Tying the Copper and Blae Spider. The Copper and Blae Spider was tied to represent a small olive Chironomid or to be generally suggestive of a small olive coloured food item. This soft hackle spider pattern is utter simplicity in design: just a thread body, a copper rib and a soft grey hackle.
This soft hackle wet fly pattern is easy to tie and effective, provided you get the proportions correct. Interestingly, like my Mono Nymph and Blushing Spider patterns, this soft hackle spider pattern seems to work best when tied on a #16 fine wire hook. It is a good pattern to try early season for old, wily, brown trout and although I fish lochs almost exclusively, this spider pattern should also work well on running water too. I keep the body fairly short, beginning it just behind the point of the hook. Aim for a slim body and build up a slightly bulkier thorax section using the thread. Keep the head small and choose a hackle where the fibres aren’t too long. Just one turn of hackle is usually enough. One of my more seasoned Copper and Blae Spiders has almost no hackle left at all, and it is taken just as eagerly by the trout as a newly tied one if not more so.
Like the dressing of this soft hackle wet fly, the method of fishing the spider pattern is also kept to a beautifully simplistic methodology. Cast it out and let the wind and waves fish it round in an arch for you. Keep in touch with the flies and as the curve in the line develops and lifts the flies in the water column, be ready for the takes to come. The takes themselves are often very gentle to this spider pattern so keep concentrating or you may miss them! They can also come at any point in the retrieve, right from the moment when the flies land on the water surface. This soft hackle wet fly makes a good middle dropper pattern.