Wet fly fishing is traditionally achieved by casting across stream and allowing the current of the river sweep your flies down and across, the flies are normally swimming just under the surface film and it tends to be on the sweep that a fish will take. Some anglers prefer to mend once or twice up stream to give the fly a chance to drop down to the trout before the current moves the fly into the bend or sweep. Also it can be productive when the sweep has finished and the flies are straight down stream of the angler then to use the figure of eight retrieve back towards you and any fish lying in the by the edge of the river might take.
This method of catching fish is how the majority of anglers begin to fly fish as too did I, it can be the easiest form to introduce young anglers in to the sport. I like fishing spiders in spring especially two spiders behind a weighted nymph, and spider fishing this way can be very successful. The spiders should be tied sleek and small, and have pulsating hackles that will work in the water as the nymph trot through the current. All spiders can have a little bit of lead added in there under body this can allow the fly to penetrate the surface film much faster on contact with the water when not using the nymph to fish the require depth. Fishing a single spider pattern during late spring and summer upstream behind rocks in fast streamy water can be very tempting for an opportunistic fish.
Also using a wet or intermediate line will help these flies’ fish better and get down to the fish. It is most productive using very light tippet material and you can have one to four flies on the cast.
Spider fishing can be very productive and entertaining it is also, without making it a lesser form of fishing than others, a relaxing and simpler method of catching fish.
When I moved from the wet fly to fishing nymphs and spending a few years working on those techniques I forgot the importance and the reliability of the wets and spiders. Last season I once again tied a stock of spiders and of course they produced plenty of fish. These spiders are some of my successful patters.
Pheasant Tails spiders with different coloured partridge hackles tied on size 18 to 20 hooks were very successful in the early part of the season and the spiders above took lots of fish during the olive hatches of April and May.
During the Knat hatches I found this small black fly was very apeeling to the trout. It is tied on a size 18 and has a blue holographic tinsel rib with a black spectra dubbing body from Hends and a black hen hackle. I also tied in some white CDC as a light wing on the same body and
hackle that worked just as well. The small Jungle Cock and black below also snared quite a few trout during the same time when the small black flies are on the trouts menu. Keeping your wet flies and spiders small and sparse will improve your chances of a catch and retrieving them up along the banks on a very slow figure of eight retrieve will also produce good catches. I am already looking forward to next spring to enjoy some more wet fly fishing and hopefully some good fish.