if we take a quick look at the fly below we’ll see a really nice looking pattern but we also might think ‘nice but old hat’. now, if we take a look at the video and pay close attention to how it was made we’ll notice two super-duper easy-peasy tricks to get it just right and gorgeous and the second easy-peasy part just might bring some tiers over to the winged wet world where they might have been put off by the more traditional fuss and muss of having to pair left and right feather wing slips.
first up, the use of a two-toned Pearsall’s Gossimer thread
wound in touching turns down the hook shank then back up and that’s it. all the colour separation segmentation trigger points a fly and its tier could ever want or need in one simple step.
using the very same abdomen technique for standard non-winged wets, nymphs, emergers or dries instantly comes to mind. should you need a bulkier or asymmetric body simply create a base with standard thread and cover over with the silk. simples.
secondly- this is where this tutorial is absolutely brilliant !
construction of the wing itself using a single covert feather that’s tied on in one piece without having to deal with slips. put simply, you can’t go wrong and that’s a real bonus for those who like it sweet and simple and don’t have the patience for a possible wrong. i have no idea if Davie came up with the idea himself but i and i’m sure many others will be grateful he shared this great tip once they’ve checked out the vid and tried it out for themselves. enjoy !
ok, there’s nothing strung-out about this spider pattern but i just like the way it sounds…
on to today’s nifty bug tutorial by Hans Weilenmann; a quick look at Mike Harding’s A Guide to North Country Flies and How to Fish Them (a reference book on this style of fly i highly recommend) reminds us that apart from a few style-deviant patterns, NCF’s are indeed wet flies but they’re generally unweighted and are designed to fish dead-drifted on, in or slightly below the surface but traditions are just like rules and rules and traditions are meant to be broken, bent, corrupted and distorted, at least in a fly-fishy sort of way so, just as Harding’s Brassie Boa, Brassie Midge, Woodcock and Red Brassie and Copper Wire Dun (that one’s really yummy) that also have a wired body instead of the traditional waxed or unwaxed thread bodies, Hans’ version takes the same route by adding a little tiny bit of weight to what’s normally a pretty weightless fly. this extra weight shouldn’t lead you to believe these variants will sink the flies to the riverbed because they don’t, specially if there’s anything more than a slow current. on the other hand, they will go just underneath the surface currents quite easily and also help to turn over a team of two or three flies when the wired spider is tied on as point fly. of maybe more importance, at least in my eyes, the wired bodies will automatically add a little bit of flashiness, something that will be of great use to us when the fish are in a flashy mood or when getting their attention when they’re in sleepy mode.
as always, Hans gives good tutorial and this one’s no exception and now its time for him to take over. enjoy !
by Hans Weilenmann
a direct descendant of Stewart’s Black Spider, Hans’ variant will be it’s perfect companion for when fish aren’t interested in fashionable black and want something less Gothy yet still yummy.
hard to find simpler to tie, don’t hesitate to also make up a few in various brown or olive tones and as always in different sizes. enjoy !
by Roy Christie via UKFlyDressing
Origin of LUG
Middle English luggen to pull by the hair or ear, drag, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Norwegian lugga to pull by the hair. “Tiny pinch of dark fur from root of hare’s ear”
Plovers (/ˈplʌvər/ or /ˈploʊvər/) are a widely distributed group of wading birds belonging to the subfamily Charadriinae.
“Golden plover hackle, long enough of fiber to reach almost into the bend, NO longer, long enough to reach the barb is fine.”
The plover group of birds has a distraction display subcategorized as false brooding, pretending to change position, to sit on an imaginary nest site…
“This fly is tied here – NOT in the traditional collar hackled version, but Stewart Spider style, it is my preferred spider construction for action and durability.”
by Stewart-style we’ll take the example of his notorious Black Spider where instead of tight wraps of the hackle against the hook eye (collared), the same amount of wraps (and therefore volume) is distributed over a longer section of the hook shank. fish find this sexier.
the tier unfamiliar with traditional UK patters should take note that the wax used is cobbler’s wax which is usually black or brown and not the ‘average’ light-beige or clear wax typically found in the tying section of your local shop. as you might guess, this tints the tying thread in a more irregular buggy tone difficult to achieve with straight store-bought silks and threads. more sexy.
at over two hundred years old and as productive now as ever this fly is well worth having in different sizes as a staple in any trout box.
it’s construction is pretty straightforward but be sure to click either fly’s pic to access Roy’s step-by-step for all the fine details.
following up from last month’s blast from the past find: The Practical Angler by W.C. Stewart, here’s another treat from openlibrary.org.
originally titled Yorkshire Trout Flies, renamed and republished in 1886, North Country Flies remains a much sought after and hard to find reference book. lucky us, we can read, study and flip through the 97 pages of this book for free and without the dusty-moldy smells of the originals !
i’m not too crazy about his constant references of killing trout and grayling or referring to a fly as “A splendid killer” but there’s a lot to learn about fly design of the time and the specific materials used. interesting detail is these flies seem to represent the ‘new trend’ of hackled flies.
an added bonus for us fly-only fishers is a section in the back of the book on how to rig and fish worms upstream… enjoy !
“It occurred to me, some three or four years ago, that there was again room in this great angling county for a book which should not only give the dressings and seasons of trout flies, but also add the best possible aid in the form of illustrations carefully and accurately coloured, in order to convey to the eye of the beholder correct impressions of size, shape, and colours of those artificial flies which experience has proved are best adapted to the Yorkshire waters.”