Highly-ordered two dimensional arrays of monodisperse silver and nickel nanowires were prepared in an alumina matrix. The nearly 100% filling of the template with metal was obtained by improved electrochemical deposition technique. The light propagation in the direction of the long axis of the metal nanowires were studied by far field spectroscopy and the results were compared with the generalized Mie theory. By selectively dissolving the matrix at a constant etching rate the we investigate the surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and the results are interpreted with theoretical models. The enhanced SERS signal can be recorded until the whole matrix was removed and the ordering of the metal nanowires collapses.