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Wet Flies


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44 replies to this topic

#1 Fontinalis

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 08:37 PM

I look at this board and I see nothing but some really standout wet fly tyers here on this site. For the ones who know me I apologize for this extra line or two, for those who don't, please allow me to introduce myself. I am Andy Brasko. I am a fellow long time attending student and friend with Don Bastian. Besides tying beautiful Bergman wet flies like John or Leigh I am also a columnist for the Catskill Fly tyers guild that writes about a different wet flies to tye and fish with. I am a classic wet fly fishermen who fishes these classic patterns in size 6 & size 8 from NJ to PA to NY and any other place that I wet a line at. I have experimented with the Bergman patterns and continue experimenting with the patters to find out when the flies work and under what wheather and stream condtions and of course time of year. The reason I write this post is because I see these flies being tied and shown off. This makes me pleased to see the wet fly rebirth occurring. I am concerned though that people do not fish these beautiful patterns at all. I hope that this board will provide me information to find this statement to be false. When I fish these wet flies I mean all of them. When was the last time that any one tied and fished a Blue Professor or Captain or a Dennison or a Parmachene Belle or a Cassard. Bergman's book list more wet flies to fish with in a life time. The only thing that Bergman did not due was to provide information on all the patterns when the pattern worked and so on. So I look at Trout and then look at this board and a few other boards and wonder if you guys are fishing these flies or are you just tying them for show or in my case both. A lot of my show flies are thrown in streams and catch some real beautiful Trout. I hope you guy's will provide some insight and for the rest I hope I have given you a little spark to get out and fish these flies.
When on stream people ask me what kind of fly am I fishing. I tell them the name of the fly and they look at me like a two headed snake. Then they ask what kind of fly is that and I tell them a wet fly. Some give me the deer in the head lights look and others do have a clue of what I am fishing. I had one guy up in the Catskills tell me that my Blue Porfessor would never work. Well while fishing on the Beaverkill two Brown trout caught with in two minutes of each other said differently. Then I was asked where does one buy such a fly and that he never had seen one. To make my day I pulled out my fly box and said I do and they cost three dollars a piece. I walked away with $ 9.00 that day and a phone number to call and take an order for some others. I was hoping that since this board is truly the ambassadors of the wet fly tying world. I was hoping that you guys would take the next step and be the ambassadors on the streams with the wet flies.

Sincerely
Andy Brasko
A Genuine Wet Fly Fishermen

#2 Isonychia

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    John McCoy, Huntington, West Virginia, USA

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 09:08 PM

Andy,

I'm old enough to have fished classic wets a couple of years before they went totally out of fashion. That said, I too quit fishing them and haven't really started back up yet. I began tying them two years ago, when two bulging discs in my back made fishing too painful. The discs were surgically repaired last year, and now I am rehabbed and ready to start fishing again in earnest. Last week, I caught my first trout in more than three years -- on a Harry Darbee nymph pattern, the Long-Tailed March Brown. Later this week I'm supposed to go brook-trout fishing in Virginia. I'll have a box of classic wets in my vest, and plan to give them an honest try.

John

Offending the sensibilities of discerning trout since 1955


#3 Fontinalis

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 11:55 PM

John, I am glad to hear that you are better and get out and wet a line. Also nice to know that you have fished these patterns and will be going back to them again. The Harry Darbee pattern sounds interesting and very nastalgic. I love fishing old fly patterns that has been forgotten about. The Trout now a days see all these new patterns and I feel that throwing old patterns at them is like throwing a completely never seen pattern that gets their attention. I guess it's like saying old is new again. I am only 45 and feel that I am a Dinosaur in a modern day world when it comes to fly fishing and tying. I think that's a good thing because some one needs to keep passing down old ways that still work to newer generations. Fly fishing and tying has a ton of history and I am doing my part to make sure that these classic wet flies never get forgotten again and maybe lost. I love your tying and your flies always make me smile. I have been tying classic wet flies but been tying them the way they were really tied with a full collared hackle instead of the beard/false hackle. Now when I tie my show flies you see that were on the same page. Now when tying for fishing I agree with Harry Darbee that the beard/false hackle serves no useful purpose and that a full Collared hackle adds life to the fly that help animate it being alive and inducing strikes. Now as a member of the Catskill Fly Tyers Guild I have the pleasure of speaking with Judy Darbee and ask her about here parents and listen to some of the stories that she tells. Judy is a really nice lady. I also have had the pleasure to meet and see Marry Dette tye flies as well. This club has so many talented tyers like Dave Brandt, Joe Fox, Ralph Graves. I always just like to kick back and throw a dig or two there way to get them to tell stories of the older days. I truly love listening to the stories and the fly tying. Anyway my good friend, nice talking to you. Where in VA are you. I wouldn't mind taking a road trip to meet up with you to wet a line one day.

Sincerely
Andy

#4 ted patlen

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 12:19 AM

andy,

just yesteredy i used a silver doctor, scarlet ibis, abbey, and the parmachemne beau...


no fish on the sil.doc or parmachene but the ibis and abbey both scored very well...i like the telephone box ...


and i too get a kick outta those "non-beleivers" who ask ..."what are you getting them on."..

your comback..."you don't have it"

to which they reply.."try me" .

"a telephone box"

"telephone box?"

"yeah, telephone box"

"so you don't wanna tell me."

"yeah, i just did tell you"



then you catch one on a jenny lind..........and on and on and on.....


this has happened more than once

#5 shezli

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 12:52 AM

I'm a guide at some camps here in Labrador. I have only been just getting into the Atlantic style flies and haven't actually had a chance to start tossing them in the water. I do think it would be an amazing thing to fish with some of the older patterns. Most of the flies fished here, as Dave will tell you, would be the Wulff patterns. It was him that did much of the exploring here, so that's where much of the influences come from. I would really like to, in the up coming season, get some fish on some old classic wet patterns. The streamers work especially well in August and September, and I already have some requests for some full dressed flies.
I think it's a great thing to fish with something so special. Using flies that are made in Korea in mass numbers by someone who probably hasn't even seen a fishing video is a pretty hard pill to swallow for me now that I know the difference.
I would love to learn some Bergman patterns so that I can fish with them.
Anyhow, I enjoyed reading your post.
Thanks
SheZ

Seumas Chong-To Li McGrath (AKA SheZ)

#6 JoshP

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 12:53 AM

I really haven't had a chance to fish since I started tying classic wets, but as soon as I do..... i'm going to fish them (even though i'm more of a dry fly kind of guy). Josh

#7 Charlie Vestal

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 01:00 AM

Andy,

I show the trout here in Colorado lots of soft hackles and wet flies tied per J. Edson Leonard's "Flies". I carry the patterns that are shown on Plate I in his 1950 book.

I fished a blizzard hatch of the little winter black stoneflies earlier this year with a Starling and Purple and then a ragged emergence of BWO's using a Quill Gordon. The fish loved both patterns.

I tie the soft hackles on the TMC 102-Y hooks, and when asked what size I'm using I usually reply a "size 19". Folks will then leave you alone to suffer your mental health in silence. I get the same response if I say "Montreal" or "Queen of the Waters".

I'd much rather fish a soft hackle or a wet fly than drag a Copper John along the bottom even if I don't catch any fish.

Charlie
Chemical Engineering: Solving problems you didn't know you had, in ways you don't understand ......

#8 Isonychia

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    John McCoy, Huntington, West Virginia, USA

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 02:27 AM

QUOTE(Fontinalis @ May 6 2008, 07:55 PM) View Post

Where in VA are you? I wouldn't mind taking a road trip to meet up with you to wet a line one day.


I'd enjoy that immensely. And you wouldn't have to go all the way to Virginia, either. I live in West Virginia, albeit in the very western corner of the state. My house is five miles as the crow flies from Ohio and 20 miles from Kentucky. It's a two-hour drive (at least) to get to any trout water from here.

Probably the best bet would be for us to meet somewhere in central Pennsylvania -- say around State College or Williamsport. That way we could get Don B., Dave Rothrock and Leigh Shuman (leighs52) in on the fun.

All the best,
John

Offending the sensibilities of discerning trout since 1955


#9 willowhead

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 06:06 AM

Great post Andy.........i've known you bout 6 years now, and you've really impressed me with your dedication to these flies you love so much............i just think it's so cool that you truely have such a passion about something from "Back in the Days." Obviously the flies are beautiful, and they also work as well today as they ever did and always will. It's good that your doin' what your doin' by keepin' the flies alive and vital. They are a very important part of the tradition naturally. And you'll always be there to help spread the word. That's a wonderful thing. Your a livin' history book bout Bergman as well......which is a great thing especially for the younger generation. I hope you can find a youngster that wants to learn from you and take over one day, to keep it goin'. When you finally get your butt down here to fish these waters.......i will personally make SURE you have at least one or two opprotunities to teach a class, and or do a demo while your here. I'm tyin' for a shop now here, and doin' demos in two different fly shops. And last but not least, if you EVER wanna tye at the Sowbug Roundup and or the FFF Southern Council Conclave, (both shows are here in Mt. Home), i can get you a seat. Just lemme know. And actually that goes for a lotta other shows as well. You fish your flies down here and you'll have a 100 trout day.............NO DOUBT! And that's NO bs.gif I'll put you on fish like you aint never seen before on a tailwater. It's REDICKALUS!!!!! People have days like that here 365............................so "Come ONnnnnnn Downn!!!!!" mark..... biggrin.gif
Mark J. Romero
94 Yorktown Road
Roscoe, N.Y. 12776-5017
607-498-9944 or
82 Stone Dog Lane
Lakeview, Arkansas 72642
870-431-8955
www.JazzMarkGallery.com
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#10 jeq

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 11:58 AM

Great thread to read through. I fished a Harry Darbee "little Inky Boy" last night in SOuth Bog Stream in Rangeley. I also fish the Parmachenee Belle, Professor, and Dark Montreal all the time. I'm not the greatest tyer, and by far not the greatest fly caster. But these flies catch fish, I can attest to that. Jim Q

#11 Redwings1

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 03:25 PM

Andy, I very commonly will tie on one of the winged wets as part of a tandem rig with one of the 'new' flies. Very often I will fish a FishHawk under a Copper John, or an Admiral below a brassie, or drop a Lil' bugger under a Sabbatus, or a ....well you get the idea wink.gif
-Mike Schmidt of ANGLERSCHOICEFLIES.COM

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#12 streamertyer

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 07:23 PM

I don't fish them much. Too damn short. tongue.gif

#13 Duane Vigue

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 07:28 PM

Wow, $3 bucks a piece!!! Thats dirt. Where can I order some? You tie Cassards and Blue Jays for $3 bucks too? Great post, I feel the exact same way about my featherwing obsession. I know that "deer in headlights" look. Was talking to JoshP about it last night on the blower. I was saying how Ill go into a pool on the WB where guys are casting 30' on a section 200' wide in class 2-3 rapids with size 24 Tricos and tell me they are catching "nice" fish. "We've been hammering 14-16" fish all day!" Needless to say when I throw a big #2, 8X featherwing into the class 4 or 5 rapids just below them and proceed to pull out 20-24" fish they become interested in what Im using. When I tell them "A streamer!", they usually ask "What kind? Zoo Cougar? Wooly Bugger?" That never fails to give me a good laugh. Ill show them what I have on and there is that "deer in headlights" look. It almost always brings up great conversation and some flies and business cards are usually exchanged. Many, many times Ive had guys email me a couple weeks later interested in tying "these types of flies" Always makes me feel good when I feel as though Ive helped someone out and passed on a little Maine featherwing tradition. Duane

#14 bobpetti

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 08:02 PM

"Hi. My name is Bob. I fish wet flies". biggrin.gif

We choose to use flies and techniques that give us pleasure - and sometimes those which add to the challenge of catching trout. Clearly it is fun to tie up a 100 year old pattern and catch a trout or two. I've caught some trout on a Cassard and Tomah Joe, too. It's quite a hoot. Two weekends ago, I caught the first trout of my life on a Thunder Creek streamer. A year ago I caught my first trout on a Grey Ghost. I remember my first trout on a Royal Wulff. Ray Bergman's "Red Squirrel Gold" is one of my all time favorites. I remember one day up north where I absolutely ruled with a small Grouse and Orange soft hackle.

But let's be real. A hungry trout will eat just about anything if you can put it in front of his face in a way that is appealing. A Blue Professor wet, Quill Gordon dry, or a blob of velveeta cheese. Just like the guy who asks every girl in the room until one says yes, fishing is sometimes as simple as presenting your fly to as many fish as possible until one bites.

#15 Fontinalis

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 01:18 AM

Streamertyer is the only one that gets a pass wink.gif . Now to the rest of you who do fish these flies I say thank you and keep up the good work. Just remember to keep passing this great tradition on. I do understand how the streamer fishermen on this board feels with the classics. Thanks every one for the input. I just want to make sure these flies will be around for a long time to come.


Sincerely
Andy

#16 gadabout

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 07:37 PM

I fish wet flies a lot, been doing so for about ten years or more. I wouldn't tie them if I didn't fish them. I didn't start fishing the Parmachene Belle until last year I sorry to say. It's become one of my favorites though. Here's a nice wild brookie from about a week ago, caught on a size 10 Parmachene.

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#17 willowhead

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 09:41 PM

Nice rod........Leonard? mark..... wink.gif
Mark J. Romero
94 Yorktown Road
Roscoe, N.Y. 12776-5017
607-498-9944 or
82 Stone Dog Lane
Lakeview, Arkansas 72642
870-431-8955
www.JazzMarkGallery.com
Swallows Nest Fly Tyers

#18 gadabout

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 12:42 AM

QUOTE(willowhead @ May 8 2008, 04:41 PM) View Post

Nice rod........Leonard? mark..... wink.gif


Mark,

No it's not a Leonard. In fact I don't know what it is. It's a rod that I bought as a "handyman special" about 25 years ago for $15. It was pretty twisted up and in bad shape. Probably dates to about 1910 or thereabouts. I took a shot at restoring it back then, my first attempt at anything like this. I got about halfway through the project then got bored with the tedium of making all the numerous intermediate wraps. It just sat in the back of a closet, then a couple of years ago I got inspired to finish the restoration.

Other than a short mid-winter trial run this was my first time fishing it. I just wanted to "christen it" on a trout, so took it out and this nice brookie complied within a few casts of getting in the water. It's a real wet fly action - a big ten foot wet noodle. Not too much fun to cast. A few minutes after catching this fish, the rod broke cleanly in the middle like it was a pretzel stick. The ferrule connection was pretty worn so the tip had flown off in the middle of a cast. It broke while I was trying to reseat it. Oh well. It was going to be a wall hanger anyway so I'll just try and splice it back together and retire it.

#19 willowhead

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 01:28 PM

Thankx Gad...........cool story..................love that kinna thing. No anglers den, tyin' room or library should ever be without a retired rod on the wall anyway. biggrin.gif I've got bout a half dozen retired rods on the wall in my tyin' room........when Joan Stoliar (Fly Fishing book illustrator, Mother of Trout-In-The-Classroom and Project Access, and wife of Arthor Stoliar, inventor of the Foldstaff and other products), died, Arthor gave Misa and i 13 of her rods. I gave 9 of those away to different people who either needed a rod, or had admired one of them for some reason, still fish with one, (a little 7 ft. 4 wt.), and have three on the wall.....just as momentos of Joan. She was a very good friend and was/is responsible for us having worked the Project Access Project for 15 years in a row, and havin' been the original chaporones (sp?), for the Trout-In-The-Classroom kids for the first 4/5 years of the programs existance. Joan was the lady who got us so crazy off involved with conservation in the first place. She was a charter member of Theodore Gordon Flyfishers. Misa and i have been on the Conservastion Committee at TGF for 15 years .........and it all started with Joan. Her and Arthor rented a second (first is in N.Y.C.), house right next door to the Dettes, on the other side of the river from us in Roscoe, for many years. There's a memorial plaque on a rock, just the opposite side of the bridge over the Willowemoc Creek from Lee Wulff's plaque on a rock, at Wulff Run. The two of them gaurd the entrance to the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum, in Livingston Manor, N.Y. ......one must drive over that bridge to enter the property.
I'm sure Andy understands............when we first met him, ('98/'99), we were renting the apartment on top of the gift shop, on that very same property.....before we ever had a house in Roscoe. Damn Andy, i forgot it had been that long......................jeeze. mark..... wink.gif
Mark J. Romero
94 Yorktown Road
Roscoe, N.Y. 12776-5017
607-498-9944 or
82 Stone Dog Lane
Lakeview, Arkansas 72642
870-431-8955
www.JazzMarkGallery.com
Swallows Nest Fly Tyers

#20 gadabout

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Posted 10 May 2008 - 01:53 AM

Mark,

It's sure nice to have those rods as rememberences of special people. I myself was recently gifted three rods that belonged to Gadabout Gaddis. It was a big thrill for me as I consider myself his biggest fan. Those of you over the age of 45 or so will likely remember television's Flying Fisherman. Gadabout had a weekly show where he flew around in his Piper Cherokee to fish in locations all over the country. All this while in his sixties and seventies. These were not infomercials but real fishing shows. If Gadabout were alive today he'd sure be fishing those wet flies, along with everything else.

Great thread Andy.