You're making my case for me. Yes, I'm sure that five hundred years ago, when they put wings on a fly, the tier was copying an adult insect. Whether the fish took it as such or not is less certain.Soft-hackle wrote:Bob,
Let's get really technical, here. In all honesty, no fishing fly we fashion replicates anything in reality. Some of the realistic tiers come pretty close to getting something that looks like the real thing, however our flies are only suggestive of what's out there.
With that said, the winged wet, for the most part, when conceived, was most likely fashioned to represent an adult insect. What happened after that is what often happens in this area of fly tying; the original concept gets altered to fit the needs of the fisherman. This is, perhaps a mistake, but it happens. In addition, when I posed the question, I was speaking, specifically, of stages of the insect cycle, not the fly in general. In general, technically, any fly could potentially represent food of various sorts. That is up to the fish to decide.
I asked the question about the Prince, because most people would say it represents some sort nymph. Bill's suggestion of an iso is a good example. However, when you look at them from five feet away, there's no real difference between a Prince Nymph and a Coachman wet. (I mean the original Coachman, with white wings, and I'm assuming a sparse tie.) I substitute one for the other all the time.
BTW, I hooked a sizeable rainbow yesterday (which I lost on it's second or third jump) on a team consisting of a Wickham's Fancy and a Greenwell's Glory, both winged -- fished on bottom, with several pieces of shot, under an indicator. That was after several fruitless hours of throwing wingless wets, upstream and down, throughout the the whole column.