Monday, September 22, 2014

Best Storage for Fly Tying Cones and Beads

Or, how to clean up your fly tying bench and make it fun to decide to tie a bunch of bead-head nymphs.

The problem for me was all the tiny bags of tiny beads and not so tiny, but myriad cones in different sizes, materials, and colors.  Seriously, it was an impediment to tying.  There must be other systems out there, but i was thrilled when i tracked this one down.

The outer flat, crystal clear box, with lid, is neat and space-efficient.  Inside this outer box are individual round boxes, equally clear, with screw top lids.  Pour in your teeny tiny beads and they are safe and sound forever.  Whenever you need one, they are easy to get.

HMH sells two sizes.  The Small Box has 12 inside round containers (that's a lot of beads).  The Small Box dimensions are 6 3/8" long x 4 7/8" wide x 1" tall.  The Large Box has 24 individual round containers and is 9 1/2" long x 6 1/2" wide x 1" tall.   The inside round containers are 1 3/8" diameter and 1" tall.  Retail for the Small Box is $8.95.  Large Box is $12.50.

I've got a couple of these on my bench and now no longer lose sleep over where my 5/64 tungsten chartreuse no-lead recessed dumbbell eyes are. 

You should have a couple, too.

Sunday, April 6, 2014


We have a good friend who comes into the shop now and then to talk about fishing, flies, and life (what else is there to talk about?).  He is well placed in the world of FFF fly casting; is one of the most proficient casters and instructors out there; and one of the most calm focussed and centered persons I've ever known.  

Years ago, before they moved across the road in Last Chance, ID, I was in Trouthunter's fly shop, and who should walk in, out of the blue, but our good friend.  Never mind pleasantries -- the first words out of his mouth were 'John, do you have any more of those tubes with you?'  He was float-tubing down Box Canyon hooking 'very large rainbows' on marabou streamers tied on tubes.  And he knows we're into tubes here and I guess he just assumed I always travel with boxes of all kinds of tubes.

The point here is that as excited as any of us get about big rainbows (wherever we can get them), our good friend goes completely off center when you bring up smallmouths.  

(photo courtesy of Matt Erny, who fishes Michigan 
(which, ecologically speaking, in many ways is similar to Maine). 
And, in the interest of full disclosure, this fish wasn't
 caught on a jig fly, but it could've been.)

We have excellent smallmouth fishing here in Maine, including right outside the shop in the Andro, if we could ever find time to get out there.  Well, our good friend does, and recently he walked into the shop and, to make a long story short -- well, shorter -- he showed me a  fly tied on a heavy bead head jig hook…

...and said how amazingly effective they were at catching big smallies "and anything else in the vicinity".

That got me to thinking, and I asked in a rhetorical way, hmmm, i wonder if I could put a jig fly on a tube?  Then he said hmmmmm, and that he'd be real curious to see what i came up with.

And here's what I came up with.

Why jigs on a tube?   1)  Why not?  2)  Because we can do it.  3) and because we then gain the primary advantage of using tube flies, which is to use a short-shank hook on relatively long flies. 

The technique is pretty straightforward.  Follows is a brief tutorial.

1.  I use the HMH Poly tubes.  They are easy to work and i don't need to use hook holder when i'm done.  First, make a hole in the side of the tube near the front end -- doesn't really matter how close to the end because you can always trim it to size.  Our Micro tubing is 1/16" diameter, so to make things simple, I heat a 1/16" drill bit because its really easy to melt through one wall of tube by slowly spinning the bit in your fingers.  Ream out the hole pretty well, and maybe oversize it a bit if you can.

2.  Next, trim a piece of HMH micro tubing (regular or thick wall) to an angle like a hypodermic needle.  This makes it easier to feed the micro tube around the 90 degree corner when you poke it down into and through the poly tube. 

3.  When you feed the micro tubing into the Poly tube, you want the angle of the cut to be flat against the opposite wall of the tube.  Obviously, the more gradual the angle of the cut, the easier it will be to get the micro tubing around the corner.  And, like just about every other aspect of fly fishing and fly tying, a little spit will help here to lube up the micro tubing.

4.  Push the micro tubing all the way out the back end of the poly tube, trim the micro tubing flat, and then burn the tiniest little button on the end.  This little button will help lock the tubing inside the poly tube.

5.  Pull the micro tubing back inside the poly tube and keep pulling it up towards the front of the tube, but leave, say, at least 3/8" or more of the micro tube inside the poly tube (you can see this in the image here).  Then trim off the micro tube, being sure to leave enough tubing to accommodate whatever cone or bead you're going to use for the jig head.  

6.  Drop the bead or cone down over the micro tubing, trim the tubing leaving a 1/16" - 1/8" of micro tubing extending beyond the bead/cone, and then burn it back to rivet the bead/cone onto the poly tube.  I cut a short piece of starter pin to keep my hole size consistent.  You'll want to hold the bead/cone tight to the poly tube during this process to make sure the cone stays tight to the poly tube when you're all done.  Yes, your fingers might get a little warm, but what price are we willing to pay for the joy of being clever and creative and of catching monster fish?

Then I burn a button on the front end of the tube ahead of the bead or cone just to finish things off nicely and to serve as a thread stop for the head if you choose to tie it all off in front of the bead or cone.

And, Voila, the jig tube is ready to tie.  Note here how I've pulled the micro tubing well up towards the bead.  I did this so if i tie a short body to the fly, I'll still have room for the hook eye (this is an HMH Poly Tube, so i don't need to use hook holder, which means nice things for the proportions of these jigs).   If you are tying a longer fly pattern, then you can leave the micro tubing further back.

Regardless, when you lay down your thread base with some nice tight turns, you will collapse the Poly tube down onto the micro tubing, thus locking everything together so it won't pull out while tussling with your leviathan from the deep.

I intend to give these a shot for spring steelies (I hope); early heavy pocket water for recalcitrant landlock salmon, and of course, when we reach the magic 50 degree mark, Smallies.

I'll report back.

Get a grip, and try something new.

Sunday, March 30, 2014



(This series of posts highlights the various HMH vises models since their entry into the marketplace in 1975.  The intent here is to enable those with older HMH vises to be able to name the model and otherwise get an idea as to its relative age.  This is especially useful in the event that you, as a vise owner, needs some repair, refurbishing, or you are interested in upgrades, new jaws, etc.)

In 1981, API (Angling Products Inc.) drew up the plans for a new version of the HMH.  It was a scaled down model of the HMH Standard in every way, meaning that they scaled down each individual part of the Standard to create a vise that was essentially a 2/3 replica of the Standard.  This vise they named the Spartan, or the "Mini Vise". 

Other than the obvious size difference, a key difference between that Spartan model, which was built from ca. 1981/1982 thru about the year 2000, and the early Standard vise models was the one-piece jaw on the Spartan vise.  The Standard vise models have always had the interchangeable jaw system (except for the HMH II, right?).

In addition to the one-piece jaw, the features of this vise that also are diagnostic include a 5/16" diameter standrod, and a down-sized cast iron base.  The Spartan cast iron base, however had a flat surface the length of the base.  The Standard cast iron base had a flat surface supporting the spindle, but the top surface then sloped all the way to the front of the base.

Two jaw styles were available for the Spartan Mini vise, the Universal, and the Restricted Use jaw.  The universal jaw, was bull-nosed and did an excellent job holding even the largest hooks.

The Restricted Use jaw (not pictured) is easy to recognize because it looks a lot like the modern Micro Jaw with a long, needle-nose profile.

So, before you call us up with questions about your "Spartan", first ask yourself:  is the Standrod of my Spartan a 5/16" diameter rod?  Is the jaw a one-piece jaw that I can only remove by removing the cam pin and the cam lever, then pulling the jaw from the collet?  Does the collet (the main 'tube' of the vise) have two bands of knurling at the front end?  If the answer to all these questions is yes, then you have the API Spartan Mini vise model.  We'll need to know that to be able to help you out with your questions about your vise.

Now, what are the key differences between the API Spartan Mini vise the the modern (since 2000) HMH Spartan vise?  Read on.

In 2000, we re-designed the Spartan vise back 'up' to a more standard size.  The primary objectives for doing so were to bring the standrod up to the industry standard of 3/8" diameter so accessories would fit on the spartan;  to enable the Spartan vise to benefit from the interchangeable jaw system;, and to enable the Spartan vise to benefit from the better, re-designed chassis.  What this meant, though, was that virtually none of the parts from the API model Spartan could be used on the new HMH model Spartan.  

C'est la vie.

API Spartan on the left.                    …and…..        HMH Spartan on the right.

API Spartan has smaller diameter standrod;  cast iron base;  double knurl bands on collet; and one piece jaw (see below).  Modern Spartan has 3/8" diameter standrod; heavier and larger-foot-print plate steel base;  no knurling on collet;  interchangeable jaw system.

The image above shows the guts of the cam lever / jaw assembly on the API Spartan vise (top) and the HMH Spartan (bottom).  HMH assembly is longer overall.  And HMH jaw and drawbar are 5/16" diameter whereas the API Spartan jaw shank is 1/4" diameter.

So, that's about it.  But having said all this, I will note here that it is not impossible to build a Spartan Mini Vise (although any of these built today would be C-Clamp versions only).  Many of the original Spartan Mini vises are still in operation today.  I mentioned in an earlier post that Sylvester Nemes, in particular, tied on one of the little Spartan Mini vises.  It is a sweet little tool that ties the little stuff and the big stuff with ease.  

Let's see how well you pay attention -- for those of you who are interested, give me a call and we can talk about whether the Spartan Mini is right for your vest pocket…

Get a Grip.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Two Dollar Bill Flies

I don't mean flies that cost $2.  I mean flies that are worth $2.

As in a two dollar bill.

Whenever i think about it, I ask for dollar coins.  I like to have them.  They feel good (i.e. hefty) in my pocket, but they don't stay there long.  Mostly I keep them in the car and use them for tolls.  I'm still resisting the modern age and haven't bought one of those ez passes like other drivers who whip through the toll booth.  That's fine with me; i'd just as soon have all those people who are in a hurry ahead of me and let me poke along and do my roadside birding thing, or otherwise think about flies i need to tie.  

Last time I was in the bank I asked for dollar coins.  The teller evidently figured that anyone who would want a dollar coin might also be strange enough to want a two dollar bill.  She said she had one and would I want that, too.  


So i've had it around for awhile, and one day it occurred to me that a two dollar bill is a lot like many of the flies we drag around with us.  They're tucked away in old fly boxes we hardly open.  Some of these flies relegated to non-use are maybe not such successful ties ("…hey, nice.  That'll fish!" your tying friends say), but many are perfectly good ties. Together, though, they are a collection of patterns that you simply don't use.  But they're perfectly good, and in fact, they will "fish good", and they'll catch fish.  

So, I am committed to spending my two dollar bill (although i might keep it around long enough to use it for something special -- the first ice cream cone of the season).  And I'm committed to using some of those perfectly good two dollar bill flies in my fly boxes.

By the way, I like Andy Jackson's expression on that bill - sort of a non-plussed "…Hmmm.  What was I thinking when I tied that?" expression.

Get a grip.



(This series of posts highlights the various HMH vises models since their entry into the marketplace in 1975.  The intent here is to enable those with older HMH vises to be able to name the model and otherwise get an idea as to its relative age.  This is especially useful in the event that you, as a vise owner, needs some repair, refurbishing, or you are interested in upgrades, new jaws, etc.)

Bill Hunter named the first HMH vise the 'Model Standard' (see last post).  This name stuck, but the conformation of the vise changed somewhat over time.

HMH vises began being built by a company called "Angling Products, Inc", or API, in 1981.  So, beginning in 1981, the Standard looked like this

 The HMH Standard ca. 1981 thru 1999.
Vise head rotated to show set screw that engages drawbar.
Shown with original, long style magnum jaw.

The API Standard had an adjustable head angle employing what we now call the 'two screw' chassis.  And the cam lever was imprinted with 'API'.  The Standard was typically shipped with a brass base. 

(I may have been in error in posting the image of the Original Model Standard vise in a black cast iron base.  It is very possible that those original vises were shipped with a brass base.)  Regardless, the "Standard" vise as built and shipped by API had the adjustable head angle chassis, a brass base, and two jaws, the original style Magnum (seen here) and the 'Midge'.  The midge jaw (not pictured) was intermediate between the current Omni jaw and Micro jaw.

By the way, a word about this particular brass base.  This brass base belonged to Dick Talleur for many years.  He sent it to me probably ten years ago explaining that he had more bases than he needed and he thought I might like to have this one.  Indeed.  In addition to the obvious importance of having been owned by Dick, this base is one of the very first HMH brass bases made.  In 1981, API re-drew virtually every part for the Standard, including the brass and cast iron base molds.  The dimensions on Dick's base above are a little different than the brass base marketed since 1981.  

By way of comparing and contrasting, look at this image taken from a 1994 catalog.  This is how the 'Standard' looked from about 1981 up until the year 2000.


API introduced a second full size HMH vise model, which they called the "HMH II".  

The HMH II differed from the Standard model in two ways.  First, the vise was shipped with the black cast iron pedestal base.  More importantly, the vise employed a one-piece jaw instead of using the screw-in/screw-out interchangeable jaw/drawbar system that was the hallmark of the HMH vise (remember - 'Hunter's Multiple Head'?).

The HMH II was in production from the mid-1980's until the mid-1990's.  If you own a black-base HMH Standard vise with 'API' on the cam lever, and you want to acquire a new set of jaws, you should determine if your vise has screw-in/screw-out jaws or whether it has these one-piece jaws.  

Next:  The Spartan "Mini" vise…

Get a grip.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

HIST 101.  Vintage HMH Vise Models, Chapter 1

"The Original HMH Model Standard Vise"

I once saw a copy of an ad in Fly Fisherman Magazine in which Bill Hunter, of New Boston, NH, was advertising his new 'HMH Model Standard Vise'.  That issue was from the fall of  1975.  And this was the vise:

This vise was in production from 1975 until, likely, the early 1980's.  What you see here is, to the best of my knowledge, what one would have to call an 'original' HMH vise.  This was the only vise model that Bill marketed until about 1977 when the first Limited Edition Premium Vise models were marketed and sold.  But that is a different chapter that we will get to soon enough.  Suffice it to say, the Limited Edition Premium vise was quite different from this, and any other subsequent variations of the HMH Standard vise.

So what are the features that we use to identify an 'original' HMH vise?  They are:  1) a fixed head angle chassis, cast of stainless steel and affixed permanently to the top of the stand rod -- the chassis was polished to a sheen, not plated;  

 2) Stainless steel adjusting knob with no set screw, and similarly, the brass locking ring also had no set screw (which, in later models, was used to lock the preferred rotational tension in place so it wouldn't move while tying many of the same hook); 

 3) black delrin washers (2 in front and 2 behind the chassis (white delving is used in later models) -- these can be seen in the image below;  

4) a collet set screw located just forward of the chassis (you can just barely make out the screw in the image below, on the underside of the collet tube) -- this set screw in these earliest HMH vises had a slotted head; subsequent models beginning in early 80's moved to hex head socket set screws;  

5)  a milled flat on the back side and at the bottom of the standrod; 

and, notably, 6)  a deep-colored, case hardened cam lever cast with the following inscription:

Three jaw styles were available with this vise model.  And here we get to the answer to what "HMH" stands for.  If you look at the diagram on the instruction sheet that Bill shipped with each vise, you'll see that he referred to what we now call 'jaws' as 'heads'.  It was the ability to quickly change head types, among other features, such as the precision machining and quality materials, that set the HMH Standard apart from all other vises of the day.  So, HMH originally meant 'Hunter's Multiple Head'.

And before you all draw and quarter me, let me quickly note that HMH ALSO stands for 'Hunter's Mad House'.  But this meaning came some time after the introduction of the vise when a friend visited Bill's shop to assist in a bit of vise production.  What with the chaos of polishing wheels, drill presses and other machines spinning and cranking and chugging away, people coming into and out of the shop, telephones ringing, and the cramped quarters, the visitor stopped for a moment and observed to another there that this seemed more like Hunter's Mad House than anything else.  And the name stuck.

I don't know, in fact, whether or not all three jaws were offered with this vise at the time of sale, although we might infer from the text of the instructions that indeed that was the case.

So, the Original HMH Standard vise described above morphed to this:

in the early 1980's either shortly before or immediately after the rights to build the HMH vise were acquired by the company called Angling Products, Inc, or API.  What API did to the Standard and how it affects you owners of original HMH Standards will be explored in a later chapter.

In the meantime, if you have an original HMH Standard vise, cherish it and know that you own an important piece of fly tying history - the first precision-machined fly tying vise built of high-quality materials, and the vise that set a new Standard of excellence for fly tying vises.  

Get a Grip.


P.S.  It is important to note that the information presented here is/was gleaned from many conversations with Bill Hunter, with other tyers and HMH owners, and archival materials seen or maintained in-house.  You'll note that I equivocate on some things regarding dates, timing, how and when models changed, etc., etc.  If you happen to have verifiable information that would either correct or add to the history of HMH vises, i would certainly be glad to communicate with you.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

(Wet) Fly Taxonomy ??

Hoo-boy.  I should be more careful about what I promise.  Taxonomy of fishing flies?  What was I thinking?

Well, I was thinking that there are more than a few patterns out there all of which are called 'soft hackle', and that doesn't seem right (although not the end of the world).  And, I was thinking about my statement that Dave Hughes, in his good book, "Wet Flies" names four types of wet flies, 'winged wets', 'wingless wets' or  'flymphs', 'fuzzy nymphs', and 'soft hackles'.  That's all well and good, but it seems fairly obvious that there are lot more kinds of flies that are fished 'wet', and so maybe these four groupings really only tell part of the story. 

Big parenthetical anecdote:  After many frustrating days being flummoxed on the Henry's Fork, I spent a lot of time with my nose on the water looking carefully at the bugs coming downstream.  Most of them (mayfly duns) looked like hell.  Wings, legs, and tails all askew and flopping all over the place, some in, and some out of the water.  Lots of struggling going on.  Very few of those bugs came sailing down the river like little sloops with jaunty sails set trim against the breeze.  So, i started tying my parachute dry flies (PMDs and Baetis, mostly) on curved hooks and with antron tails instead of nice straight hackle fiber tails, and with soft hen hackle instead of bristly cock hackle.  Thusly:

I will merely and humbly say, voila!  (But this ignores the other big part of successful fly fishing - presentation - which in my book is the more important part. Gauntlet thrown.)

But where would we put this dry fly that sits in the film and is tied using soft hackle in a classification scheme?  What would the taxonomists say?

Taxonomy, you'll recall, is the science of classifying organisms into groups that share similar characteristics.  Good old Carl Linneaus, a Swede, came up with the essentials of the system back in the 1700's.  That system groups living organisms into six hierarchies, from the most inclusive to the least inclusive -- Kingdom, Phyla, Order, Family, Genus, Species.  (Let's never mind the three 'super kingdoms' recently added).  The combination of Genus and Species gives all those fish that we love and the bugs that they eat, their 'scientific name'.  Hence the March Brown mayfly

is Maccaffertium vicarium.

Or is it?

For you folks west of the continental divide, the March Brown is Rithrogena morrisoni.  Evidently, Maccerfftium is the Eastern March Brown, whereas Rithrogena is the Western March Brown.

And, oh by the way, Rithrogena germanica, as you might guess from its name, is the European March Brown (probably the type specimen was collected in Germany).

Hmmm.  Three different animals (according to the scientists who study tarsi number, length, and hairiness) with the same common name.  Which is precisely why Carl Linnaeus came up with the binomial nomenclature thing in the first place.

All this esotery has little, if any, relevance to our shared objective, which is to tie flies that catch fish.  But I can't help trying to resolve something in my own head about wet flies.

I love the four wet fly types Dave describes.  For an exhaustive and gorgeous look at winged wet flies, you can check out the aforementioned 'Forgotten Flies'.  For flymphs, you should see the more readily available 

by Allen McGee (Frank Amato Press), which nicely brings to life the flies and techniques first introduced by Leisenring and Hidy, and illustrates in some detail dozens of contemporary flymph patterns.  Sylvester Nemes covers soft hackles, and frankly, i'm at a loss as to any other reference for 'fuzzy nymphs'.  Any suggestions out there?

Back to topic.  IF we were to adopt the taxonomic convention of most inclusive to least inclusive, then we could start with two 'Kingdoms' in fly tying - Dry Flies and Wet Flies.  Dry flies are fished 'dry', i.e. perched on top of the water where we can see them.  Wet flies are fished under the surface of the water where we can't see them (which is why dry flies and nymphs with bobbers are so popular - they are seeable, and we anglers like to be able to see what's going on). 

Right away, though, things get tricky.  Where do we put 'emergers'?  Hang onto that thought for a moment, if I haven't already lost you long ago.  

So if Wet Flies is the higher grouping that includes ALL patterns -- winged wets, flymphs, soft hackles, fuzzy nymphs, 'conventional nymphs, streamers, emergers, etc. -- that are fished wet, then the four pattern types that Dave Hughes summarizes would be lower groupings, somewhere down in the phyla-order-family area.  And then when we get below the general heading of, say, flymph, and get into all the possible individual patterns (i.e. genus and species level), then its just going to be bedlam.

Back to Emergers.  This is an emerger pattern tied by House of Harrop (and fished hard over several seasons)

and these are emerger patterns specifically named as such by Mike Lawson:

This is also an emerger pattern, conjured up by me (though closely modeled after other published patterns) and that fooled four large (18"+) brookies at a highly secret Maine locale:

And THIS is an emerger pattern than I came up with on my favorite landlocked salmon stream last spring during the time of Hendricksons.  The comparadun pattern that had been so effective the year before, for some inexplicable reason, was useless this last spring, so i cooked up this pattern one evening at the vise

and I could NOT keep the fish off this fly.

Now, all these emerger patterns are tied with the intent that they fish 'in the film', where so many of the adult insects shed their nymphal skin and are so vulnerable to the hungry fish below.  But we all fish these emerger patterns as wets, also, just under the surface, in that magic 2" of the water column.

That said, I might argue that THIS fly is also an emerger:

Its a Haystack, one of my favorite patterns.  Tied comparadun style, which means it sits low and in the film.  Which means (in my book) that from below, it offers a profile that looks as 'emerger-like' as anything else and which is why, I think, it works so well.  I've also hooked fish on this pattern while fishing it back after the drift while it is under water.  So, ALL the comparadun patterns become problematic in terms of a classification because they meet criteria for both the Dry and Wet fly Kingdoms.

Emerger patterns could be either wet or dry, depending on how you fish them.  So, maybe there needs to be a third kingdom in fly classification - Emerger.  The Hermaphrodites of the fly box.

I must point out one other coincidental thing. Look again at the Mike Lawson emerger pattern:

and then look at the "Transitional Flymph" from Allen McGee's book:

Pretty darn similar, save for lighting and background.  But one is a Flymph, and one is an emerger.

So the subtleties of classifying trout flies are likely no less maddening than classifying the bugs they are patterned after.


You figure it out.  I'm just going to keep tying flies that I think will catch fish.  And i'm not going to complain anymore if someone calls a pattern that clearly ISN'T a Soft Hackle (capital S, capital H) a 'soft hackle'.

Get a grip.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

On a Wet Fly Jag, orOn Wet Fly TaxonomyorWhat the hell is a soft hackle, anyway?

It started a couple of years ago when I tied up what I thought a diving caddis might look like.  It was patterned loosely after some caddis ties i had seen in a fly shop on the famed West Branch of the Penobscot River.  I tried it on my favorite landlock salmon stream one spring, and I hooked several fish in short order from one sweet little run.  Hmmm.  I might be onto something here.

So, I decide this winter that i'm going to tie up some traditional wet flies, including a refined diving caddis (this, after taking some time finally to look carefully at my seldom-opened copy of Forgotten Flies and marveling at the variety and perfection of all the patterns displayed therein.   All the plates from Bergman's 'Trout' -- the first fly fishing book i ever read -- come-to-life in modern, eye-popping digital photography.  And as usually happens when confronted by seriously good art (in any form) I say to myself, I'm going to do me some of that.

Meanwhile, i keep hearing people talk about soft hackles, and they show me the flies, or describe for me the fly, or I see them posted somewhere and I say to myself, that ain't no soft hackle.  

THIS is a soft hackle,

a good old Partridge and Orange, a'la Skues, and Nemes (pronounced, by the way, as he explained it to me, NEM-esh), who I had the privilege of meeting years ago at an FFF event.  Sylvester tied on an old HMH (aka API) Spartan Nomad - the little vise built on a 5/16" dia. stand rod.  The flies you see here were also tied on a little Spartan Nomad.  Call me. 

And Hughes.  As in Dave Hughes, author of 'Wet Flies'.  Dave did all the work for me (and you) in researching and explaining the topic.  Or perhaps, fairly, part of the topic.  The lineage of wet flies, beginning with the Grand Dame herself, and evolving up through other great tyers and anglers such as Leisenring and Rosborough,  culminates, according to Dave in four styles of wet flies - the Soft Hackle (capital S, capital H; see above);

the Wingless Wet Fly, or 'Flymph';

the Fuzzy Nymph;

and, the Winged Wet Fly,

in this case, my newest iteration of the diving caddis.  I'm going for low, swept back wings (would prefer them to ride even lower along the back, like real caddis fly wings, but my skill level isn't yet where it needs to be, evidently, to make this happen.  In time…)  This is unlike nearly all of the classic wets depicted in Forgotten Flies, on which the wings are nice and perky, angling up and back.  And, my hackling is much longer than one would use on a classic pattern, but that's what I'm going for here - an overly-suggestive leggy look.   And like Dave Hughes suggests, especially for the wingless wet, the hackle here isn't all bunched up at the head, but rather, tied in where a real thorax would begin and wound forward to the eye.  I choose this long hackling partly because i can only imagine what a diving caddis might really look like as it swims (?), but more because I just like the spey-ishness of the look.  Maybe, after all, the big fish are going to cue in on those nice long legs and wings flopping around in the current.

Just for hoots, here is a fly I tied up as a test, purposely not putting a full body on the fly since i was only interested in practicing my winging technique. It ended up looking like a low-water salmon/steelhead fly, so it is now my low water wet.

Why not, right?

We'll get into the taxonomy thing next time.

Get a grip.