This wet fly pattern recipe is taken from Trout by Ray Bergman. I received an order for a dozen March Brown wets for fishing in Pennsylvania’s Big Pine Creek, and the customer actually got to select the pattern “in person” from viewing the authentic imitations of three variations in my framed reproduction of Wet Fly Plate No. 5 while I was displaying and tying at the Fly Fishing Show in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, on March 5th and 6th, 2011. The three March Brown wet fly patterns in the frame are the March Brown American, and English version; Male and Female. My customer chose the female patterns based on the color combination to suit his preference. Here are the pattern details as shown in the photographs:
Hook: Montana Fly Company 7026 2x long nymph hook.
Thread: Danville Flymaster 6/0 Brown
Ribbing: Gold tinsel
Body: Gray-brown (dubbing)
Wing: Pheasant (light) *
- Pheasant is called for in the Trout recipe; the wing on these flies is finely mottled brown turkey, a good substitute and easier to work with than pheasant.
- These flies were requested by my customer to be tied in size number 6, but he wanted a smaller hook gape. In this case, a #10 2x long nymph hook is dead-on equal in shank length to the Mustad 3399 #6 sproat bend standard wet fly hook, so I have effectively produced size #6 flies on size #10 hooks.
Note: The mini-barb, high-carbon steel modern hooks are unquestionably better for fishing than classic style hooks that have a barb height of sometimes 125% of hook wire diameter. And you can’t beat chemical sharpening, a great improvement for fishing flies over older style hooks. However, I still prefer classic hooks for “classic” presentation or collectible flies. I have recently made the decision to reserve my remaining vintage Mustad made-in-Norway wet fly hooks for use as collector, presentation, and framed flies, and I will be using modern wet fly hooks for filling orders for classic wet flies for my fishing fly orders.