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    so what are north country spiders?

"Spiders" are a series of fishing flies that originated in the North of the United Kingdom certainly over 300 years ago - often known as "North Country Spiders".

The word "spiders" can be fairly misleading to some as the patterns of flies do not actually represent spiders, but rather hatching insects caught in the surface of the river - or in the surface film of a still - water.

 

And this is the very essence of the Spider pattern - by using a very sparse, often webby hackle on a very slim, short body, you can create real movement in the current - resulting in a very realistic impression of a struggling, crippled or drowned insect, irresistible to fish!

A true North Country Spider should have a fairly short body by modern standards - no longer than from the eye to a point opposite the hook point or just past.

The body should also be SLIM - to match than of an insect - so please do avoid those commercially tied offerings purporting to be Spiders but tied with heavy floss resulting in a body three to four times thicker than the hook shank and extending way past the hook point.

snipe & purple

The hackle on a spider consists of a maximum of two turns of feather (usually three turns with hackling with a hen feather) - it is not there to keep the fly floating, as with a dry pattern, but to give the impression of straggling legs and possibly "crippled" (drowned) wings.

Spiders are not restricted to use on moving water - many patterns are extremely effective on still waters to again imitate a small, drowned or crippled insect.

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