Wet fly recommendations

Kind of depends on when and where your fishing. Last year I found the Partridge and Orange, Partridge and Green in size 12 and 14 to work well. Bailley's spiders in black, orange and yellow work very nicely tied on a size 14 dry fly hook. The Bailley's Black is my avatar. All three use the thread color for the body and a starling feather palmered halfway down the body. Jim Slattery's Triple Threat Caddis is also a great Montana wet fly. Tying instructions are here http://www.flyanglersonline.com/flytying/fotw2/091304fotw.php .
For traditional wet flies I grew up using a Royal Coachman, Captain, Ginger Quill and Gray hackle yellow. My dad uncles and grandfathers all fished these same flies normally on a two or three fly cast. That was in the late 40s and early 50s. I still use the same patterns today.


Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
Potts Flies are a Montana "old reliable" and have been for years.
I don't use woven hackle, but you can improvise this by spinning horsetail or bear hair, and then grooming it back over the body & tying it down. The body has a woven belly; I use horsetail for the top & hackle . . . the belly is rod-wrapping thread (doubled & tied-in at the tail of the fly. Take the horsehair across, wrap the horsehair once with the rod-winding thread, reverse the horsehair back across the top, repeat until near the eye. Leave 1/8" to 3/16" or so of bare hook shank near the eye so you can spin the "hackle," spin, work the "hackle" back with your fingers, tie-off in place, tie a small head, and whip-finish.). Great Montana wet-fly pattern. A Montana "Old-Timer" showed me this method back in the '50's; reckon that I'm a Montana "Old Timer" now, lol & it's time to pass the torch . . . have fun!


I agree but still have a box of soft hackles. Works in almost every situation. Either that or Sylvester Nemes was a good story teller.
I met Sylvester at the International FFF Conclave when it was held in Eugene... yes, he is indeed a good story teller.

I prefer soft hackles over traditional winged wet flies but I still try the traditional style from time to time when things are slow. Every now and then, a winged wet fly will work when a soft hackle won't.... so I carry both styles.
Big thumbs up for soft hackles!! Partridge and any color. I recall a day fishing in the Ozarks when I went through the same run (maybe 30 yards long) five time in a row, caught at least 5 fish each time. I just changed from partridge and green to partridge and red, then orange, yellow, and tan. It's a killer trailer behind almost any fly.
Love that soft hackle caddis! I think I'll tie up a bunch of those. That last pic is exactly what I was talking about with changing colors. Plus, they are super fast and easy to tie, so you can keep a whole arsenal of variations.