The Best Of North Country Spiders in list form and photos

Last winter I posted a very popular series, the Best Of North Country Spiders, a list of thirteen of my favorite ancient and traditional Yorkshire soft hackles. What was missing was a single reference list of the bunch. And now, the remedy: the list, a photo of each pattern, and a link to the original post with my comments and tying instructions.

Best of North Country Spiders. “With the soft-hackled fly, the trout throws caution to the wind…” — Syl Nemes

Winter Brown

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Greensleeves

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Black Magic

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Sandy Moorgame

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Snipe and Purple

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Partridge and Orange

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Poult Bloa

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Yorkshire Greenwell

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Smoke Fly

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Grey Partridge (Grey Watchet)

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Snipe Bloa

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Orange Partridge

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Waterhen Bloa

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There you have them. Fish these patterns with confidence: North American trout have no idea that they’re not in an English chalk stream 200 years ago. As always, if you have trying or fishing questions, I’ll do my best to answer them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A civilized outing at the private fishing club

Being an internationally famous fly fishing personality (or not — but let’s go with the former for the sake of the story) gets me all kinds of cool invites. Yesterday I took advantage of the opportunity to fish some private club-owned waters.

It’s a challenging stream at this time of year, with no canopy, low flows, clear water, and brilliant sunshine. The stream wanders through the woods, mostly longer flat runs and shallows, but pockmarked with intriguing bends, riffles, deep dark holes, and plunges. It’s on the large side of small, or the small side of medium, depending on your point-of-view.

The fishing today was tough. I fished a dry/dropper and streamers. One bump on an olive Squirrel and Herl, and one nose bump on the dry, but I was finally able to connect with a hefty rainbow on spider dropper. My host, John R, managed three. Many thanks for a glorious day on this gorgeous piece of water.

My catch has a great fish story. See that pile of rocks to the right? I had made a cast into the center of the pool from the back side of the pile, and was crawling forward a few feet to get into a better position to manage my drift. When I looked up, my dry fly was gone. So I set the hook, and to my delight found a fat rainbow attached to the North Country spider dropper. Painfully slow currents and mirror-like surfaces made the fishing a triple black diamond challenge.

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Here’s my host John doing battle in the same spot. Many thanks for the invite, kind sir. And if you, dear reader, have issued a similar invitation, I plan to take you up on it — this is simply the one that worked best for me on this day. I appreciate all the offers!

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They’re called classics for a reason. Once again, Our Lady of the Blessed Snipe and Purple did not fail me. Funny thing! On a day where hatches were at a bare-bones minimum, I saw a little black stone, size 18, crawling on my waders moments after I took this photo.

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