In the last couple of months, I have had a number of requests for the recipe and step-by-step tying instructions for my version of the Wolf Spider. It is of course not the first time I have written about this pattern and extolled its virtues as a very successful searching pattern, especially on small streams.
For the record this is it.
- Using a light wire dry fly hook like the Grip 11011BL in either size 14 or 16, dress the shank with tying thread. I use Gordon Griffiths 14/0 Sheer or UTC 70 in black.
- Add a small bunch of squirrel tail fibres on top of the shank protruding over the hook eye, secure and trim excess. Always leave about 2 mm clear space behind the eye for tying off later. (I have replaced the front pheasant tail legs with squirrel tail hairs to improve durability and add to the profile as seen by the trout. The version described in these tying instructions
- Attach a piece of 2mm thick tan-coloured foam or Lava Lace foam pre-cut into a rectangle of approximately 10 mm x 5 mm to the hook at the bend. (The foam should be trimmed into a V at the tie in end. Also, a drop of super glue here helps to secure it tightly and avoid slipping.)
- Tie in a strip of white Antron, or similar material, at the tie off point of the squirrel tail fibres to act as a sighter and as a post for the parachute hackle.
- Attach to the post a rust/ginger hackle (this need not be a high-quality hackle and one from a cheap Indian cape will do. It is mainly for bugginess and profile rather than to help float the fly, but it does provide some added lateral stability.)
- At the tie in point of the foam add two strands of peacock herl and wind forward, tie off and trim excess about 2mm behind the base of the post.
- Fold the foam over the peacock herl on top of the shank and tie off at the same point as the peacock, secure and trim any excess.
- In the 2mm gap mentioned in 6 above, add two pheasant tail fibres each on either side for the back legs to protrude about 1 to 1½ times the abdomen length beyond the back of the abdomen. (It’s important to tie the legs in the gap behind the post to avoid complications when the parachute hackle is wound on and tied off.)
- Wind the hackle around the post with no more than three turns, secure and trim excess. The hackle should be sparse and length of roughly 1½ times the hook gape.)
- Take the tying thread to the gap behind the hook eye below the squirrel, make a couple of turns and then using your thumb nail at the base of the squirrel force the hair into a fan shape and then whip finish. (I add a drop of UV resin at the base of the squirrel to secure and maintain the fan shape over the eye.)
- Trim the post to the required length and you are done.
Note – The other recent change I’m experimenting with is the use of cylinders of foam shaped by heating it against the side of a candle flame and then rolling it between the fingers to get the desired shape. I colour these with a permanent marker and finish by coating the foam with Heritage Craft varnish. However, the jury is still out on whether it’s any better than the original version as described in the recipe.
The new kid on the block
If you have any questions, drop me a comment.
Happy searching 😊
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