How to Tie Wet Fishing Flies

How to Tie Wet Fishing Flies
It is often said that "A fly isn't a fly unless it floats." This couldn't be further from the truth. A wet fly or streamer has its place in the fly fishing arsenal just as much as a Royal Coachman or Black Nat. On some days the fish are feeding deep and the only way to land them is to go sub surface imitating the small baitfish or crustaceans that the fish are feeding on. The fly mentioned in this article can be used to imitate just about anything that swims in fresh or salt water. Change the colors, eye weight and hook size, and you will be able to catch anything from a farm pond Bluegill to a giant Blue Marlin.


Difficulty: Challenging

Tying the Fly

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fly tying vice Scissors Bobbin Whip finisher Hook Head glue Material of choice Lead eyes
  • Fly tying vice
  • Scissors
  • Bobbin
  • Whip finisher
  • Hook
  • Head glue
  • Material of choice
  • Lead eyes
Step 1
Set up your fly tying vice and arrange your materials and tools. Pick out a set of lead eyes to match your hook size. Put your hook in the vise with the bend pointing down. Wrap your thread around the shank of the hook from the eye down toward the bend and back over its self to form a base for the glue to stick to. Give it a dab of good head cement. Wrap the thread around the shank several times until it builds up a bit where the eyes are to be installed. Do this again beside the one you just did to form a valley for the eyes to sit in. Put a drop of glue in this valley and with your bobbin and thread, tie a crisscross pattern over the eyes and around the hook pulling tight. Take it one way then the other pulling on the bobbin the whole time to make it good and tight, and add a drop of cement on the thread between the eyes.
Step 2
Grab several strands of your flashy material. Lay it on top of the hook shank with the middle about where the eyes are located. Wrap about three times with thread and bend or pull the front part of the material toward the rear and slightly along the sides of the hook and continue wrapping back towards the bend. You now have about six strands sticking out from the rear of the fly, held securely in place by the doubling and wrapping. Wrap the thread back toward the front of the hook and let hang just behind the eye of the hook. Leave the length of the flash run wild so to speak, as you will trim it in the last step.
Step 3
Choose the material to be used to imitate the white belly of the fly as this will ride down when the fly is pulled through the water(the weight of the eyes will turn the hook point up to help prevent it from snagging the bottom). The most popular is Arctic Fox, Buck tail or Marabou in a light color. Pull, or gather a bunch about as thick as a kitchen match and lay on top of the hook, wrapping it tightly with the tread just behind the eye. Now hold on the material and wrap behind it continuing over the eyes and stopping just behind them. Pull the material back keeping it on top of the hook and wrap a few times just behind the eyes, finish with a half hitch knot, cut off the thread and add a dab of cement to coat the thread. Be careful not to over do it as the material will soak or wick up the glue making it hard and rigid. Wrap the thread around the hook just behind the eye over its self as in starting position and let the thread hang by the weight of the bobbin.
Step 4
Turn the hook over in the vise as in the picture and clamp in place. Gather the dark material that will imitate the back of the bait fish and tie in on the underside of the fly, wrapping with thread from behind the eye to the eyes and back again until the nose takes on the color of the thread. Use your Whip finisher to tie a couple whips and cut thread real tight to the fly. Coat the thread (or head of the fly) with head cement real good and let dry. Some tiers coat it several times, turning the vise so the cement will dry even making a protective coating over the nose area.
Step 5
After the cement dries, grab the fly by the eye holding it hook side up the same way it will be presented. Take your scissors and trim the back into the shape of a bait fish. The flash should ride alongside the fly representing the lateral line of most fish giving it a little sparkle in the sunlight. Now is the time to clear any material or glue out of the eye so that you don't have to do so while standing in the middle of a great small mouth stream.

Article Written By Dennis Seabright

Denny Seabright has been writing for since Nov. of 2008 with most articles being in the "How to" category. Graduating from James Wood High school in 1976 and going straight into the work force left little room for formal education but writing has always been dear to his heart.

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