Wednesday, August 26, 2020

North Country Spiders

North Country Spiders have long been a favorite of mine both tying and fishing. My love of these simple wonders seems at times overdone when I write about them. I have found many variations of these flies in the years I have researched them and I believe those who tied them in a certain fashion had a reason for it. Many of these variations are over-tied. What I'm saying is that these North Country Spiders should be tied very sparse. My opinion is, and this comes from my experiences is that the sparsely tied flies are much more effective.

Over the next few posts I will be highlighting a few classics that feature game bird feathers in their construction. This first North Country Spider features the Partridge.


The "Partridge and Orange"...simple materials, silk thread body and a single partridge feather. A side note here. The YLI silk thread used on this fly was a replacement for the Pearsall's silk that was discontinued. Now for some reason the YLI is in extremely short supply.


The "classic"...the few turns of partridge make this fly "simply" deadly.






17 comments:

  1. Guess I should have ordered some when you first started posting about it :-/

    Going out tomorrow but it will be smokey.

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    1. billp
      Thanks
      Bill these are great flies. In certain situations they will out fish anything.
      Smokey as in forest fires?

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  2. Beautiful flies as usual! With regard to your YLI comments, I would highly recommend Ephemera Pure Silk for your softies. Color #625 makes a perfect Partridge & Orange that has caught many selective risers for me. IMHO, Ephemera ties nicer than Pearsall's, seems like a finer diameter and the 100m spools fit on a standard bobbin...it makes me regret stockpiling Pearsall's.

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    1. James
      Thanks
      James I'm so happy I have a fly tyer that's worked with Ephemera. I purchased a couple of spools over the weekend but have not received them. I could not find much about the thread but decided to try it anyway. I'm not sure of the color # but believe it was 633. I'll have to go into my mail and look at the order. Burnt Orange comes to mind. Thank you for the insight.

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  3. Wow Alan! Your North Country Spiders (Partridge and Orange) are "simply the best"! The very dark, well marked partridge feathers are to die for! It's too bad the entire bird is not be-decked in these treasures!
    I can't wait to see what other beauties you will post in the near future!
    Dougsden

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    1. Dougsden
      Thanks
      Doug the feathers on the partridge skin were awesome. I bought it several years ago on ebay and was thrilled. I have not found a bad feather on it. Usually there are broken barbules and the like but this skin was perfect.

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  4. The P&O is a staple in my box. I tie mine on a size 12-14 dryfly barbless with veevus orange, a very slight bodied fly. For hackle I use anything from 3 wraps of partridge to only seven barbules radiating from the shank.

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    Replies
    1. Nathan Camp
      Thanks
      Nate I prefer the sparse hackle on this fly. This style seems to produce more strikes then a heavily hackled fly. We are to believe that North Country flies are to be sparse, but when you look at the flies that were tied by some of the creators they are anything but sparse.
      Using only one side of the feather will give you a a nice sparse fly.

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    2. The heavier ones are a great semi dry for warm September mid mornings when the white moths are really active. The hit typically happens right when the fly succumbs to the current and slips under.
      I do agree that the sparsely dressed are superior the remainder of the time.

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    3. Nate...."The hit typically happens right when the fly succumbs to the current and slips under". This is what I love. A strike at this point is one that's not soon forgotten.

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  5. Hi Alan,

    Love the Partridge and Orange ties you have done there. Over the years I have not had a great deal of success with this pattern for some reason??? The Waterhen Bloa is my favourite tradition north country fly. Those Jinglers are fantastic as well (now that is a pattern I have had a lot of success with!)

    Thanks for sharing

    Alistair

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    1. Alistair
      Thanks
      The Waterhen Bloa is a top North Country fly. The Jingler is not well known here but for the life of me I can't understand why not....

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  6. Alan, always a joy when you feature soft-hackles. Do you tie down your partridge by the tip or stem prior to turning. I tie down the stem, but was curious what you prefer.

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    Replies
    1. Matt Harding
      Thanks
      Matt I love tying them fishing them and I could talk about them all day.
      I like tying the hackle by the tip.

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    2. Alan, thanks. I'll try tying down the tip next time I need more. Seems logical.

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    3. Matt, with many hackles I find the tip to be the weakest part. Therefor it's better tied in first and wound with the stem which is thick and most times will not break.

      Now some hackles that are a bit "tougher" can be tied in by the stem and wrapped by the tip.

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