The Essential Wet Fly Patterns

The Essential Wet Fly patterns are the oldest patterns used in fly fishing. There were wet fly patterns long before there were dry fly patterns. These patterns were being tied and were catching fish as far back as the 15th Century. In the early days, in fact until quite recently Wet flies were fished differently than dry flies.

The wet fly rod was typically a slow action rod and casts were made with large open loops. Since there was usually more than one fly on a line the large loops allowed one to cast and not get the flies all tangled up.

Casts were usually comparatively short by today’s standards. In the old days the wet fly was usually cast downstream and retrieved close to the angler.

Most of the Essential Wet Flies were invented in the British Isles, but many were invented in America, when the fishermen found that the insects in America were different from those they had seen in the UK.

The Essential wet fly patterns were tied using materials that were stiff and not very lifelike. Many of the patterns have today been reinvented using modern materials that give the patterns more action and appear more lifelike in the water.

Some of the most popular Essential Wet Fly Patterns include:

Iron Blue Dun Blue Dun
Blue Quill American March Brown
Wickham’s Fancy Yellow Dun
Olive Quill Light Cahill
Pale Evening Dun Timberline Emerger Gray
Timberline Emerger Olive Black Gnat
Leadwing Coachman Alder
March Brown Emerger Mayfly Emerger
Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear Dark Hendrickson
Quill Gordon Ginger Quill
Black Quill Cowdung
White Miller Blue Wing Olive
March Brown Light Hendrickson
Dark Cahill Brown Hackle Peacock
Coachman Royal Coachman
McGinty Alexandra
Grizzly King Pink Lady
Trout Fin Parmachene Belle
Red Ibis Professor
Doc Spratley Brindle Bug
Zulu Picket Pin
Morse’s Alder Fly Downwing Adams
Western Coachman Mormon Girl
Early Brown Stone Gray Spider
Carey Special Brown Carey Special Olive
Carey Special Peacock Woolly Worm
Brown Bomber Hornberg
Bordens Special Golden Stone Wet
Dark Wet Stone Dave’s Woolly Worm