I recently published a short feature series on W.C. Stewart’s spiders, three ancient and traditional Scottish soft hackles. They first appeared in print in Stewart’s 1857 book “The Practical Angler or the Art of Trout Fishing, more Particularly Applied to Clear Water.” Here now is a single reference list of the trio: the Black Spider, Red Spider, and Dun Spider, a photo of each pattern, and a link to the original post with my comments and tying instructions. If you’re interested in reading an online copy of Stewart’s Book, you can find one here.
W.C. Stewart on the soft-hackled feather: “So soft are they, that when a spider is made of one of them and placed in the water, the least motion will agitate and impart a singularly life-like appearance to it.” — W.C. Stewart
Apply these to clear water near you, and let your mind wander back a few centuries. Picture Stewart on a wee Scottish burn, fishing his beloved spiders upstream…
morning, for us that missed your shows – it would be great if you did a video on the process of tying the above wet flies –
Thanks for the comment, Jim, and you’re right, these are video worthy. Especially since now I have my voice back…