Adams Wet Fly

Adams Wet Fly

The Adams is unquestionably one of the most popular dry flies ever created. Ubiquitous in its variegated color representations of mottled light and dark grays and browns, it is a great dry fly. In fact, the Adams is an excellent dry fly. Yet I know some people who do not own one and have never fished it. You know, yes, I refer to some of those “match-the-hatch-only-use-patterns-that-actually-imitate-a-living-insect” fellows. And gals. I know one…

I have had wonderful angling success over the years using a Parachute Adams. Numerous other versions exist; the Strawberry Adams, Olive-Bodied Adams, Yellow Adams, and a version called the Lady or Female Adams, which I believe is similar if not identical to the Yellow Adams.

The Adams was also made popular as a wet fly too. Years ago as a youngster I saw commercially tied Adams wet flies in a local sporting goods store, but these cheap flies used gray mallard for the wings, instead of the grizzly hackle tips that were original to the dry fly pattern. On this wet fly version, I used soft hen neck grizzly hackle tips to give a nice wing profile. This is a good wet fly. You may want to consider tying up a few, even in larger sizes. Fished singly, or in combination with a cast of two or three wet flies, the Adams will help increase your hook-ups on a given day of wet fly angling. It is just a good all-round generic looks-like-a-bug wet fly.

Adams Wet Fly Recipe:

Hook: Mustad or other, standard wet fly hook

Thread: This specimen is finished with black, but gray is a good  color for fishing flies. Gray thread also makes a nice thread rib, which tightens up the body a bit and produces a segmented appearance.

Tip: Gold tinsel, optional

Tail: Brown and grizzly hen fibers, mixed

Ribbing: None, though optionally, you could use fine gold wire, or rib the body with reverse-wound tying thread from your bobbin

Body: Dark gray muskrat or rabbit fur

Hackle: Brown and grizzly hen, one turn of each

Wing: Grizzly hen hackle tips, paired facing in, back-to-back as shown

Watch that drift, work the currents, and enjoy tight lines!


The Adams Wet Fly, tied on a #6 Mustad 3399 wet fly hook