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Best Wet Fly Patterns
Eugene Macri

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© 2017 E. P. Macri Jr.

The Best Wet Fly Patterns I have found are ones that consistently catch trout in variety of streams and under a variety of conditions. Wet fly fishing is an art unto itself so try these patterns out.  Many of these patterns used to be old standbys when I was growing up in Western Pennsylvania but have gone by the wayside as newer synthetics and magic fly tying materials are pushed these days.  However, properly fished (and sometime they work even when improperly fished) these patterns have often saved the day for me. Here are my best Wet Fly Patterns Volume 1:

  • Alder Wet Fly: Sizes 8-16; There are a number of patterns and all of the are good. This wet fly with its Dark Grey Wings and Gray Dun Hackle is still one of the best for early season mayflies. The version with the peacock herl body also works well in size 16 for Blue Winged Olive (Baetis) emergences.
  • Cahills: Light and Dark: Size 8-16; I especially like the Dark Cahill Wet Fly for a number of early summer mayflies and caddis flies. In some instances it will even work for some Sulfur Patterns
  • April Gray: Sizes 8-16: This is an old pattern but quite effective for a contrast fly. There are no wings. Just Grizzly Hackle and a Grizzly Tail with a Yellow Wool Body with a Black Rib.  Use Yellow fur instead of the wool.
  • Coachman: Sizes 8-20: There are many variations of this fly. I like an English variation tied like this: Wings: White; Hackle: Ginger-Brown; Body: Bronze Peacock Herl: A Red Tag that is left hanging for a Tail. You can add some fine copper wire for ribbing to strengthen the Peacock.  This is one of the most effective patterns and imitates a lot of small mayflies and caddisflies when they emerge.
  • Grey Hackle Yellow: Sizes 8-16; This fly is similar to the April Gray except the body is a real thing layer of Yellow Floss ribbed with Gold Wire.  Tail is Red Hackle
  • Grizzly and Green or Grizzly King Version 1; Sizes 8-16; One of the best patterns for the Grannom Hatches of Caddis Flies. Grey Mallard Wings with a Grizzly Hackle; Body of Green Dubbing with a Gold Rib; or with a Black Rib. Tail: Scarlet Hackle.  I like this pattern because I believe it looks like a Grannom but it's different enough to allow the fish to pick it out amongst all the flies.
  • Grouse and Orange: Sizes 8-18 This is typically a great English Pattern that works well in the US.  I like the wings of dark grouse with an orangish-ginger hackle; body orangish fur with gold rib; tail golden pheasant tip.  This is a wonderful fly and works for a variety of caddisflies as well as mayflies including Sulfur emergences. In the size 18 works well for many midges!
  • Brown Hackle Peacock: Sizes 6-20; One of the deadliest flies especially for brown trout in any stream. A simple pattern consisting of brown hackle with a peacock body with a nice gold tip and a red tail.  An outstanding fly on droppers and in the small sizes a great imitator of numerous minutiae you will find on streams.  Add some thin wire for ribbing for strength.
  • Brown Hackle Orange: Sizes 8-20; Another killer pattern that is seldom used. Imitates a variety of small caddis emergers too. Brown hackle, orange fur and a nice gold ribbing.
  • Brown Hackle Yellow: Sizes 8-20 A killer pattern that imitates many egg laying caddis in the film. Brown hackle with a yellow fur body.  On some of the flies make the yellow fur body thicker like an egg sac. On the thin bodies put a gold rib.
  • Hare's Ear Gold Ribbed: Sizes 6-20 Absolutely one of the best patterns made. Chop the wings and you have an emerger that suggest a number mayflies and caddisflies. Hackle is greyish-brown; body is picked out hare's ear. Vary the color for different patterns. Use gold ribbing and grey wings. I like a brown mallard tail.  This fly can be used everyday on just about every trout stream in the world and it will catch fish.
  • Grouse and Black: Sizes 8-20; A great contrast pattern. Grouse hackle with a black fur body with gold ribbing and gold tip. Tail is of golden pheasant. This fly will take some really tough fish and works great in size 18-20 for midges.

I use hen hackle for all hackles except things like grouse etc.  Use standard wet fly hooks or 1x long if you desire (3906 or 3906b Mustad equivalents). Next I'll give you volume two.  These flies should be carried in your fly box and used.  Don't let another year go by without using these wet flies.


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