My interest in North Country Spiders is twofold: that they’re cool (traditional, sparse, elegant, simple), and that so many of them translate well to our streams here in the U.S. Like the Grey Partridge. I first saw this pattern in Syl Nemes’ Two Centuries of Soft-Hackled Flies. Nemes saw it in T.E. Pritt’s North Country Flies. Now I’m sharing it with you. This pattern doesn’t get a lot of juice, but it makes a darned good Light Cahill. Just ask the trout.
Grey Partridge (Grey Watchet)
Hook: Dry or wet fly, 12-16
Hackle: A light feather from a Partridge’s breast
Head: Peacock herl
If you’re going for authenticity, tie the head in first and finish the fly behind the hackle. I used two strands of herl spun on thread for this fly; you can see the technique in my Drowned Ant video here.
Next, attach and wind the hackle rearward. (It take s little practice.) Wind the silk body and finish. You can find a general North Country spider video tutorial here.