For those who love small streams, wild trout, and life...in their simplest form
Thursday, January 15, 2015
"February Red Soft Hackle"
North Country Spiders, or should I say North Country Flies. The latter was the name given this group of wet flies in an article published in Fly Tyer magazine back in 2007. It was this article that got me interested in these thin whispy life like simple patterns. In the time that has passed I have learned the difference between "spiders" and "soft hackle wet flies". In this post I will tell you of what I have learned about the "spiders".
The North Country Spiders date back to the 1800's. They were the preferred flies for trout in the north of England. They are simple patterns of silk thread bodies and soft hackles from various common birds. They are the type of fly that fits in with the title of this blog "simplicity". There are many wonderful books out there on theses flies, I have but two of them. Wet Flies, by Dave Hughs, and The Soft Hackle Fly Addict by Sylvester Nemes. There are a couple more books on my to get list and I hope to locate a good copy of them soon.
Well to get on with it the fly featured is from Hughes book and it's called "February Red Soft Hackle" It is a North Country Spider by definition, but called a soft hackle, which is an American term. It calls for a red silk body, the silk being Pearsalls Gossamer Silk, and hares mask dubbing for a thorax and a grouse feather. Simple easy, and effective.
I tied up several of these February Red flies. One of them I used plain Danville red thread. and the others using Pearsalls silk. This fly is tied with silk. You can see the wonderful rib on the body formed buy the silk. Also silk provides a translucency when wet, something cotton thread doesn't.
Here are two flies. The top is tied with silk and the bottom with cotton thread.
This is a "spider" tied with olive silk and hares mask dubbing, with grouse hackle.
A frontal view of the fly. In a future post I'll give you my take on why you should fish these flies.