The Journey Through Fly Part 8 – Wet Flies
Fly fishing is a sport and an art. Fly anglers don’t just focus on catching fishes. They put a lot of attention into creating flies that look as real as possible to certain creatures created by nature. After all to fool a fish you flies must look like food or prey. Either those two or you had better tie a fly that can arouse the curiosity of fishes to inspect and then “whack.” Whatever it is, it certainly takes a lot of creativity in creating such art.
Just to do a bit of a recap; last issue we took a look at dry flies. Dry flies are the type of flies that mimic insects and creatures that live above the surface of the water and beyond. These creatures usually fly about the water’s edge and sometimes play about the surface of the water. Now we take a deeper look at wet flies, the type of flies that are designed to be fished in the water.
So, question… what lives underwater? To know what lives underwater just pun on a pair of goggles or a mask and a snorkel (so that you can enjoy observing life beneath the water’s surface without suffocating), and take a peek beneath the surface. Another method that is also less messier is to pick up some rocks that are sitting on the bottom of the lake or river (near the banks) and see what’s crawling on them.
Some wet flies that mimic insects.
Anyway, going underwater and observing nature below you will begin to notice the denizens that call these places home. These creatures include shrimps, small fishes, nymphs, worms, small crabs, etc. All of these things play a purpose here beneath the surface of the water. They do their part for the ecosystem that they live in but they are also food for predators that we anglers are trying to catch; fishes.
Wet flies are made or designed to mimic these creatures. While dry flies just sit about the surface of the water and float about looking delicious to a hungry fish; wet flies on the other hand need to look delicious underwater. To do so, one will have to use sinking fly lines to bring the fly below the surface of the water.
How Do You Use These Flies?
In general how we use these flies depends on the type of water we are fishing in. Fishing rivers and streams (flowing water) as compared to lakes and ponds, are different. When fishing rivers and streams, allow the fly to go with the currents until the line goes tight then pull the fly back and allow it to flow again.
When it comes to lakes and ponds where the water does not flow; the fly is cast out and allowed to sink. Next, bring the fly back by stripping. Vary your stripping speed (strip one feet at a time, or slow constant strips). To give you an idea, imagine one of these insects underwater. They do not dart about like fishes do. They are much slower.
We will go deeper stripping in a future issue. However, do stay tuned for our next issue where we will take a look at streamer flies also known as streamers. Meanwhile, do remember to practise your fly casting.