Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Researching The Wet Fly
Hopper Juan or SmallStream. Despite that admission, my lack of expertise has never been an obstacle that has stopped me before so I gave it a shot.
I suppose the reason I have never tied up many we flies in the past is two fold. One is that nearly ever wet winged fly I have ever seen has been an Atlantic Salmon fly and well, Atlantic Salmon seldom venture south for the winter so whats the point.
Second is that the classic wet flies for trout seemed to have gone out of style over the years in favor of the small midges, streamers, and emergers of American tiers.
Now whether this trend is due to that obsessed cult of fly fishing enthusiasts (I might fall into that category if secretly observed from shore) that ring their hands together over their fly box struggling to find just that perfect fly to match the hatch, I'm not sure. However, in his book,
, John Van Vliet says that's precisly the reason and in the late fifties the wet fly began to disappear from fly boxes across the nation.
Another prolific publisher of fly tying books is Dave Hughes and in his Wet Flies book he goes into great detail on the history of the wet fly and how they are to be fished. A great book but as I surf the blogs for wet flies and wet fly patterns I come across very few. I end up looking back to books published before the 40's when some of the main ingredients were 'wood pecker' and 'blue jay' feathers. My neighbors may think I am a bit nuts if I began shooting birds off my fence for the tying material (not to mention this practice is now quite illegal). There was that squirrel incident last year but that is about as far as I am willing to go.
One thing is for sure, these corner stones of fly fishing have gone by the way side in favor of the midges and emergers of today.
Those that follow my ramblings and outsider art might be able to tell that I like the old, vintage styles of the past.
Wet-Fly Fishing (Treated Methodically) by Ewin M. Tod. These books are a surprising wealth of knowledge if one can muddle through the old world language and slang of the time
Today I toast the Classic Wet Fly with another classic the English have given us (or at least made popular in the 17th century). RUM. This brand isn't that old but it sure to do the classic rum proud. Let the Kraken be unleashed.