The Endrick Spider is perfectly designed for fishing in fast-flowing water. Its slim, heavily weighted body allows it to sink quickly so that it keeps well below the surface even when allowed to swing across the current.
The pattern was initially tied by John Harwood to catch salmon and sea-trout on rivers such as the Endrick but has subsequently turned out to be a great fly for brown trout, grayling – and rainbows.
With its hackle of brown partridge, the Endrick Spider makes an effective representation of any number of aquatic life-forms, from a shrimp to the nymphs of various medium-sized, dark upwings such as the false March brown. However, the ability to simply represent something alive and edible is where it excels.
Because of the lead wire underbody, it is important that the pheasant tail fibres wound over it are applied as thinly as possible. This is so that the body doesn’t become excessively bulky. Take care not to twist the fibres, allowing them to spread flat instead.
Hook Size 8-12 Thread Black or brown
Underbody Copper or fine lead wire
Tail Cock pheasant tail fibres Rib Copper
wire Body Cock pheasant tail fibres
Hackle Brown partridge hackle
1. Fix the hook in the vice and begin winding on close turns of the fine lead wire
2. Continue adding turns of wire until the middle of the hook shank is covered. Remove the excess wire and secure the underbody with turns of the tying thread.
3. Carry the thread down to the bend. There, catch in a few fibres of cock pheasant tail (PT) plus 2 in of fine gold wire.
4. Take a second bunch of cock pheasant tail fibres. Catch them in by their tips at the base of the tail.
5. Carry the thread up the shank, stopping a short distance from the eye. Allowing the fibres of pheasant tail to spread flat, wind them over the underbody until they reach the thread.
6. Secure the end of the pheasant tail with thread before taking hold of the wire. Wind the wire over the pheasant tail in the opposite spiral. This ensures that the wire locks the PT in place.
7. Secure the loose end of the wire and remove the excess plus that of the PT fibres. Select a small, wellmarked brown partridge hackle.
8. Stroke the feather fibres away from the tip. Trim the tip to a short stub and catch it in just in front of the body.
9. Take hold of the tip of the hackle and wind on two full turns.
10. Stroke the hackle fibres back down the body and secure the stem of the hackle at the eye.
11. Remove the excess hackle stem before building a small, neat head. Cast off the thread with a whip finish.
WHERE, WHEN & HOW TO FISH
W H E R E
Being such a great representation of a whole range of aquatic food forms, the Endrick Spider is effective on most types of river. Being heavily weighted, it is most effective in fast- to medium-paced runs.
W H E N
This pattern will catch fish whenever trout or grayling are feeding subsurface. It is particularly effective throughout the spring months and again, later in the year, during autumn and winter.
H O W
Though the Endrick Spider can be fished upstream, it works best when fished down-and-across, in the standard wet-fly technique for rivers. It may be fished singly, on a floating line but is often used as part of a team where, because it is heavy, it is used as the point fly.
T Y I N G T I P
Ensure that the pheasant tail fibres, used for the body, are caught in by their very tips. This gives the finished body a nice taper.