Hugh is absolutely spot on when it comes to the historical use of wet flies; I might mention that this was a nationwide use however. When I was a teen the few fly shops I was able to visit feature tradiional wets and "traditional catskill drys".
About the only "place" I saw nymphs was in the Orvis catalog in those days and there were only a few "traditional" offerings.
What's most remarkable is that traditional wets worked well and my generation gravitated away from them! My belief is that trout strike them out of curiosity or perhaps they create an instinctive desire to bite.... much like an Atlantic Salmon Fly.
Who really knows?
My bet is that Hugh, myself and several others have bits of this and that in our fly tying supplies that demonstrate the progression away from the tying and use of traditional wet flies.
Matching the hatch became everything thirty years ago and wets match nothing.....
Funny how we all figure trout to be so smart as to "require" hatch matching when they have a brain the size of a pea.... traditional wets are BLING and trout like BLING as everyone is now adding FLASH to nymphs.
What goes around comes around.