Winged Wet Flies

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by zen leecher aka bill w, Jun 8, 2013.

  1. I'm having great fun tying up old style winged wet flies. I figured I needed a refresher as I signed up for the "Married Wing" swap.

    On another note I had a fellow board member send me some he tied up. Ended up getting a metal fly box with every clip filled with a winged wet fly. His flies sure are a work of art.


    One issue I always had with tying winged wets was getting the wings applied properly to the fly. I'd pull one to the proper length, tie it in and then repeat the process on the other side. I ended up with a lot of wings long on one side, short on the other and also sagging down the side of the head where tied in. I found a video mentioned on the Great Feathers site that pointed to another site. I bought that video on fishing and tying winged wets. Turned out there a way faster and easier method to tie the wings and bypass all my issues. Match the wings up in your fingers and then situate them on the top of the fly at the tie in point. Wrap the thread between your fingers and after one or two wraps grab the tip and butt end of the wings to ensure they sit on top of the fly head. An additonal wrap or two, trim butts and then whip finish. A lot neater fly and one that approaches the quality of the ones sent to me.

  2. I see photos so it must be worth something.:)
  3. i see them, and they look great!
  4. I can see them now , I could`nt see them earlier .

    They look great !!
  5. Bill,

    I have fond memories of fishing wets on a 2 or 3 fly rig both in Pennsylvania and in Montana. It is unfortunate that most folks who have learned to fly fish since the late 70's/early 80's never learned how to fish wet flies. As you know, they are very effective when fished properly and at the proper time.

    Oh yeah, these are nice flies.
  6. The flies in the aluminum box are dubbed with seal fur for the body. The 5 below are with chopped angora goat which is a substitute for seal fur. I need to work on the tie in points for the hackle and wings which I'm getting just a tad too far forward.
  7. Bill,
    I have always liked winged wets. My mentor forty five years ago used snelled winged wet flies. He had shearling books full of them. Sadly, I only have a few of his flies left and they are a bit rusty. Thanks for showing us.
  8. Nice looking wets Bill, and you're right about mounting the wings, they always look better when tied in at the same time and keeping them on top of the hook is very important. Keep thread wraps to a minimum and use a good wax.
    Give us look when you get some tied up, I'm interested in seeing some. Good luck

  9. Amazing amazing collection!
    Does anyone know if there are tied fly examples in the Smithsonian collection of American Craft, or where the leading collection(s) might reside?
  10. Tony,
    Try this..........
    Classic Wet Flies - Bergman and Beyond - Global FlyFisher
    Tony Abaloney likes this.
  11. Bill
    Great looking flies and a lot of work you put into these boxes.

    I have been interested in wet flies and plan to someday buy Davy Wotten's video. Have you seen his videos? Should i skip his DVD and buy something different?

    Thanks for posting and providing us a tip!

    Sent from my GT-P3113 using Tapatalk 2
  12. Tony Abaloney likes this.
  13. Great looking flies, Bill!
    Regarding the flies shown on the Bergman & Beyond page...
    I note that, with the exception of one (Mallard & Claret), all of these flies have the hackle palmered over the body or tied in as a throat only. I checked a couple of my references and many of the same flies were tied with hackle wrapped in the usual fashion, (even specifying 5 turns), then the wing was tied on over the hackle.
    Is tying the hackle as a throat more traditional? Was it a regional thing?
    Any thoughts?
  14. Lonnie, The guy who gave me the metal fly box of wets tied those. His ties are very (fit in appropriate word) (nice/attractive/well proportioned/....). They have an attractiveness to the eye.

    On the 5 below I tied I was using Pearsall's silk for the thread and it's the equivalent of 3/0 thread. The wings need to be placed properly and cut off properly. Any extra material left after cutting the quill ends off needs to be covered with wraps and that is heading right towards a bulky head, either that or having matierial left uncovered at the hook eye. This might be why the old time wet flies were tied in a #6 which made it easier to do heads.

    For wax I'm using both Cobbler's wax and 722 Winter wax. Both darken the thread nicely. That's the only waxes I know about (so far).

    A "You're Welcome" to all that like the pictures.
  15. Try this tying wax. I have never found a better wax for holding materials in place. This article can be found on FAOL in the Tying Tips.

    I came across a subject on the bulletin board at FAOL, regarding Wax used in tying flies. Hans Weilenmann knew the person Scott of Boulder was inquiring about. I contacted him, Marvin Nolte, and he was kind enough to share the following. ~Parnelli

    I make many waxes: tying waxes, dubbing waxes, and finger waxes, varying the formulas to fit the tier's needs. There is a definite difference between dubbing wax and tying wax, and finger wax. Though you can use my tying wax to aid dubbing procedures, it was designed for other uses. Uses for which dubbing wax is not suitable.

    Before bobbins, tiers waxed a length of thread then commenced the tying procedure. This waxing prevented the thread from unwinding if tension was released. My tying wax duplicates this old cake wax. I use it when tying in hand, and for certain salmon fly techniques that are facilitated by laying down an adhesive base. Dubbing wax, while apparently tacky, is too soft for these applications

    This is tying wax, it is easier to apply if warmed slightly. I keep it in my shirt pocket while tying. Holding it next to your tying lamp for a few seconds will also work. If you want a softer wax you can reduce the Rosin and increase the Castor Oil proportionally. Rosin is what makes this wax work. If you reduce the Rosin, do so judiciously.

    Here is the formula for my Tying Wax. The percentages are by weight.
    Formula 721C

      • 70% Rosin (ordinary violin bow, pitcher's mound, rosin)
    20% Beeswax
    10% Castor Oil

    A Dubbing Wax, should you wish to refill an empty tube. The percentages are by weight.
    Formula 514C

      • 50% Rosin
    10% Beeswax
    40% Castor Oil

    I make a Finger Wax, that has a small but enthusiastic following. Some folks don't like to put dubbing wax on their thread but do find dubbing easier if their fingers are a bit sticky. For them I make the following.
    Finger Wax

      • 15% Rosin
    30% Beeswax
    5% Castor Oil
    50% Silicone Paste Floatant

    This is poured into a small tub. A quick wipe, with the forefinger over the wax, the dubbing is easily and tightly applied to the thread. ~ Marvin
  16. Tim, There must be all sorts of recipes for making tying wax. I haven't seen the ones you posted as yours have a very high rosin ratio and is basically reversed from the ones I've found. Here's one I found. I would think extra rosin would make the "wax" tacky but at the same time make it hard.

    Note your 721C against the 722 in what I've attached.

    722, 721 and 621 wax for North Country Spiders

    For the true purists, this is the wax for you! This is traditional fly tying wax used by the first North Country Spider tiers, made of a specific combination of Beeswax, Rosin and Castor Oil *(Originally lard or tallow was used as a softening agent but Castor Oil has since replaced it). Different combinations of the three ingredients were used to get different consistencies for tying during different times of the year. 722 (Winter) Wax is the softest and was used used during the Winter because there was no heating! Tiers would carry the wax in their pocket on their way to work so it would be soft and malleable and ready to use by the time they got there. 621 (Summer) Wax is the hardest and was made for the opposite reason the Winter's Wax was. Because they had no air conditioning, the tiers needed a harder wax that wouldn't melt in the hot conditions they were tying in. 721 (Medium) Wax is somewhere in the middle.
    This wax is used specifically for Pearsall's Gossamer Silk to strengthen and darken the thread while tying as well as hold material in place. The wax is made in limited batches so get it while it's around because we won't have it long!
  17. Things are bad when one quotes oneself. The above paragraph may not have the ingredients and ratios in the same order of mixture.
  18. I

    Yes there are more wax formulas than you can shake a stick at. Here is my experience with the one I posted.

    I got a small puck of Mervin Nolte's tying wax straight from Marvin. It was made to the formula I posted. It is/was about 2" diameter x 1/4" thick and you could bend it readily without breaking it. It did not need to be warmed beyond room temperature as other formulas with a high rosin content do. It did need to be kept in a small plastic bag. I cut it in half and misplaced one half. I eventually found it after it had lain exposed for about two years and it had lost a lot of its flexibility and tackiness. The half that was kept sealed was still in good shape.

    Here is thread from a previous discussion with a little info on how to make it.


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