Friday, January 8, 2016

North Country Fly...How I love Simplicity.


North Country Flies are some of the most simplistic, realistic impressions of actual insects ever created. The fly in the photo shows what appears to be some feathers on a hook and not much else, this is true. It's so simply tied and when placed in the stream it takes on the life of something trout actually see.

A hook, thread body tied in a fashion to create a rib, scant dubbing for a thorax consisting of squirrel and ice dub., a turn or two of partridge hackle and it's done.


When the fly is placed in the stream that's when the realistic aspects of the fly takes place. The movement of hackles, and when allowed to sit motionless in the current the fly will also look alive. Translucent is a key. The little bit of dubbing with one or two ice dub fibers glimmering form a life like body.




It's no wonder this style of fly has been around for hundreds of years. I can't wait until the time comes when I can drift these flies again.




35 comments:

  1. Tis always the simple things, I find,that give the greatest pleasure in life Brk, and that is a wonderful looking simple lure. I am determined this year to cast a line and who knows, I may even dabble in fly fishing.

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    Replies
    1. John Wooldridge
      Thanks
      John I adore simplicity. I would love to see you pick up the fly rod. Your two companions would enjoy it to.

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  2. The beauty of those flies are in their simplicity!!
    And we know they work!!

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    1. TROUTl
      Thanks
      Pete they do work. We have to get out a test a few.

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  3. Replies
    1. Mark Kautz
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      Mark very true, most times they do.

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  4. Replies
    1. Howard Levett
      Thanks
      Howard it's appreciated.

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  5. Alan - Their simplicity is part of their elegance and beauty. In age where everyone clamors for the "new", they remind us of our history and the value of simple things

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    Replies
    1. Mark
      Thanks
      Mark very well said. Fly fishing need not be complicated.

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  6. Replies
    1. Bill Trussell
      Thanks
      Bill your comment is short and concise.....similar to NC flies.

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  7. Alan
    Simplistic...yes
    Simple...maybe
    I'm imagining an old-timer enjoying a pipe on the river bank, tying these gems without the benefit of tools like a vise, bobbin holder or whip finisher.
    John

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    Replies
    1. thedeadfisher
      Thanks
      John many flies were tied without the use of our modern tools. There are some especially Tenkara fly tyers who tie with out tools this day.

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  8. Living here in the UK and even fishing the same rivers as the original exponents of the north country spiders I fish spiders a fair bit. What matters to me on the hooks is the weight you don't want anything to heavy in the wire ., the appeal of the fly I think is its ability to dead drift mid current or just under the surface a long Shanked heavy hook is no good for that

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    1. becks and brown trout
      Thanks
      You are right in mentioning the long shank hook. I did notice some wobble in the flies movement. The streams I tested the fly in were iced up pretty good and not a true testament of the flies ability to ride correctly in the water. I appreciate your thoughts.

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  9. nice and likewise Im right in the heart of spider country in Yorkshire UK, I would never dream of going onto the river without my spider patterns, they are invaluable at all times of the year.

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    1. George
      Thanks
      George it's wonderful to have you comment. You gents bring first hand information and insight to my readers.

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    2. your welcome mate I always pop in when I see new posts on my blog list for you , these are close to my heart as Im a spiders person, always have been.

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    3. Must get out on the bank with you this year George, have you been flooded out over Christmas

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  10. A great perspective seeing the soft hackles wet. A simple fly that indeed looks very insect-like.

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    1. Parachute Adams
      Thanks
      Sam they do take on a different look. I love their ability to entice a strike at any point in the drift.

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  11. I really like the hook in the first fly . It looks like one of the new barbless tactical dry fly hooks? I also like the use of ice dub. I use ice dub in a lot of my wet flies and nymphs I believe it serves as a trigger mechanism . I've started to use uv dub also but the jury is still out on whether it makes a difference.

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    Replies
    1. Brad Basehore
      Thanks
      Brad that hook is a Allen D102BL and these are the first flies I've tied on them. Winter maybe not the best time to give them a true workout. A little bit of that ice dub in a mix works well. I have not tried the UV stuff.

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  12. Wow! Wonderful looking pattern both dry and esp. wet! Notice how the word "translucency" takes on a new meaning! Please shoot future patterns wet and dry! I cannot get enough of this BlogSpot!
    Dougsden

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    1. Dougsden
      Thanks
      Doug to see the fly as the fish see it is a wonderful thing. I used a soft hackle today and the results were very good. I'll post that soon.

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  13. Beautiful fly, Alan. Love the colors on it. I see your comment on the hook type, but I don't recall seeing what size you were using. Ice dubbing is my favorite for small flies. I love that I don't have to make a dubbing loop to tie it on, and I can just twist it around the thread.

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    Replies
    1. Justin Carfagnini
      Thanks
      Justin they are size 14. Ice dubbing is pretty easy to use and gives new "light" to a fly.

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  14. Alan, nice tie. This is definitely something I could fish. What color squirrel did you use?

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    Replies
    1. RI brook trout
      Thanks
      Jon I used a SLF bleached ginger.

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  15. Hi Alan, I had my conversion to north country spiders on the River Aln just below Alnwick in Northumberland. It was a lovely, but difficult day on the water, fish were rising, but hard to fool. Memorably there were Several small brownies rising confidently to small pale watery olives in an open pool. I tried pretty much everything I had - upstream dry fly with wings, without wings. Was it size? I changed sizes, 14's ,16's 18's, nope not that. Switched to downstream presentation the fly first with no drag, maybe they were detecting the nylon - I tried down and across wet flies - Greenwells as a winged wet and as a spider and nothing worked, not natural maybe. So I took a break and rested the pool. Tucking into my lunch I rooted through through my bag and came across a small golden fly box which held a number of very simply tied spiders in various shades of olive. As flies went they were pretty much nothing at all, a couple of hen hackle fibre tail whisks, spares silk bodies and a couple of turns of hen hackle to match the tail. I put a pale watery looking spider on, decreased the nylon and cast upstream and slightly ahead. You know the rest..... I still have that fly box and even some of those flies are still in it which is making me feel old as I tied those over twenty five years ago. This year I'll check out their powers of persuasion on my Welsh valleys Brownies.

    What is the oldest fly you - or anyone else has caught a fish on?

    Alan, love the site site, helps to keep me sane when working in deepest darkest London.

    Regards

    John

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  16. Grannom
    Thanks
    John what a lovely story. Sometimes the most obscure fly in the box is the one that holds the magic.
    I have a couple of flies that that are about 15 years old that have fond memories for me.

    I am delighted I can turn on the lights for you in your hours of work. Please do continue to visit and tell us more.

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