Spiders tactics for small streams

Spike07

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Joined
Apr 17, 2021
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13
Location
Limerick
Hi,

I am hoping to get some advice on fishing North County Spiders specifically in a small stream environment. I tried fishing with 3 spiders in the traditional manner ( upstream, down and across ) and found it difficult to manage in tight quarters. I ended
up spending most of the day getting caught up in trees and having to unravel multiple tangles.

1) Is fishing North country Spiders an effective tactic on small streams?
2) Does it make sense to scale down in a small stream and can you use a 2 spider setup instead of the the traditional 3 spiders?
3) will reducing dropper lengths help or even have no dropper length at all ( i.e. tie the spiders directly onto the leader)?

Stephen
 

LukeNZ

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Jan 28, 2017
Messages
3,147
Location
Hawke’s Bay, NZ
Hi,

I am hoping to get some advice on fishing North County Spiders specifically in a small stream environment. I tried fishing with 3 spiders in the traditional manner ( upstream, down and across ) and found it difficult to manage in tight quarters. I ended
up spending most of the day getting caught up in trees and having to unravel multiple tangles.

1) Is fishing North country Spiders an effective tactic on small streams?
2) Does it make sense to scale down in a small stream and can you use a 2 spider setup instead of the the traditional 3 spiders?
3) will reducing dropper lengths help or even have no dropper length at all ( i.e. tie the spiders directly onto the leader)?

Stephen

Nay, nay, nay Stephen..

.....north country spiders only work on Yorkshire trout! 😉
 

bbamboo

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Nov 25, 2008
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2,201
Location
County Durham
Stephen shorten your leader right back if you need too. The ideal leader length is basically what you can control. It's really no different take dry fly fishing you would not use a 15ft leader in a tight overgrown stream. Traditionally 3 flies were used but nothing cast in stone you can use 1 ,2 or 3
flies.
 

kingf000

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 13, 2016
Messages
1,999
Hi,

I am hoping to get some advice on fishing North County Spiders specifically in a small stream environment. I tried fishing with 3 spiders in the traditional manner ( upstream, down and across ) and found it difficult to manage in tight quarters. I ended
up spending most of the day getting caught up in trees and having to unravel multiple tangles.

1) Is fishing North country Spiders an effective tactic on small streams?
2) Does it make sense to scale down in a small stream and can you use a 2 spider setup instead of the the traditional 3 spiders?
3) will reducing dropper lengths help or even have no dropper length at all ( i.e. tie the spiders directly onto the leader)?

Stephen
I've only ever used 'traditional' north country spider tactics on medium/large rivers. I've always cut back the length of my leader and used at the most 2 spiders on small streams, more of a traditional upstream nymphing but using spider flies.
 

webblade

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Joined
Jun 6, 2013
Messages
291
Location
Kildare Ireland
Hi,

I am hoping to get some advice on fishing North County Spiders specifically in a small stream environment. I tried fishing with 3 spiders in the traditional manner ( upstream, down and across ) and found it difficult to manage in tight quarters. I ended
up spending most of the day getting caught up in trees and having to unravel multiple tangles.

1) Is fishing North country Spiders an effective tactic on small streams?
2) Does it make sense to scale down in a small stream and can you use a 2 spider setup instead of the the traditional 3 spiders?
3) will reducing dropper lengths help or even have no dropper length at all ( i.e. tie the spiders directly onto the leader)?

Stephen
I fish with single spiders and catch plenty of trout on them Stephen. No point taking the joy out of it if you're spending your day removing tangles, especially on small streams.
 

jaybeegee

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Joined
Sep 25, 2017
Messages
1,642
Location
Yorkshire
I fish a small stream overhung by trees, it can feel a bit like fishing in a tunnel. I use a short rod and a leader no more than nine feet long and a single spider. Roll casting or side casting directly upstream are the order of the day to avoid snagging in the trees.
B
 

Spike07

Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2021
Messages
13
Location
Limerick
I've only ever used 'traditional' north country spider tactics on medium/large rivers. I've always cut back the length of my leader and used at the most 2 spiders on small streams, more of a traditional upstream nymphing but using spider flies.
ahhh ok I think I got it.... so i could substitute 2 spiders for nymphs and fish ‘upstream nymph’ style , or even mix and match a spider and nymph, or even a spider with a small bead head nymph or just fish a single spider if conditions warrant it. I guess experiment and what ever works ! Thanks
 

Spike07

Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2021
Messages
13
Location
Limerick
I fish a small stream overhung by trees, it can feel a bit like fishing in a tunnel. I use a short rod and a leader no more than nine feet long and a single spider. Roll casting or side casting directly upstream are the order of the day to avoid snagging in the trees.
B
Ok.... I can scale down to a single spider. Would you tend to use a single spider in low water where fish are spooky?
 

kingf000

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Joined
Jun 13, 2016
Messages
1,999
ahhh ok I think I got it.... so i could substitute 2 spiders for nymphs and fish ‘upstream nymph’ style , or even mix and match a spider and nymph, or even a spider with a small bead head nymph or just fish a single spider if conditions warrant it. I guess experiment and what ever works ! Thanks
Depends what you mean by fishing north country spiders! There is the method that you use the spider flies and fish up, across and down; and there is using the spider flies any way you like.
 

Spike07

Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2021
Messages
13
Location
Limerick
I fish with single spiders and catch plenty of trout on them Stephen. No point taking the joy out of it if you're spending your day removing tangles, especially on small streams.
Thanks for the advice! What I’ve Learned from some of the other comments is that spiders are very flexible and I can use them if I were dead drifting a nymph or dry fly upstream . Do you think spiders are more effective in certain conditions or time of year . I’ve read they are very productive early in the season but I’m thinking all year round when fish are rising or in low water conditions.
 

webblade

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Joined
Jun 6, 2013
Messages
291
Location
Kildare Ireland
Thanks for the advice! What I’ve Learned from some of the other comments is that spiders are very flexible and I can use them if I were dead drifting a nymph or dry fly upstream . Do you think spiders are more effective in certain conditions or time of year . I’ve read they are very productive early in the season but I’m thinking all year round when fish are rising or in low water conditions.
I use them all year round. I find them most effective when the fish are looking up but you can fish them deep aswell just as you would a nymph. I like to use an all wire body on some soft hackles if I need to get them down. Use orange wire and a Partridge feather and you have a heavier partridge and orange. You can also add a tungsten bead but I like to keep it on the thorax under the collar rather than at the head. Dace in my river have me plagued if they see a bead 🤣
 

LukeNZ

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Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
3,147
Location
Hawke’s Bay, NZ
I use them all year round. I find them most effective when the fish are looking up but you can fish them deep aswell just as you would a nymph. I like to use an all wire body on some soft hackles if I need to get them down. Use orange wire and a Partridge feather and you have a heavier partridge and orange. You can also add a tungsten bead but I like to keep it on the thorax under the collar rather than at the head. Dace in my river have me plagued if they see a bead 🤣
Instead of beads try a flat hat! Yorkshire trout will see that as much more attractive than some girly beads..🤣🤣
 

jaybeegee

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Sep 25, 2017
Messages
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Location
Yorkshire
Ok.... I can scale down to a single spider. Would you tend to use a single spider in low water where fish are spooky?
I would. On becks and on bigger streams when the water is low the fish will occupy small lies and the effective drift will be short.. Arthur Ransome called it “ Fishing in Lilliput “... everything is in miniature except perhaps the speed of the flow and more than one fly will most likely be irrelevant.
B
 

LukeNZ

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Jan 28, 2017
Messages
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Location
Hawke’s Bay, NZ
T
'm sorry. Would the southern nancies be the york and harrogate mobs? Not a county seat between them.
They certainly wouldnt be wearing them for rattin', with some baler twine tied around their trousers legs... 🤣

Maybe de rigour on the high st., avec Barbour jacket and wellies - to savour a latte' and fat Labrador in tow.. wearing a neckerchief 🤣
 

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