A very simple and yet very effective spider pattern for me is undoubtedly my Yellow Greenwell the original of which I first came across on the River Tummel in Perthshire Scotland where local anglers use it to great effect.

Essentially it’s simply a Greenwell spider utilising a bright yellow thread which stays a bright light colour in the water although I’d suspect it probably appears more very light olive than pure yellow (that is if you feel colour is key, for me I suspect it’s more shade that’s the trigger)

I fish this fly with confidence throughout the season and it can be great in shallow streamy water or worked alongside riffles and runs where you’d expect fish to gather especially when there’s upright hatch starting.

I admit it’s not often I switch to spiders, however it is something I still do and enjoy when the circumstances arise, especially when covering water and working my way downstream.  That said I do like to fish a pair of spiders upstream as well which can be very effective, especially if you team this pattern up with another which uses CDC for the hackle instead of Greenwell hen as this will sit right in the surface film.

Not only a good running water pattern but also excellent on our lochs and stillwaters when olives or buzzers are on the menu.  Fished on a long leader either as a team of two or three, this fly can work very well either static or on a steady swing using the surface waves and keeping up with the flies.  Takes will range from very subtle to totally unmissable depending on the pace of retrieve.  Don’t be shy trying this above a couple of buzzers either, it’s a cracking emerger buzzer pattern, that said I tend to beef up the hook for this and like to use either the G3A/L Wet Supreme or Patriot SKU:G3AY Sproat Wet barbless instead.

Some might think that the hackle is too long, however I purposely tie them this way to maximise movement, especially if you tie in a small dubbed collar directly behind the hackle which helps to push it forward again giving that deadly natural ‘pulse’ movement fish find so attractive.  The use of Olive Glister also help give off a subtle sparkle and helps make this fly stand out in a natural understated way and is a tying trick I add to a lot of my flies.

Certainly worth having in the armoury.


Hook: Partridge Spider L3A/S size 10-16

Thread: Semperfli yellow 8/0 waxed thread

Rib: Semperfli yellow 8/0 waxed thread

Thorax: Dark Olive Glister (Veniard)

Hackle: Natural Greenwell hen


Tying Sequence:

Step 1 Place hook in vice and attach thread close to hook eye

Step 2 Run thread down to start of hook bend with touching turns and keeping thread as flat as possible

Step 3 Run thread back up to rear of eye, again keeping as flat as possible

Step 4 Complete body by returning thread to start of hook bend keeping thread as flat as possible.

Step 5 Twist thread tight and rib body with tying thread.

Step 6 Take a pinch of Olive Glister and form dubbing rope.

Step 7 Form thorax with dubbing directly behind hook eye

Step 8 Select Hen Greenwell feather ( length of fibres slightly longer than hook gape) and tie in directly behind eye.

Step 9 Take three turns of hackle brushing back each turn and tie off.

Step 10 Form head and whip finish.

Step 11 Varnish head; tying tip remove excess varnish from hook eye with waste hackle by drawing stem through eye.

Allan Liddle

Based in Moray in Scotland's North East, Allan has specialises with the wild trout from the rivers and burns, lochs and lochans throughout Mainland Scotland and the Isles. A strong passion for fishing simple dries he feels there's nothing better than to see the fish take off the top, but isn't slow to fish a range of different styles when mood or conditions dictate. Although trout is his first love Allan occasionally chases the Salmon, Grayling stocked fish and even dabbles in salt water when the chance arises.

Allan has also represented Scotland at international level, is a GAIA qualified trout instructor and a has been a regular contributor to Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Magazine for almost twenty years. Allan’s love of fly tying spans almost thirty years and has been a regular at many tying demonstrations and work shops prior to, and since joining the Partridge Pro-Team in 2013.

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