Every now and then someone ties a fly that the fish can’t leave alone – the Wolf Spider may just be heading in that direction. Although I have waxed lyrical about it before (The Wolf Spider), I just couldn’t resist spreading the news again.
This past river season has been seriously affected by extreme drought conditions caused by that less than likeable El Niño – I have fished less this season than I have in decades. There have been a few average days, some even worse and a couple of blank days.
What prompted me to share this was that the Wolf Spider has on a number of occasions turned some average days into good days fishing. The first was on the upper Bokspruit in the North Eastern Cape when a slow day became a 20 fish day after struggling to raise a trout. And, then a week ago on the Injisuthi in KZN the Wolf Spider accounted for almost all of the fish caught, and while I seldom keep a count, I can tell you there were many. It has proved itself as a good searching pattern, a master of deception – a kind of insurance policy against being skunked. I have even been stood to a few decent single malts from friends that have experienced the intrinsic worth of the Wolf Spider as a fooler of trout.
And, as a parting shot, a few random thoughts on fly tying ……….
We all want to tie flawless flies with every feather or hair in place to please ourselves, but at the same time what the fish don’t appreciate is kind of theoretical. In coming up with my version of the Wolf Spider I cut materials to the bone and retained only what I thought were the recognisable features of the natural. I believe that flies should be tied to catch fish, they can be pretty, should be well tied, but extra steps, superfluous materials and unnecessary turns of thread should be avoided. They should be thoughtlessly expendable as shotgun shells to a waterfowl hunter. One thing is a given is that sooner or later even your best tied flies will be lost to the bushes, occasionally chewed to pieces or snapped off in a trout.
The Wolf Spider meets the brief – may not be perfect, but it works.
All images and copy in this post are copyright Peter Brigg Photography © 2016. All rights reserved