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Old 01-31-2014, 07:14 PM
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Default Wet fly VS Dry fly

Hello everyone.
I have been tying flies now for about a month and a half. I really enjoy it. I have been reading a few books and watching a lot of videos but I still have so many questions. I am hoping that I can get some help here.
First off what makes a wet fly vs a dry fly in terms of material? I have a pretty good idea but I guess I am looking for a " here's your sign" answer.
Thread: there are so many different kinds out there. Where does a new guy get the inside scoop on how to use the correct kind? Flat vs round. The different diameters. How do I know which to get? What are the pros and cons?
Finally I have a lot of natural material that I picked up at a garage sale. Her late husband was a hunter/ trapper. My father in law is a taxidermist. What are the advantages of tying with natural vs synthetic materials?
I know that I am all over the place but it can get a little frustrating when all I want to do Is tie. I hope somebody can help or point me in the right direction. Thanks in advance.
Glen.

Ps: I will be taking a tying lesson with Vince Wilcox in a few weeks. He is a renowned tier in my neck of the woods. I was going to save these questions for him but I am a little impatient.


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Old 01-31-2014, 07:51 PM
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Default Re: Wet fly VS Dry fly

Hi Glen,

The main thing is that a wet fly should be made from materials that will readily sink once saturated with water. Secondly a wet fly can be one of many types of tie; winged wets to look like drowning adults or hatched flies headed to the surface. Then come the soft hackle wets, anyone's guess here, are they spyders, bugs or little minnows when on the swing.

The dry fly is best represented by a classic Catskill Style tie such as a Quill Gordon. Stiff hackles with a lot of sheen and natural oils helping them to ride on the hackle tips suspended on the surface film.

Many natural materials will absorb water better than synthetics making them good for wet flies. However tinsel is synthetic and it will not float all that well. Your class will be a big help. I have never paid attention to threads, in all likelihood I've been tying with the 'wrong' thread my whole life. As long as it holds everything together I like them all. For tiny flies you need 0/8 thread, I use a lot of 8 & 6 even on my big flies.

That's a real quick and vague description but if you do some searching look for a Dark Cahill wet & dry. That should make things clear.

Ard
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Old 01-31-2014, 11:09 PM
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Default Re: Wet fly VS Dry fly

Glen,

Patience grasshopper !!!

You will be learning from one of the best tiers around...one step at a time...

Vince Wilcox flies

...and while yer' waiting, treat yourself to a copy of this book:

Trout: Ray Bergman: 9781586670146: Amazon.com: Books Trout: Ray Bergman: 9781586670146: Amazon.com: Books

...and learn from another master...


PT/TB
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Old 02-01-2014, 01:40 PM
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Default Re: Wet fly VS Dry fly

A great wet fly tying resource... Wotton's DVD "wet fly tying"

As a novice tyer, I coveted the classic wet fly but had no idea how to create one. The best source of techniques I found was Davy Wotton's DVD "Wet Fly Tying"

This fantastic DVD taught me how tie beautiful and strong wet flies. Now my boxes are filled with Silver Invicta, Whickham's Fancy, soft hackles, Greenwell's Glory, Alexandra, etc, etc and my own variations using a combination of classic and modern materials. I tie old recipes from A. Courtney Williams book on flies. I have watched that DVD numerous times, and get better with each viewing.

I delight in fishing them, getting great results with a cast of three wet flies. I am still working on my deerhair spinning. My muddler patterns are still messy.

Also great are John Shaner's techniques for sparse, beautiful soft hackles and the Davy McPhail videos (that man can TIE.) On You tube.

My best fish have all come on wet flies. You are right to seek out the experts for instruction. Wishing you tight lines with no indicator!

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Old 02-01-2014, 06:14 PM
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Default Re: Wet fly VS Dry fly

Thanks for DVD advice I will look for a copy.


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Old 02-01-2014, 06:59 PM
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Default Re: Wet fly VS Dry fly

You've gotten some excellent answers, comments and advise. To add to the comments & perhaps some confusion, there are patterns that work well as both dry & wet. Ard has mentioned the Quill Gorden & Cahill patterns, which can be tied as either wet or dry versions, as can most of the traditional patterns. The primary differences being in the hooks & hackle used. Wet flies usually require a heavier wire hook to aid in sinking them, and perhaps additional weight added under the body materials, as well as softer hackles, while dry flies utilize lighter, fine wire hooks & stiffer hackle as Ard has said, which aid in allowing them to float.

However, there can be patterns that are effective as both wet or dry versions, but may be tied on a single style hook. A Woolly Worm is a good example, or a Muddler Minnow. Even though the Muddler is often classified as a streamer pattern and is commonly used as a wet pattern, it can be used as a dry pattern too & works well as a hopper imitation, particularly on a light wire hook. Same with the Woolly Worm, tied as a dry fly with stiffer hackle it can be fished dry until it sinks & fished as a wet pattern there after or tied as an unweighted wet pattern on a heavier hook with stiffer hackle and fished dry until it sinks.

As far as synthetic materials versus natural, there can be many considerations. Often, the primarily consideration is ease of tying. Absorption & water retention, buoyancy, texture, density, and of course how a material moves in the water are all considerations that can cause the use of one or the other, and sometimes a combination when tying a particular pattern. At one time, natural materials were commonly used, since there were either none or very few synthetics available for tying. As such, the older "traditional" patterns were only tied with natural materials. That's not the case now as there are many synthetic materials that can be substituted for naturals. It then becomes a matter of personal choice of the tier which is used.

However, many if us older tiers may still use natural materials out of a sense of tradition or because we feel they provide attributes to a pattern that synthetics may not.
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Old 02-02-2014, 05:05 AM
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Default Re: Wet fly VS Dry fly

Quote:
Originally Posted by gzarboni View Post
Hello everyone.
Thread: there are so many different kinds out there. Where does a new guy get the inside scoop on how to use the correct kind? Flat vs round. The different diameters. How do I know which to get? What are the pros and cons?
first things first. read up on threads

Threads

All about fly tying thread - Thread control - Global FlyFisher

http://mvff.tripod.com/Reference/Denier.pdf

Whitetail Fly Tieing | Thread

---------- Post added at 04:05 AM ---------- Previous post was at 03:45 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by gzarboni View Post
First off what makes a wet fly vs a dry fly in terms of material?
from wikipedia

Dry flies are designed to be buoyant, or to float on the surface of the water. Dry flies typically represent the adult form of an aquatic or terrestrial insect.

Wet flies are designed to sink below the surface of the water. Wet flies have been tied in a wide variety of patterns to represent larva, nymphs, pupa, drowned insects, baitfish and other underwater prey.

read this on dry flies

The Basic Dry Fly Beginning Fly Tying, Part 15 - FAOL

read this on wet flies

Wet Fly Fishing
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Old 02-02-2014, 07:40 AM
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Default Re: Wet fly VS Dry fly

Flytier thank you very much.


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Old 02-02-2014, 08:05 AM
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Default Re: Wet fly VS Dry fly

I love Dave Hughes' book on wet fly fishing & tying.

Randy
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:10 AM
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Default Re: Wet fly VS Dry fly

Great links to info, flytire.

Those are very useful.

Since thread control is so important to good tying, learning as much as you can about each thread and how it performs for you makes a difference in results. At first I just used the threads listed in patterns. I tried to pay attention to how the thread winds, how much it tends to spread out or fray, its breaking strength, how well it holds slick material, how it takes varnish and how slim a fly I could tie. Personal preferences appeared, and I started to understand why one thread may be better for me than another for a given use. Lately I've gone to smaller threads, like the Veevus 12/0 as my "go to" size for wet flies. It is remarkably strong. I also use the Veevus 14/0 and 10/0, the Uni 8/0, the Danville 6/0, Pearsall's silk and the UTC 70 denier. It's worth getting a white and black in each brand and size you want to try and tying a bunch of flies with them to find what you like.


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