I guess we have all had them – those days when all it seems you need is just one irresistible fly.
I have had a couple of ‘one fly days’ recently. On the first occasion despite trying a CDC and Elk I was fishless after 20 minutes. I changed to a Wolf Spider and took a pretty small rainbow on the first drift. From thereon the trout rose to it steadily all day. The only fly changes were to replace the bedraggled spiders for fresh ones.
On the second occasion I started the day with a slightly modified Wolf Spider and ended it with the same fly, a little battered, but still holding its distinctive spider profile. The modifications were to make the imitation easier to tie and more durable – it involved replacing the front Pheasant Tail fibre legs with a a few hairs from a Squirrel tail.
The wild browns happily moved a long way out of their lies all day to intercept the drifting fly. Tied in #14s and #16s the Wolf Spider offers a decent sized mouthful of protein, the reason in my view, why the fish are prepared to swim so far to fetch them. Of course the fact that the imitation offers a familiar profile doesn’t hurt. The efficacy of the Wolf Spider is not debatable.
I have had a few favorite flies over the years and none less that the little Mayfly Spinner, tied in the Ellis triple wing style and using organza for the wings, but and here’s the rub, despite still being in my ‘good fly’ box, it’s been nudged off the podium by the Wolf Spider.
I have been saying for some time, but I’m now convinced that this little Wolf Spider imitation deserves a nod in the South African indigenous flies hall of fame.
I’m not into naming the flies I tie, I think it a little pretentious, but in this case it was the doyen of S A fly fishing, the Good Doctor, Tom Sutcliffe himself who suggested it be named Brigg’s Spider ……. coming from him, I’m comfortable with that.
All images and copy in this post are copyright Peter Brigg Photography © 2016. All rights reserved