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Trout Hackled Wet flies

Thursday, 10 September 2015  |  Simon

A wet fly is designed to be fished below the water's surface. Wet flies vary from traditional wet flies used for over a hundred years to modern flies using flashabou type and other bright modern materials. The success of the wet fly often depends far more on its action than it resembling a specific insect and matching a hatch / nymph. When fish are on the feed the actual pattern is generally not important, but when the fish are not preoccupied or need tempting the angler must use ingenuity to discover what the fish are feeding on and what color they are taking. When fishing wet flies, it is important to remember that the higher the wave on the water the higher the fly hook size can be, but still take into account the brightness and clarity of the water.

Trout do see sub-surface insects with wings. Some flies begin hatching below the water surface. Some up-winged flies swim or crawl beneath the surface as adult spinners in order to lay eggs. Often duns & spinners are swamped by the current and forced under the water surface. Emerging duns that have been unable to get rid of their nymphal case or at the time emerging are drowned when they float under rough water that is flowing over a large rock or ledge are also hunted by the fish. The fish on purpose lurk in slack water near eddies and small plunge pools to look for these type of snacks. Clearly a fish does see winged insects under the surface at certain times of the year so be prepared with a selection of different colored wet flies for when the fish are not taking from the surface.

Fishing the Soft-Hackle Wet fly

Probably the most common way to fish a soft-hackle wet fly is to cast it across and slightly downstream, letting it sink and then swing in the current, rising with the tightening line much as a natural rises to the surface before hatching. It's on this rise that fish usually strike. Another productive method is to cast the fly upstream on a short cast and then let it to dead-drift back to you just under the surface (or, if tied on a light-wire hook, in the surface film). On lakes and ponds a soft hackle fly cast in front of a cruising fish and then twitched slightly can be absolutely deadly. Many soft-hackle  anglers, especially in Europe, favor fishing two or three of these flies (of different colors and sizes) at a time.

Hackled wet fly fishing flies have been used for many years, they can be very heavy fly fishing flies or lightly dressed flies in the style of Clyde dressed spider trout flies or northern spider flies. Use of hackled wet flies is a technique regularly adopted by fly fishermen, sometimes to the exclusion of other techniques as it is a highly productive fly fishing technique. Hackled wet flies include many traditional (flies|fishing flies|fly fishing flies} like Greenwell's, Black Pennel, Zulu, Spiders and famous flies like Snipe and Purple or Partridge  and Orange fly fishing flies.

 
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