Spiders Pike on spider David Westwood


Spiders’ are the most unattractive of all flies. They look very simple to tie but in fact with so few materials used, it requires a great deal of skill to tie them.
Spiders arose in Yorkshire in the UK where they have only rain fed rivers. The trout from these rivers are not large and must seize what food they can; unlike in the Southern UK lime rivers which are restaurants in comparison.
The name spider does presumption that these patterns would be an indeed bad imitation of a spider. That has never been the intention. Probably the name is originating from a spiderlike dressing, as the palmer is a caterpillarlike dressing. Spiders imitate nymphs of the upwinged flies at all kinds of stages and also drowned adult insects.
On the rivers in Belgium I have had never much success with one or two spiders. In our "polder water" they fish pretty well. Depending on of the depth of water I ty one or two spiders to my leader. I frequently tie the spider on the dropper and on the point I put then a nymph with a gold bead or silver bead of 2 or 3 mm. The last one could be a spiderlike gold bead. but that is not necessary. Sometimes I use a little shrimp for the point. Sometimes I change them also, but then you make a tangle more rapidly, because the lightest nymph goes in front.
For spiders I take a hook with a right eye and the best hooks I can find are the super specialist of Drennan in the measures eight up to and including 16. I use hooks with a right eye, because the flies look much more on the flies that were tied in approximately 1880. Then they did not have hooks with an eye and fly tiers have to put on firstly a piece of gut to the fly, so that the fly contracted right behind the leader. Also I find the head this way more beautiful. You fish the fly slowly with figures of eight, you can bump and tremble the fly from time to time also slightly, a little movement of your rod cannot be lacking from time to time. Sometimes you can let the fly quietly sink: Eventually the fisherman stipulates if he catches and how much that is.
The last region day in Wilnis I fished on a water of about 20 cm deep. There were some roach of about 15-20 cm. I have tied on one spider and let it sink very slowly. Generally he was caught at the first movement and sometimes already at the sink. The difficulty was not particularly catching Roach but not to frighten of the fish, so that you could catch several Roach from the school. They caught Partridge and PT.
If you want to tie Spiders you have to collect a lot of materials. The tying thread is in some patterns rather important, because sometimes the body only exists of no more than tying thread. Dubbing exists frequently from what I call the “debmethode”: you lubricate economically a little bit of sticky dubbing wax on the thread and then deb it with a fluff of  mole dubbing, so that there is only a bloom of mole dub on the thread. The hackle frequently exists of a feather of the upper part of a wing of a wood cock a waterhen or grouse. In many patterns you need a partridges feather and then it is skilful to have a partridge skin, so that you can choose the feather of the good size.

Click for an image enlargement.
Partridge and PT
Thread: light yellow
Body: pheasanttail
Hackle: brown partridge
Ribbing: copper wire
Iron Blue
Thread: Claret
Body: tag thread, moledubbing naturel, debben
Hackle: uppercovert of a waterhen
Partridge and orange
Thread: light orange
Body: thread
Thorax: hare dubbing
Hackle: brown partridge
The thread can also be fluorescent orange.
Black Spider
Thread: dark brown
Body: thread
Hackle: starling: halfpalmer

Stewart wound the hackle around the thread and then around the hook. It is easyer to wind the hackle from the eye to halfway the hook .
Then wind the thread trough the fibers of the hackle to the head.
Waterhen Bloa
Thread: primrose yellow silk
Body: Thread with a light dubbing of naturel mole and a tag of thread.
Hackle: the darker marginal covert feathers (Fogg) of a waterhen
Red Tag
Thread: Claret
Tail: Red fluor floss
Body: peacockfiber
Hackle: hen: saddle ginger brown or brown partridge
(This is not a spider but without the tail….)
Golden Plover and Red
Hook: Drennan super specialist #12
Thread: Olive
Body: Red copperwire
Rib: Red copperwire
Thorax: hares ear dubbing
Hackle: Golden Plover
Golden Plover and Yellow
Hook: Daiichi 1640 #12
Thread: Yellow silk
Body: Yellow silk
Rib: Black thread from a fruitbag: make a loop and
than corded, dubbing in the loop.
Thorax: Grey blue rabbit fur
Hackle: Golden Plover
Hook: Drennan super specialist #12
Thread: UTC rusty brown #70
Body: Holografic tinsel
Hackle: Golden Plover
Pinky Devil
Hook: Kamasan B100 #12
Thread: Olive 8/0
Body: Spectra dubbing Pink
Bead: Silver 2.8 mm
Hackle: Hen: Metz Saddle ginger Brown

The body of a spider starts traditionally above the barb, but some tiers make a much shorter body:  half the shank till almost no body: 1 mm or something like that. Then your spider is just a hackle and a hook.
If you would like to read more about spiders you can try to buy the book of Roger Fogg: “A Handbook of North Country Trout Flies”.
Perhaps Coch-Y-Bonddu sells it.