Few angling moments are as memorable as catching your first fish on a fly. And many of us who learned old-school fly-fishing basics back in the 20th century caught that first trout or bass or creek chub using the simplest of all techniques—casting a wet fly down and across stream, and letting it swing through the current.
Although traditional wet flies were invented more than 200 years ago, they work just as well today. Yet these patterns have fallen out of fashion, partly because many anglers think all you can do with a wet fly is swing it downstream. But there’s more to the story. Here are a few advanced—but not complicated—tips and techniques for making wet flies considerably more versatile.