Wing or no wing

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redietz
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Re: Wing or no wing

Post by redietz » Mon May 03, 2010 9:39 pm

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.

Mark
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.

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.
Bob
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Re: Wing or no wing

Post by GlassJet » Wed May 05, 2010 4:37 am

redietz wrote: 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.
I suspect that is right. Living opposite a river, i have LDO's in my kitchen at the moment, and those wings do look mightily like some of those wing slips! But, in the water? Not so sure.

My own experience is beginning to tell me that the success or otherwise of a wet / damp pattern is all about movement, then size and colour. I think the aim is to create an impression of life - ie food to the fish - rather than any particular insect copied slavishly. Hence my current fascination with soft palmered patterns, they seem to be really buggy and are doing well for me.

I would think if anything, the wing in a wet fly interferes with this movement - ie creation of the impression of something living? Dunno though - not only have i never tied one (yet) but not fished one either.

I guess it all comes down to your local waters, and confidence of course - I am starting to form a story that makes sense to me, and it will probably reinforce itself by me choosing to fish wingless flies - and probably palmers or part palmers - and I will catch at least *some* fish - and so it goes on! :lol:

Andrew.
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Re: Wing or no wing

Post by Soft-hackle » Wed May 05, 2010 6:56 am

Yes, Andrew,
I agree with your assessment of the importance of movement. My own observations over years of fishing my home water tell me this. It's less about profile than it is about the behavior of the fly. Some consider this "presentation". I do not. I call it "fly behavior". To me, presentation is the way in which the fly is cast to the fish. It's about where the angler is in relation to the fish, leader selection and use, the number of flies used, and whether you use dry fly, wet fly or both and if the fly is fished deep, mid depth or surface or near. Fly behavior is more about control or lack of it. Dry flies, wets, nymphs can be fished dead-drift or with movement, and it's up to the fisherman to determine what the fish want. In my case, movement IS very important to tell the fish the fly is alive.

Now, with that said, it is unimportant, really, if you do consider this part of presentation or not. What IS important is that the fishermen recognize this determining factor.

Mark
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Re: Wing or no wing

Post by GlassJet » Wed May 05, 2010 10:46 am

Soft-hackle wrote: Dry flies, wets, nymphs can be fished dead-drift or with movement, and it's up to the fisherman to determine what the fish want. In my case, movement IS very important to tell the fish the fly is alive.

Mark
And there is two types of movement of course - any movement the fisher imparts on the fly by line manipulation, and the movement of the hackle itself it the currents of the water.

That's why I love the magpie scalp hackles I am playing with at the moment, they really are soft and look like they should move superbly. Just need to see if the fish agree! :lol:

Andrew.
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Re: Wing or no wing

Post by Silver Doctor » Wed May 05, 2010 6:47 pm

Sounds like I need to scalp me a Magpie. :lol: Post that fly when you finish it I'd love to see it.
Mark[/quote]

That's why I love the magpie scalp hackles I am playing with at the moment, they really are soft and look like they should move superbly. Just need to see if the fish agree! :lol:

Andrew.[/quote]
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redietz
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Re: Wing or no wing

Post by redietz » Wed May 05, 2010 11:32 pm

GlassJet wrote:[
And there is two types of movement of course - any movement the fisher imparts on the fly by line manipulation, and the movement of the hackle itself it the currents of the water.
Absolutely -- movement of the whole fly, and movement of parts of the fly.

There's also the consideration whether you're fishing upstream or down. Although upstream is generally believed on this board to be preferable, there are times when either you're forced to fish downstream, or the fish really want to chase something (such as during an active caddis emergence). If you fish a wingless fly downstream on a tight line, it collapses and you might as well be fishing a hackle-less fly. There are several ways around this, such as using stiffer hackle, or by using a fly with a bulky thorax. Another possibility to use a winged fly. A barred wing, such as wood duck, will present the appearance of motion without actually moving. And of course, you can hedge your bet there as well, by adding some soft hackle to a winged fly. I usually tie my Hendrickson wets with a few turns of CDC as well as conventional hackle.

The winged version will also be visible from further away. It's effectiveness as an attractor in a tactical team shouldn't be under-estimated.

There's also the case, however, where no movement is desired -- a spent spinner should look dead, whether on or in the water.

I don't think it's possible to rate the effectiveness of wing v. wingless in the general case.. In any given circumstance, one or the other might be more effective. Figuring out which one that is at the moment is one of the things that make fishing endlessly fascinating.
Bob
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Re: Wing or no wing

Post by Old Hat » Wed May 05, 2010 11:53 pm

I've always thought of the Prince Nymph as a stonefly pattern, or just an attractor based on profile and contrast. Here's a prince I started using last fall. Definitely doesn't imitate any insect I know but the trout love it. I tried to get away from the nymph to fit my fishing style a bit more and originally tied it for steelhead. I'm going to try the pattern out on the lakes this Spring.

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Re: Wing or no wing

Post by Fontinalis » Tue May 18, 2010 10:43 am

I read this thread and have been inspired by many of the well though out and informative post’s on this subject. Please allow me to introduce my self, my name is Andy Brasko. As Mark can tell you I am a classic winged wet fly tyer, I have been under the weather awhile and finally back to my old self. I do apologize to Mark for not posting here sooner and for not participating on a really nice and informative web site.
When I think of winged wets I automatically go back to the 1800’s where most winged wets were developed across the pond. One fly in particular is Greenwell’s Glory. When Cannon Greenwell described the fly he had seen on stream that day I do believe it was described with wings. I do believe tyers back then did indeed tye the flies they seen or were described to as all having wings. The fun part and on Greenwell’s Glory is that the tyer (Name Slips me at the moment, please forgive me) who tyed the Flies for Cannon Greenwell to fish with the next day is possibly a fly that the tyer had tyed for someone else and not truly created for Cannon Greenwell.
Winged wet flies represent adults, Adults just emerging to the surface, drowned dead adults and when you think of it winged wets even can represent small bait fish. The Parmachene Belle winged wet fly that was developed for the lakes and Streams in Maine like the Rangeley area or Cupsuptic was not intended to represent neither a baitfish nor an adult fly. This fly was developed to represent a Trout’s fin used for bait. Many of you know that the anglers of old would run out of bait and would cut the fins off the Trout they caught and use that for bait allowing them to continue fishing and catch more Trout. This holds true for other classic winged wet patterns like the red and white Ibis, the split Ibis, Trout Fin, Brookie Fin, Fontinalis Fin, and the Fontinalis Fin Armstrong. I also have experienced in my own research that the wings acts like an attractor, one pattern that comers to mind is the Romaine. I also believe that a full collar hackle adds life and movement to the fly where the beard/false hackle serves no useful purpose at all. Most of my fishing flies have a full collar hackle. My show flies all have the beard/false hackle.
I am not implying that winged or flymphs/softhackles will out fish each other. What I am saying is that classic winged wets are extremely affective and deserve a place in you fly box. I will be asking a lot of questions on this board and please do not take me as a challenge. I am adding soft hackles to my classic winged wet fly box so that I can truly become well rounded and knowledgeable wet fly fishermen. I have lots to learn on tying the flymphs and soft hackles and have many questions. My library now has many Sylvester Nemes books, Hughes and Liesering & Hidy.
Lastly in the NJ, PA & Catskill region I am known for fishing my classic winged wet flies in size 6 and size 8 with very much success. The smallest kook I go down to is a size 14 in honor of a man named Ralph Hoffman who taught me how to tye a 100 year old Catskill pattern that was never listed in any pattern books called the Black Turkey. When I do need to go down in size, I use a size 10 and at times a size 12 and get the fish back into paying attention to the patterns that were not working in larger sizes. Only a few patterns I have encountered this improving my catch rate were on the Black, Prince, Montreal, and at times the Silver Doctor. My question to this board, has any one fished large sized flymphs/soft hackles and caught fish consistently? What is the normal size for flymphs and soft hackles that you fish with? As previously stated I have a ton more questions to come. Thanks to all for your patience and time and I look forward to diving into this other side of wet fly fishing that I plan on using this season.

Sincerely
Andy Brasko
A Genuine Wet Fly Fisherman
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Re: Wing or no wing

Post by Soft-hackle » Tue May 18, 2010 11:43 am

Hi Andy,
Well, a few of my soft-hackles are tied on # 10 hooks, and there are others, here who may also tie larger. The majority of my flies are 12-14, but there are times when smaller flies are needed. You can always go shorter in the shank for a smaller looking fly, but on a larger hook.

There's lots of information, here. Plenty from some great tiers and experienced fishermen that fish the wingless wet a lot. There's info on hooks and hook selection, materials, fishing these flies, and a great pattern database that will fill your fly box quickly and effectively.

Ask away, we'll be most interested in helping you.

By the way, everyone else, Andy is one of the premier fly tiers of classic wet flies. It'll be great to have him participate, here.

Mark
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Re: Wing or no wing

Post by Old Hat » Tue May 18, 2010 12:01 pm

It is a pleasure to see you here Andy. You always have great insight to fishing wets and are full of informative discussion. You got me into the winged wets a couple years back and I do fish them quite a bit. Don't tell the people on this board though. :D

Most of the guys here know I fish larger flymphs quite a bit. For steelhead and for trout. I have a number of patterns that are in a Coq de Leon series that I developed for the steelhead in my home waters. Once the steelhead reach me they are in their 3-4th river system and have been in fresh water quite sometime. They are what I call buggy. They eat, and they like buggy flies. Not necessarily match the hatch style but more organic colors and smaller sizes. Our trout waters are closed during most of the steelhead season, so I am not targeting trout but I use the flymphs and fish for the steelhead much as I would if I were fishing for trout. These Coq de Leon patterns, I have found, work very well for trout. This was a bit of surprise to me as first as this are much larger patterns than I would tie for trout. Generally these run #6-#12's with most in the #8-#10 range. Most flymphs I have fished for trout previously are in the #14-16 range. Last year was my first year targeting trout with these patterns in larger sizes, so the track record is not long. The payoff was significant. Again these are not representing any specific hatch but I think they just an appealing meal with the right triggers of profile, color, and movement. The Coq is not generally thought of as a soft hackle. As a matter of fact is rather stiff. I found by using the hackles higher on the saddle with the wide, dark and webby fiber near the rachis, the hackle is soft around the head and thorax of the fly but more stiff towards the ends. Instead of a free flowing action on the hackle I get a pulsing action. I think this is an important characteristic. Here is a couple examples. Again...nice to have you aboard.

Carl

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