Wet Flies

Wet flies, sometimes called sunken flies, are designed to sink. They are tied with materials that readily absorb water and on heavy hooks so they descend quickly. The usual way to fish a winged wet fly is to cast it across the stream, allow it to swing downstream as it sinks, and then strip it back toward you at a rate slow enough to keep the fly suspended at the desired depth in the water column.


Favorite Flies book by Mary Orvis Marbury

The inspiration of our “Old Favorite” Wet Fly Collections comes from Mary Orvis Marbury‘s 1892 book “Favorite Flies and Their Histories”. Mary divided the flies shown throughout the book into categories: Hackles, Salmon Flies, Lake Flies, Trout Flies, and Bass Flies. For our collections, we selected several flies from the latter three categories and developed our Fly Tying Cards to document what materials we use to tie them. The images used on our cards are the exact colored renderings that appear in the various plates inserted throughout her book. The following sections show the images we selected for our collections.

You can browse this book online by clicking here.

Trout book by Ray Bergman (1938)

The source of our “Classic” Wet Fly Collection is Ray Bergman‘s 1938 book “Trout”. Ray had a unique style of tying wet flies where he oriented the wings with the tips pointing up – unlike most of the traditional wet flies that were tied with the wing tips pointing down. He also oriented the hackle so most of the feather barbs were near the bottom of the fly and extended toward the hook point. The images used on our Fly Tying Cards are actual photographs of wet flies tied in the Ray Bergman’s style and what materials are used come from the book’s appendix.

You can browse this book online by clicking here.

Old Favorite Salmon Fly Collection

The Salmon Flies category includes flies that are very large and ornate. Their usage would be for river and sea-run salmon and steelhead.

Old Favorite Lake Fly Collection

The Lake Flies category includes flies that are quite large and ornate. Their usage would be for slow or still water and perhaps as a streamer.

Old Favorite Trout Fly Collection

The Trout Flies category includes flies primarily used for trout and grayling. Since the dry fly had not been introduced in the US until several years after Marbury’s book was published, these are all wet flies.

For our collections, the 8×10 Frame contains all 18 trout flies and the 5×7 frame contains a subset of 8 trout flies.

Old Favorite Bass Fly Collection

The Bass Flies category includes flies used for bass fishing. They tend to be larger than most of the trout flies but perhaps not quite as large as the lake files.

Classic Wet Fly Collection

The Classic Wet Flies category includes flies mainly from Ray Bergman’s 1938 book Trout.

2 thoughts on “Wet Flies

  1. Wonderful site. Just found it today. Have it bookmarked already. Thanks for posting these flies.

    1. Thanks for the great comment, Mike. I want my site to be more than just selling things and your kind words confirm it.

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