Big, ugly palmer wets

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ForumGhillie
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Big, ugly palmer wets

Post by ForumGhillie » Sat Nov 14, 2020 5:51 pm

Last June at dusk there was a Brown Drake hatch that suddenly had big browns splashing and gulping while they devoured the big brownish morsels. Spotting two big trout above me rising near the far bank I tried without success with my favorite brown drake comparadun. Getting dark fast I was getting desperate.

While scanning my fly box I noticed this big palmer wet fly I had tied, which was based on an pattern from one of the old classic fly fishing books, maybe Skues, I do not remember. After tying it on I realized without a flash light in my vest this fly was my last hope for the evening. On the second cast there was a sucking sound and a big splash. The really big brown was definitely not happy to feel the steel of my hook. Unfortunately, the battle didn't last long before my 4x leader separated from the fly.

After reviewing my notes early this morning from this past Summer I decided to tie a few more today, in case I am lucky enough to hit the Brown Drake hatch at dusk next season.

palmered-drakes.jpg
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For the palmer feather I used the softest, worst feathers I could find on the backside of Whiting rooster dry fly capes, These are feathers i normally have no use for but are long enough and fairly soft to use as palmer hackle on large wet flies. Note: the hook is a Mustad size #6.

palmered-body.jpg
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If anyone knows a good source for long, soft skinny feathers for tying big, upgly palmer wet flies I would love to knw.


John
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Roadkill
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Re: Big, ugly palmer wets

Post by Roadkill » Sat Nov 14, 2020 7:10 pm

Have you tried any of the Whiting Bugger Packs?
BrkTrt
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Re: Big, ugly palmer wets

Post by BrkTrt » Sun Nov 15, 2020 7:10 am

Great looking flies. I tie large #8 hooks palmered wets and fish them in small streams. Both wild browns and brookies take them with gusto.

Alan
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Re: Big, ugly palmer wets

Post by Boarmountain » Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:06 am

ForumGhillie wrote:
Sat Nov 14, 2020 5:51 pm


If anyone knows a good source for long, soft skinny feathers for tying big, upgly palmer wet flies I would love to knw.


John

Try schlappen. Starts small and tapers nicely. Very soft also.
Mike B.
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ForumGhillie
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Re: Big, ugly palmer wets

Post by ForumGhillie » Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:26 am

Thanks everyone.

I definitely am looking for starts small, is tapered and is soft and webby, as much as possible.

John
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Re: Big, ugly palmer wets

Post by driftless » Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:45 am

John,

You could also use two different sizes of hen hackle.

The rear hackle could be one size smaller than the hook size, the front hackle could be the designated hook size. Tie in the rear hackle, then dub the body halfway up the hook. Wind the hackle forward to where the dubbing stops. Then tie in the second hackle, dub the body, wind the second hackle forward & whip finish. I tie soft-hackle wooly worms this way.

The woolies are like miniature wooly buggers, tied on size 16 and 14 3X long heavy hooks. Wisconsin tier and guide Rich Osthoff originated the idea. These smaller versions work really well on our spring creeks. You can also add weight to the hook if you want.

FWIW,

Paul
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Re: Big, ugly palmer wets

Post by ForumGhillie » Sun Nov 15, 2020 12:30 pm

Paul,

Thanks for the idea.

I do tie a lot of smaller palmered winged wet flies, but never any baby woolly buggers. I also tie a lot of large woolly buggers for northern WI TU events, they always get a lot of bidders for them. The problem again is finding long, skinny soft hackle feathers in certain dyed hen grizzly colors.

John
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Re: Big, ugly palmer wets

Post by BrkTrt » Sun Nov 15, 2020 2:58 pm

Palmered wet.JPG
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Alan
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Re: Big, ugly palmer wets

Post by ForumGhillie » Sun Nov 15, 2020 5:31 pm

Alan,

Beautiful!!

John
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Re: Big, ugly palmer wets

Post by Theroe » Mon Nov 16, 2020 7:40 am

John

You are in “night fly” territory, which is a big thing in eastern and central Pennsylvania.....
George Harvey even developed a series of pusher flies, which work quite well. Do you ever stay late when the fish are feeding at dusk??
Very nice flies by the way!
Dana
Soft and wet - the only way....
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