Pizza is your friend: Thanks to CVTU for hosting Wet Flies 101

When you travel around the northeast making evening presentations to fly fishing clubs, you learn to keep a stash of protein bars in your case. Especially if you get grumpy when you’re hungry.

Or, you could just present to the Candlewood Valley Trout Unlimited Chapter. They trot out a spread of cheese pizzas, and invite you to have at it. So, thank you, CVTU for being such gracious hosts. I really enjoyed presenting “Wet Flies 101” to such an engaging group.

One of the many gorgeous creatures you can expect to catch with wet flies.

CUFarmyBrown 7:13

I also thought I’d make this thank you note a little more appealing to those who weren’t in attendance. At the end of each presentation, I open the floor to questions. Here are a few topics we covered.

Q: Where do you attach weight to the leader if you want to quickly sink the flies?

A: One BB shot to start, just above the knot that forms the middle dropper.


Q: When your team of wets is downstream, how do you re-cast them? Do you water load the rod and shoot them upstream?

A: It depends on where I want to make my next cast. If it’s upstream, and doesn’t require a precision or a long cast, yes, I’ll water load the rod and shoot the whole works. But mostly, I like to aerialize the line before I cast. Still, I like to keep false casting to a minimum.


Q: How long do you dangle?

A: Shocking! I can neither confirm nor deny the rumors. But seriously, the issue is how long do I leave the flies dangling in the current below me? If I know a fish is there, I might leave it for several minutes. I might also animate the flies by slowly raising and lowering the rod tip, perform a hand-twist retrieve (with the rod tip raised), or sweep the flies back and forth in the current with side to side mends.


Just a reminder that my next presentation (also Wet Flies 101) is to the Narragansett (RI) TU Chapter, Thursday, February 26. You can get directions at their website,

Saturday, March 1, I will be doing a small stream tying demo at the Compleat Angler in Darien, CT. Their website is

2 comments on “Pizza is your friend: Thanks to CVTU for hosting Wet Flies 101

  1. John Jascot says:

    Steve – when you transition from a series of wets to nymphs (or vice versa) do you retie a new leader or use the previous one? Had plans to show up for the meeting but decided to brew 5 gallons of a Sierra Nevada Celebration clone instead.

  2. Steve Culton says:

    Hi John,

    I typically don’t do that when I’m out. When I do switch flies, I like to keep the same leader as long as the dropper tags are long enough. If I decided to make the switch over to indicator nymphing, I’d probably re-rig.

    Clearly, John, with your chosen activity last night, you have a strong sense of priorities. 🙂

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