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Old 05-26-2012, 12:29 AM
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Default Wet Fly or Streamer?

Is there a generally accepted difference between whether a fly is categorized as a streamer or a wet fly? My guess is that streamers are larger and have a "flowy" tail (maribou or hair/fur of some sort). Is there a better definition out there? Is it entirely dependent on what the fly is "meant" to immitate, baitfish vs. bug?
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Old 05-26-2012, 11:31 AM
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Default Re: Wet Fly or Streamer?

A lot of it is just semantics- streamers tend to be larger than wet flies, and typically are meant to imitate baitfish or sculpins. Historically, you had "streamers" constructed with feather wings and "bucktails" constructed with hair wings, both designed to imitate baitfish. Wet flies were generally designed to imitate smaller aquatic insects.
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Old 05-26-2012, 01:40 PM
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Default Re: Wet Fly or Streamer?

A streamer is most often thought to represent baitfish but they can also represent eels, leeches, etc. I think shape and function are the best criteria.

There are micro streamers that are used during the early season and in small streams. So using size as a criteria is not as precise as using shape and function.

Mini Streamers - Micro Streamers - Global FlyFisher

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports: Micro-Streamers for Early Season Bass

Black Micro Streamer – Matuka Style Brook Trout Fly — Ontario Fly Fishing Information, Fly Patterns, Ontario Rivers, Free Fly Fishng Videos
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:41 AM
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Default Re: Wet Fly or Streamer?

The distinction for me has always been those subsurface flies tied on an 3xl or longer hooks were 'streamers' and those tied on shorter hooks were 'wet flies'.

I agree if you go back to the 1970s and before, those flies tied with feather wings or bucktail wings were typically what was thought of as a 'streamer' and if you look at the Joseph Bates books "Streamer Tying and Fishing" and "Streamers and Bucktails" which are two of the ABSOLUTE BEST in my mind, they support this thinking.
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Old 05-29-2012, 04:01 PM
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Default Re: Wet Fly or Streamer?

I'm not sure why I didn't do this before, but a quick trip to some online dictionaries yielded the following:

Streamer
: any large wet fisherman's fly with long streamer feathers, hair, or other appendages extending out behind the hook and from the head


streamer fly
noun Angling .
an artificial fly having a wing or wings extending beyond the crook of the fishhook.

Plus... these definitions definitely fit with the idea of a streamer as a piece of cloth fluttering in the wind.

Thanks for all the info so far.
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Old 05-29-2012, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: Wet Fly or Streamer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stimmy7 View Post
The distinction for me has always been those subsurface flies tied on an 3xl or longer hooks were 'streamers' and those tied on shorter hooks were 'wet flies'.
I get what you are saying but these days many patterns like Lefty's Deceiver are clearly streamers tied on shorter hooks. That is why I chose a functional rather than an anatomic definition.

Similarly the dictionary definition includes nymphs such as damsel flies, hairy leg stoneflies, etc that are not traditionally thought to be streamers. In my opinion all streamers may be defined as having material extending beyond the hook bend BUT all flies with material extending beyond the hook bend are not streamers. So the definition ("any large wet fisherman's fly with long streamer feathers, hair, or other appendages extending out behind the hook and from the head")is too broad to exclude flies that are not streamers and it excludes the smaller micro streamers which are functionally and purposefully streamers.

Its kind of like pornography. Difficult to define precisely but you know it when you see it.
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Old 05-29-2012, 04:58 PM
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Default Re: Wet Fly or Streamer?

Streamers imitate baitfish, wet flies imitate insects.

Next logical question- If both imitate insects, what's the difference between a wet fly and a nymph?

The answer there is tricky: I'd say if its designed to be fished dead-drift in moving water, its a nymph. If the fly is typically fished on a tighter line, its a wet fly.

But based on that, Davy Wotton is nymphing, so who knows?
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:16 PM
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Default Re: Wet Fly or Streamer?

For the most part, nymphs are juvenile forms of insects:

Nymphs of aquatic insects, as in the orders Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies), Ephemeroptera (mayflies), and Plecoptera (stoneflies) are also called naiads, which is an Ancient Greek name for mythological water nymphs, who would lure men to their deaths with their cold black hearts. In older literature, these were sometimes referred to as the heterometabolous insects, as their adult and immature stages live in different environments (terrestrial vs. aquatic)

Of course there are also these forms of nymphs, which definitely don't turn into insects:

Other nymphs, always in the shape of young maidens, were part of the retinue of a god, such as Dionysus, Hermes, or Pan, or a goddess, generally the huntress Artemis.[1] Nymphs were the frequent target of satyrs. They are frequently associated with the superior divinities: the huntress Artemis; the prophetic Apollo; the reveller and god of wine, Dionysus; and rustic gods such as Pan and Hermes.

http://goo.gl/65Pg0

Now, let's not get started on "What are Flymphs" please....
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