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It’s actually very difficult to tie a North Country Spider well, it’s not that it takes lots of time or exotic materials are required. It’s because a North Country Spider needs to be sparse with very little hackle feather and often just a few turns of thread. To make a fly so sparse and yet in proportion to the angler’s eye is actually quite hard!
Here at Peaks Fly Fishing we love North Country Spider fishing, on the fast rain fed rivers it a great method of catching trout and grayling.
North Country Spiders are not a fly that is designed to imitate a specific insect although size and colour can be vaguely matched. North Country Spiders give a general impression of food, which is often enough!
They are fished in or just under the surface film of the river and there are a few different methods of fishing the North Country Spider, my favorite is the upstream method. The upstream method involves wading in the river facing upstream and casting with around a rod length of fly line and around a rod length of leader. The fly is only on the water for a few seconds and as it travels down the current back towards you. The rod is lifted to take up the slack line before the fly is recast. Often a wading stick is in the other hand as the angler prospects up the stream exploring the runs and riffles. Light gear is required as there is lots of
casting but the takes are fast and furious as the fish snatched the fly from the current.
There are loads of North Country Spiders fly patterns available but probably the three most famous are below and you won’t go far wrong with these!