft-hackle and flymph. Spiders are usually tied on short shank hooks, which many tiers feel need to be straight-eyed. The hackle was originally wound over the front half of the body. The term "soft-hackle" can be attributed to Syl Nemes, who reintroduced many of the classic patterns of the North Country in England to fly fishermen. These flies are very similar to spiders and can be tied like spiders, on short shank straight-eyed hooks, but the hackle is generally wound as a collar. Modern soft-hackles are fashioned on various hooks and usually consist of an abdomen usually of silk or similar material,a thorax, and hackle. The thorax is, sometime, omitted.

Here's some links to look at:

The Leisenring Method

Flymphs Reconsidered

There's a lot to take in, SO as suggested before try joining the Flymph Forum here:

Flymph Forum

Mark
"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html
JOHNWFebruary 15th, 2010, 1:21 pm
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
Thanks Guys!
TO my feeble mind a spider was essentiall a dry with an exceptionally oversized hackle used for skating. Obviously in the context of this discussion that did not work.

Now let me try to oversimplify so I am sure to have it correctly in my brain (in terms of modern patterns):
1 Spiders hackled over forward half of fly
2 Soft hackle collar hackle instead -1.5 -wraps of hackle only

both of the above items are irregardless of winging on the fly?
For spiders: is the dubbing wound forward through the hackle or is it more like the body of an Elk Hair caddis?
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
SofthackleFebruary 15th, 2010, 2:06 pm
Site Editor
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Hi John,
Soft-hackles, in some respect, can have very slight wings, but traditionally are not winged as we think of them. Spiders are wingless, Flymphs are, too. The hackle, on all of these flies can and does represent both wing and legs. Leisenring often used hackles with a dark list-the center part of the hackle fibers near the stem, like Badger and Furnace hackle. He claimed it did a better job of representing both wings and legs.

Early spiders, as developed by Stewart, were hackled on the front half of the fly body. Also, early North Country flies (soft-hackles) were tied so the hackles stood, somewhat perpendicular to the hook shank and were often fished upstream as Stewart intended. So you see Stewart was connected to modern dry fly technique as are these flies to some extent.

Woodcock & Orange
This Woodcock and Orange is tied traditionally, hackles perpendicular and butted against the thorax for support.

Modern soft-hackles, spiders and flymphs as well, can be fished upstream or down using various techniques and retrieves. Modern spiders are usually tied on short shank and are hackled as a collar if dubbed, but early spiders were tied with silks and hackles wrapped through the front half. Spider- as used here, is of English derivation and was used to denote the soft-hackled fly of the North Country. It is still used as such, today.

Some Flymphs can also be hackled through the dubbed thorax, however, this feature was not added to these flies till much later in its development. In fact I'd never heard of it till I read Dave Hughes' book WET FLIES. He told me that Vern Hidy added this attribute to the flymph shortly before he passed away, but he never put it into print. Mr. Hughes knew Hidy personally. Up till that point flymphs were hackled as a collar. Also flymphs were generally dressed so the colored thread they were dubbed on showed through the dubbing.

It IS somewhat confusing, but it is a natural progression, really. Stewart's spiders were, most likely first in the line followed by "soft-hackles" as we call them. The English very often still call them "spiders". Flymphs followed later, developed in USA as Leisenring adopted many English patterns to American waters. Leisenring knew their history, I'm sure because he corresponded regularly with Skues. Hidy continued the development, coining the term "flymph' to denote the fly representing a transitional period between nymph and fly.

Here's a spider variation tied by Hans W.

Black Spider1

Here's another by Olav Berg:

Black Spider2

My variation according to Leisenring:

Black Spider3

There is a lot to take in, so as suggested try joining up at

Flymph Forum

Mark



"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html

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