Wet fly for the new season

Wet fly fishing is one of the best ways for anglers to get introduced to sub-surface fishing. Unlike nymph and dry fly fishing, where skill, practice and precise imitations are needed to effectively take trout consistently, wet fly fishing can provide rewards quickly - even to beginner anglers. Unlike dry fly fishing and nymph fly fishing - when using wet flies, the angler is not attempting to precisely imitate any particular insect. Instead of looking precisely like a particular type of insect, a wet fly is more an imitation of a stage of life of aquatic insects. I personally believe that wet flies imitate a struggling nymph as it attempts to reach the surface of the river. These same wet flies also suitably imitate dead or drowning insects which you will have on a windy day, Duns that will be tossed and blown over in the wind and trapped in the waves. Either way, one thing about wet flies is that they generally imitate aquatic insects in motion to the surface, drowning in the water, etc  not just floating life less along in the current, completely helpless although that works too sometimes.
Unlike dry fly or nymph fly fishing, wet fly fishing can also be very rewarding to beginner anglers. Perfect, or even good technique, is not needed for new anglers to hook some nice trout. And the reason for this is because of the way most wet fly fishing is done – neither requiring perfect casts nor split-timing when setting the hook When fly fishing with wet flies, anglers frequently will use 2 or more flies together. By using two or more flies together in a dropper setup which will be explained later an angler can improve their chances of finding feeding trout.
So, let’s take a close look at how wet fly fishing works, what is used and why any angler should give it a try even on those rivers that are slow moving and not really fishy looking. There are many different types of flies available for wet fly fishing. Winged,hackled,palamered. Normally, most wet flies have soft hackling.The reason for this is because this type of hackling has fibers in it that move around in the water. This is the attractor for the trout and gives the wet fly a real life appearance and hopefully fool the trout into taking it. Also unlike most nymphs, wet flies are designed to sink slower rather than quickly, so the tying of the wet flies are different from that of an nymphs, no weight or beads should be added unless there is very high and dirty water. Whatever is in it be it deep water, shallow, fast or slow trout tend to take wet flies very close to the surface. Only in extreme cold weather conditions I would go down but for most occasions especially in today’s climate 

The dropper set up
One Great reason for using several dropper flys is that it allows anglers to test out different patterns flies at the same time. Thus, you can tie on one type as normal, then tie on a completely different looking wet fly as a dropper fly. It’s a great way to quickly experiment around to see what works and what doesn’t on a particular river especially a new one you’ve never fished before. you may even be rewarded with having two or more fish hooked simultaneously. The leader set up is very easy and basic. Just follow set by step below.

  1. Attach a 9ft tapered leader to the fly line by use of a needle knot.
  2. Find the desired length of tapered leader you want and trim it back before adding the rig of wet flies. This leader length will depend on the size of river at hand and the amount of flies you may want to use. Typically I tend to have 12ft leader length in total and this will allow me to fish 2 droppers and point fly.
  3. From the end of the leader form a dropper and leave it about 5-6 inches in length, Carry on now with two and a half feet of tippet and again form another dropper again 5-6 inches in length and another 2 and half feet to the point.
  4. Add a drop of knot strength which is available from <LOON> and I found this to be really good to all knots this will help to smoothen the rough -ness out of the them and help in preventing tangles when fishing a team of flies.

The flies 
Well as you may know there are hundreds to choose from but my choice would be to stick with simply proven patterns and stiles that work. My preferred stiles are most defiantly spider patterns because of the action the fly has under the surface. You just won’t get this action from winged fly patterns.
I have a listed patterns below to which can be used on any river and at any time of year and are all tied spider fashion. (Not winged)

Orange partridge, Black and orange, water hen bloa, snip and purple, Greenwell’s, black badger,
Lemon partridge, yellow Greenwell’s, green partridge, pheasant tail, Gold partridge, Silver partridge, Black and silver.

The technique
The tried and true technique of wet fly fishing involves casting your fly line downstream and across the river. This technique, called the basic method here for simplicity, is excellent to use for the beginner angler, since the fly line is tight at all times – a trout generally hooks itself when taking a wet fly fished in this manner although you still want to set the hook. 
This method of fly fishing the wet fly is very simple to do. It requires the use of a type 1 intermediate line. This is the most versatile line for this method.
Called the across and down method by some anglers. Simply cast your flies downstream and across the river from you. Follow the cast downstream with your fly rod, keeping the rod tip pointed at the wet flies. The current of the river will quickly form a belly in the fly line, swinging the flies across the river – which imitates a swimming, drowned or hatching insect. An angler can also twitch either the rod or fly line to put a little more action into the fly. I often use a very slow bobbing action when fishing slow moving flats again just to add a bit more action into the fly. 
Once the fly hangs directly downstream from the angler, raise the rod tip slightly, which raises the fly out of the depths of the river  thus imitating an emerging insect. An angler can also twitch the fly rod at this point of the cast to provide a little additional action to the fly – something which frequently provokes a strike before you make your next cast. You can even leave the fly there for a short while, moving the rod tip up and down, thus taking the fly up and down in depth. 
Another method is upstream but this method requires the use of a floating line. In essence, this method is the same as the basic wet fly fishing technique – except that the angler is extending the wet flies drift by providing a short dead drift through an area that may look appealing. The only real trick to using this method is to be sure to cast your fly well above the piece of water you want your wet fly to “dead drift” though, in order to give the fly time to get to the proper depth. You will also want to take care to make sure that the fly line is not taught during the dead drift section otherwise the flies will swing. A line mend or two may also have to be made, especially in faster waters, to prevent the current from sweeping the fly away before it reaches the prime taking  area you’re aiming for.

Michael Drinan