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Tying the Black and Peacock Spider

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The Black & Peacock Spider The Black & Peacock Spider

This multipurpose fly was made popular just after the 2nd world war by Tom Ivens. Despite its age it’s still as relevant today as it was back then.

Fish it deep and slow as a bottom grubbing nymph or just under the surface on a floating line as a snail or terrestrial beetle pattern.

Materials needed
Tying thread
Wet fly hooks 10-12
Fine gold wire
Peacock herl
Black Hen or soft Cock hackle

Step 1.


Start the tying thread on the hook shank just behind the eye stopping at a point just above the hook point. Return the thread to just behind the eye and trap in a piece of fine gold wire, then tie it down along the shank.




Step 2.


Tie in 3-4 strands of peacock herl by their tips and remove any stray bits over the hook eye. Tie these down along the hook shank returning the thread to just behind the eye.



Step 3.


Wind the bunch of peacock herl up the shank towards the eye and tie in, trim away the waste ends.

Tip; Remember to leave enough room to tie in a hackle.


Step 4.


 Wind the ribbing wire up the shank in open turns and tie in firmly.

Tip; Don’t use your best  scissors to trim away the waste wire, either use an old pair or bend the wire to and fro to snap it off at the tie in point.


Step 5.


Tie in a black hen or softish cock hackle behind the eye and trim away the waste stalk.


Step 6.


Grip the tip of the hackle feather with your hackle pliers and wind the hackle away from you 2-3 turns. Tie the hackle down firmly before trimming away the waste tip and finish the fly with a whip finish and apply a small amount of varnish to the head with a dubbing needle.



The Black & Peacock Spider


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Comments (8 posted):

cb on 11/09/2009 12:54:20
A classic fly for sure, however in a lake fishing competition years ago in desprate baking heat and flat calm (and blank) I tried one with a tag of fluorescent green and I couldn't stop catching rainbows. I won the comptetion by a country mile! It might have been a fluke but worth trying variants for sure. cb
Rip Tide on 11/09/2009 14:20:32
Very similar to the 'peacock and partridge' that I tie for the alder fly hatch here on my home river. What's called the aldler fly here in New England is what most people know as the zebra caddis. It's blanket hatch that lasts about 5 weeks and if you're using any other fly...you're doing it wrong :secret:
Pocono on 12/09/2009 00:05:19
A lot in common with the old North Country Spiders; but with the peacock herl body and ribbing. These flies just plain work. One of my "go to" flies is the original Stewart Spider pattern; usually in black, hackled with a Starling covert. The irridescent flash off the Starling seems to be a big attractor to the trout in my area. And for me, almost "anything and partridge" works well; almost all of the time. I started fishing a brace of 3 wet flies this Summer on days when there's no hatch going on; or not much of one to speak of. As another poster put it, you get a lot of information quickly with that technique. I fish it off Scientific Angler's intermediate tip line. And although I'm a chronic false caster, three flies on the leader really keeps my false casting to a minimum. ;)
Liphookedau on 12/09/2009 11:57:08
Hi All. After Reading the Posts & getting ready for our Trout Season,I came across the following info. The Black & Peacock Spider is an Classic Old English Pattern,originated by T C Ivens. The Original Tying,from Donald T Overfield & John Goddard. Hook: Down eye 8 to 12 size Silk: Black Underbody:Black floss Silk Body: Three or four strands of Peacock Herl Hackle: Soft Black Hen. However John Goddard says wind 2 turns only,whereas Donald Overfield says 3-4 turns Hackle. I have also fished it with both Fluro Red & Green Tags,successfully,especially when Beetles are around. Tom Iven's Mehod of Fishing: When the Fish are Head & Tailing very slowly during the evening rise,grease the leader,except for the last 18",so the fly is fished 2 -6 inches below the surface,retrieved very,very slow to prevent a wake which would scare the trout.
ispy968 on 20/01/2010 18:40:05
The Black & Peacock Spider is my 1st line of attack early season on a sink-tip or full sinking line when the water is cold and the fish a bit lethargic.
arkle on 25/01/2010 14:15:20
This fly was, for me & many others responsible for my first fly caught fish. Over the years it's been "adjusted" to suit different needs of anglers everywhere. My usual tying is has a mirage tinsel butt, to imitate an air bubble. The body is tied with black dyed peacock herl & counter-ribbed with fine green wire. I use a natural black hen hackle & sometimes palmer it 1/2 way down the body. If I can get them, black anodized hooks add to the "bankside" appeal. Some lead under the body can make a lot of difference as well.
flyfishing007 on 20/04/2010 06:45:45
Found this to be a very useful guide. Thanks a lot.
mikelangelno on 17/11/2010 10:01:28
This fly saved me from abandoning fly fishing at my first taste. I was pulling rainbow trout out of a small stillwater and decided fly fishing was as much of a challenge as mackerel fishing. About to leave, bored and disillusioned, suddenly I was surrounded by hordes of leggy, black hawthorn flies and as several dropped onto the water the rainbows began to rise enthusiastically. The only fly that bore any resemblance to these hawthorns amid my collection of gaudy lures and cheap wets was this one which I fished dry and the ensuing excitement meant I never looked back and have been a fly fisher ever since!
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