Fly Tying videos- Stew’s Glassy Spider

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 !

Fly tying step-bysteps: Harelug & Plover, Stewart-style

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 /ˈplvər/) 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…

ringed-plover-38674

“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.

Harelug & Plover 1 - R. Christieat 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.

Harelug & Plover 2 - R. Chrisie

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“Those anglers who think trout will take no fly unless it is an exact imitation of some one of the immense number of flies they are feeding on, must suppose that they know to a shade the colour of every fly on the water, and can detect the least deviation from it – an amount of entomological knowledge that would put to shame the angler himself and a good many naturalists to boot”.

some interesting points there. Stewart was said to be an old grump that didn’t hesitate to yell at people who didn’t share his opinions.

just to be on the safe side, from now on i’ll tie all my flies in either fashionable Black

or in multi-colored swirls as this Starl’-Wing Cripple so the fish can pick and chose their color.

i don’t like being yelled at…

quote by W.C. Stewart

The Practical Angler (more on WC Stewart)

after last week’s post on Stewart’s ideas of North Country Spiders, i did a little research and found this little gem: 212 pages in a free pdf format of a 1907 version of Stewart’s seminal treatise The Practical Angler.
what a treat to be able to compare old and new ideas and concepts, what’s held on through time and what’s been proven obsolete.

added bonus ! the lazier among us and those that enjoy hearing a robot voice will find a ‘Read this Book Aloud’ at the top right of the page.

click on the image above to access the book. enjoy !

Stewart’s favourite colour appears to have been black.

 Stewart’s Spider

a few musings on North Country Spiders by W.C. Stewart

“Stewart’s favourite colour appears to have been black, his argument being that, in water, a fly between the fish and the light above is in silhouette, therefore colours are indistinctive, his opinion being that the movement of the hackle (legs) of the fly is the attraction, and this seems to make a lot of sense! Stewart also fiercely maintains that the fly dresser could never truly imitate nature and that Man’s interpretation of what a fly should look like can never ever be truly attained and I quote “Those anglers  who think trout will take no fly unless it is an exact imitation of some one of the immense number of flies they are feeding on, must suppose that they know to a shade the colour of every fly on the water, and can detect the least deviation from it – an amount of entomological knowledge that would put to shame the angler himself and a good many naturalists to boot”. 

i wonder if he ever considered transparency, refraction and diffraction, the understated elements in fly design.

photo and text source: Fishing with Style