Wingless Wets | Soft Hackles | Flymphs

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Wingless Wets | Soft Hackles | Flymphs

Post by WiFlyfisher » Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:12 pm

In your opinion do "Wingless Wets", "Soft Hackles" and "Flymphs" all carry the same meaning today?

I ask that because the forum is called the "Flymph Forum" but the forum is called "Wingless Wets" and most often today I hear these fly patterns referred to as "soft hackle" patterns.

Thoughts?
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Re: Wingless Wets | Soft Hackles | Flymphs

Post by redietz » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:38 pm

IMO, no, they're not the same.

"Wingless wets" is the most general term and encompasses both flymphs and North Country spiders -- which are not the same thing, but both could also be called soft hackles. It also encompasses flies that I wouldn't call soft hackles, like Gartsides's Sparrow or Rosborough's fuzzy nymphs, or traditional British wets like the Kate Maclaren.
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Re: Wingless Wets | Soft Hackles | Flymphs

Post by Old Hat » Fri Jul 20, 2018 7:24 am

I think you will find a multitude of answers to this one. Like most things there are a lot of different perspectives.

Personally, I see "Wet Flies" as the most generic form encompassing anything meant to be fished in the water column. Below the surface as opposed to dry flies fished in or on the surface.

Wet flies for me include streamers and nymphs as well as all the flies we commonly see on this sight.

Soft Hackles, Flymphs and Spiders are all types of wet flies (and may or may not be Wingless Wets) and have general characteristics that set them apart from each other.

Soft hackles:
Winged or wingless
hen or game bird hackle (not dry hackle)
robust or smooth body
more heavily dressed than spiders or flymphs
may be weighted

Spiders:
Winged or wingless
hen or game bird hackle
very sparsely dressed (hackle and body)

Flymphs:
Wingless
hen, game bird or dry hackle
sparsely or robust dubbed body

These are my generalizations and as with all fly types the lines dividing the styles blur a bit at intersections.

I've had a couple conversations regarding this with some members and I think some of the confusion surrounding "flymphs" is based on how one sees the term "flymph". When you read Hidy's material he really is using the term Flymph in 2 ways. As the term for the natural emergent stage of an insect's life and then he gives a description of what a Flymph is by describing specifics of how one is constructed. He uses it for the natural and for a pattern style. The term usage for the natural stage of an insect never really took off and was replaced by the term "emerger". Although, I think some people still still see it that way and will consider almost any pattern designed to imitate that stage as being able to be called a flymph. I don't know.

Just some of my thoughts on the subject. I could go on a lot more.. :)
Last edited by Old Hat on Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wingless Wets | Soft Hackles | Flymphs

Post by tie2fish » Fri Jul 20, 2018 7:45 am

For me, "soft hackled" means any fly with a game bird or hen chicken collar, whether it be one wrap behind the eye or several through the thorax. In this sense, it is essentially a generic term that differentiates it from flies using stiff rooster hackle that are intended to float on the surface or no hackle at all. For me, a fly with a wing intended to be fished subsurface that has a soft feather collar is also a "soft hackle" (e.g. Dave Allbaugh patterns).

The term "wingless wets" narrows it down, obviously eliminating both winged flies and dry flies, but not necessarily anything else.

Here's where I get picky: "Flymph" for me is a narrow category that includes only flies tied in the manner of Jim Leisenring and Pete Hidy. This requires the same body shape, the proper color of silk thread, the (usually) fur body, multiple wraps of longish soft hackle wound through the thorax area, and a cone shaped head of thread wraps. Preferably, the body would be spun ahead of the actual tying process between strands of silk thread, either on one's pants leg or on a spinning block; under duress I would concede having the fur spun in a split silk tying thread attached to the hook. A body, fur or not, twist dubbed doth not a flymph make for me.
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Re: Wingless Wets | Soft Hackles | Flymphs

Post by Smuggler » Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:23 am

I'm with Mr. Shuck on this one.

In today's hipster invasion of the fly tying and fishing realm, I'm afraid that group refers to anything with a partridge hackle or hen hackle.. as soft hackle. Even with a bead!


..waiting to hear a reply from Mr. Anderson calling me a hipster now. :D 8-)
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Re: Wingless Wets | Soft Hackles | Flymphs

Post by redietz » Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:39 pm

Smuggler wrote:I'm with Mr. Shuck on this one.

..waiting to hear a reply from Mr. Anderson calling me a hipster now. :D 8-)
If the shoe fits ... :)
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Re: Wingless Wets | Soft Hackles | Flymphs

Post by daringduffer » Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:30 am

There are flymphs and there are 'flymph style flies'. The latter might be tied with dubbing in a split thread or a dubbing loop.

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Re: Wingless Wets | Soft Hackles | Flymphs

Post by Smuggler » Tue Jul 24, 2018 1:19 pm

redietz wrote:
Smuggler wrote:I'm with Mr. Shuck on this one.

..waiting to hear a reply from Mr. Anderson calling me a hipster now. :D 8-)
If the shoe fits ... :)
:lol:
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Re: Wingless Wets | Soft Hackles | Flymphs

Post by Premerger » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:26 pm

The usage I like, rather than strict rules goes like this.

Wet flies have wings.

Flymphs are constructed with separately spun bodies in the style of James Leisenring and Pete Hidy.

Wingless wets are fished wet and don't have wings (!)

Soft hackles can be any shit you like that uses softer hackles. These can be softer dry fly (cock) hackles but are normally hen hackles or game bird hackles from either males or females.


* The more commonly seen crusher type flies look like flymphs, are great flies but aren't flymphs, in my opinion.
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Re: Wingless Wets | Soft Hackles | Flymphs

Post by Johnno » Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:05 pm

IMHO if it’s got a bead then it ain’t a soft hackle - whatever description that may be.....
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