Hey Patrick, hows it goin? All my spots have been good to me lately, no lack of action! The Bluebacks are in! I have released some very nice fish, as have my fishing partners.
The lawns are indeed growing again and cutting them is starting to cut heavily into all the fishing time I had been enjoying.I knew it couldn't last! I have a fly fishing buddy who is driving out today from Oly to help me blitz out the sudden onslaught, as well as fling a few flies at a nearby estuary before digging razor clams at dusk. We will be following the same program for 3 days: w-w-w-work, flyfishing for SRCs, clams. Then more w-w-work before a 2-day flyfishing excursion next week up on the O.P. where we will be checking out a lake or two.
Hope to find the time to tie up some more reverse spiders, so I can really give the pattern a chance.
The main thing is to NOT let w-w-w-work interfere too much with ones fishing!
The orange golden pheasant neck feathers are sometimes used in the reverse spider as a substitute for mallard, but I don't believe this was the original dressing, nor would I say that it is the key to the fly's effectiveness.
Thanks, I couldn't remember what other materials you can use with this pattern. Pretty bad considering I was being shown how to tie it yesterday!
I know some of you probably know this, but I learned a couple things yesterday. First and foremost this fly is tied from front to back and is finished at the tail end of the fly. Also the taper in the body is very pronounced (big in front and tapered down) and and the collar is cinched down and flared out to give in the pulsing movement in the water.
Finally the hook that was recommended to me for this is a TMC 200R, sizes 4 - 8. It's not a saltwater hook, but since I'll be using them in freshwater for now its a little cheaper option.
Mike's original Reversed Spiders were tied with mallard flank, both natural and dyed for hackle and tail. Some later versions use golden pheasant or Amherst pheasant tippet. Some of my favorites include burnt (or hot) orange body/wood duck dyed mallard hackle, black body/yellow dyed mallard or Amherst pheasant hackle, yellow body/golden pheasant tippet hackle and black body/natural Amherst pheasant tippet hackle. Pheasant tippet hackles are a little longer, softer and more mobile than mallard flank but both provide good movement in the water. Amherst pheasant tippet is available dyed in quite a variety of colors but I think the lighter colors are more readily visible in the water and the only ones I currently use are yellow and the natural white.
I use the Tiemco 200R (preferably 200 RBL) in sizes 6 and 8, in fact I've almost stopped tying 6's and use 8's almost exclusively.
Just another note on tying the Reversed Spider. When tying the body, start the chenille at about the middle of the hook shank, wind forward, over the hackle butts to a point right behind the eye then back to the tail. This accomplishes a couple of things; it forces the hackle into a tighter cone, it protects the attachment points of the individual hackle fibers to the quill, and it gives the body a nice taper. Obsessed's photo shows this rather nicely.
I published the step-by-step tying instructions for the Reverse Spider, tied by Mike Kinney when I was editor of Flyfishing & Tying Journal. I don't recall the issue but I'm sure someone still has an issue laying around. Preston has described the retrieve correctly. No slack is the trick. I cannot in my wildest dreams envision a need to incorporate a bead on a Reverse Spider. A major part of the excitement is to see the cutthroat charge the fly, not grab it deep down along the bottom in a blind tug. I believe that we've allowed beads and oversized lead barbell eyes become something of a crutch in fly design.