Winged Wet Flies

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

  1. I read your attachment and understand the part about not melting beeswax in any house implement that you might want to eat/cook with ever again. I make my own bullet lube and beeswax is the primary ingredient. It sure doesn't come out.

    I spent the afternoon tying quill wing wet flies to get a better understanding of proper heads.

    I also dug out my stash of seals fur to compare it to angora goat. Goat needs to be cut in half about 3 times to get down to the length of seals fur.
  2. Here is some inspiration for you.

    These flies are on a plate of a dozen. Tied by the late Terry Finger. Terry made every to effort maintain historical accuracy and duplicate the flies by his friend and mentor the late Ray Smith. Ray was a fly tier, fisherman and guide on the Esopus River from 1930's into the 1970's. When fishing wet he fished winged wets almost exclusively on a cast of two or three. Terry put together a very nice article about Ray that appears in The Art of Angling Journal, Volume three, Issue one.

    The flies are tied on what Terry described as "handmades from Redditch" They are about the same size as a #12 Partridge Capt-Hamilton, YL2A. The framed plate hangs in a stair landing in my home. I've had it since 2007. Every time I stop and look at it I am amazed all over again. It seems almost impossible to conceal those wing butts under those tiny heads. When you see them life size the heads are miniscule.

    As you can see wing size, shape and placement is a regional thing. These wings come down the sides a bit and cloak the front of the fly. This of course is intentional.

    I had a hell of a hard time getting my camera to focus through the glass so the pics are not very good but here they are. I could not get a shot of the whole plate without massive reflection problems.





    GAT and Tony Abaloney like this.
  3. I wonder if they tied the wings on reverse style and then folded them back at the end of the fly. I see that on steelhead flies for a neater head.
  4. I'm a fan of winged wet flies. The problem I've had is that the quill wings split quite easily if they are working and I'm hooking fish.

    I found a solution to this problem that was short lived. A few years ago, Hareline sold pre-shaped, coated, caddis adult wings. The things are tough and will not easily shred.

    I cut the coated quill to split the wing into two sections and tied them on as I would traditional quill wings. They work great and do not shred.


    The downside is that Hareline stopped selling the pre-shaped and coated wings so once I run out of my current supply, I'm out of luck. I'll need to go back to using cut quill feathers that I've sprayed with a clear, flexible coating.
  5. And what is the clear flexible spray you used Gat?

  6. A number of companies sell clear decoupage spray that is flexable, as is artist's fleximent. Normally, I use the decoupage clear coat and it works well. You can also brush on thinned down Aqua-Seal but I don't remember which thinner you use with Aqua-Seal. You can also use Softex as-is.
  7. Bill,

    Terry Finger's flies were clearly tied in the normal fashion with the wing tied in last and the wing butts going forward over the eye of the hook. The small fold of the middle-lower wing gives it away.

    If they had been tied in reverse style, there would be an obvious fold-over crimp at both the top and bottom of the wing instead of the small fold in the middle of the wing. The head would also be much higher were it touches the wing due to there being two times the amount of duck quill to cover with thread if tied in reverse style. Also, reverse style would provide a different look to the way the wing sits on the hook with the wing sitting more upright and less horizontal.

    Hairwing wets tied reverse wing style don't have these same characteristics due to the difference hair has compared to duck quill.

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