James Leisenring’s favorite wet flies

I’m embarrassed to say that it took me 55 years to buy a copy of the American fly fishing classic The Art of Tying the Wet Fly.

But now, I have it. This week I tied up James Leisenring’s favorite dozen wet fly dressings for a client. Here are three of them, lovingly rendered against the yellowed pages of an old book many anglers have never read — but should.

Like so many effective patterns, these flies wouldn’t get a second look in a fly shop’s bins. There are no hot spots, bead heads, or new-fangled UV resins. But Leisenring — and his contemporaries — knew the power of natural materials and simplicity. I’m thinking the Old Blue Dun is going to get into my three-fly team Hendrickson rotation this spring.

Leisenring Wets