Late season always turns my mind towards wet fly fishing and the opportunity to usher north country spider patterns past feeding trout and through pods of dimpling grayling. There is something about these patterns with their sparse, lightweight form and firm rooting in tradition, that endears them to many anglers, myself included. As autumn approaches and daytime sport begins to pick up, the spiders can really come into their own as the fish begin to stock up on aphids, small stoneflies and late season blue-winged and pale watery olives.
I tied a few this morning. My spider box is pretty well stocked at the moment, so I added two patterns which are as yet untried by this particular fisher - one a variant on perhaps the most famous north country spider of all; and another, a complete stab in the dark based upon a successful nymph pattern I have been using.
Pearly Butt Bloa (Procter)
Hook: Partridge classic spider #16
Thread: Pearsalls yellow silk
Butt: doubled up mirage tinsel or similar
Dubbing: fine mist of mole fur
Hackle: waterhen marginal covert
See photo at top. This is a variant of the Waterhen Bloa, as tied by Paul Procter, and incorporating a butt of pearl tinsel as an added attractor to late season trout and grayling. The regular WB has caught me countless fish over the years, but until now I have yet to try this particular version. It comes highly recommended and I have no doubt it will prove deadly. These are tied on the excellent Partridge spider hook and at #16 are intended to imitate emerging and crippled/drowned B-WO duns.
No Name Spider
Hook: Partridge classic spider #14
Thread: Griffiths sheer 14/0 - mallard brown
Butt: Globrite floss #4
Rib: fine copper wire
Body: melanistic pheasant tail
Hackle: grouse marginal covert
Untried and untested, this little monkey is based upon a nymph pattern I find successful much of the time - a combination of melanistic PT and copper wire with a butt of crimson floss which seems to work wonders in peat stained water. I decided to try and translate the tying of said nymph to the spider template and found that red grouse hackle suited it well. This should fish as an attractor pattern as much as anything and my intention is to give it a few trial runs on the middle dropper position to see if it gets picked out at all. Like I said earlier - a total stab in the dark which may or may not prove successful.......watch this space!