A Little bit of MagicA relatively new North Country fly, the Black Magic spider appeared in Frederick Mold’s book Presenting the Fly to the Trout in 1967. If you hear the words ‘North Country Flies’ or ‘North Country Spiders’ amongst other things, you automatically think of patterns that are steeped in ancient angling history. Flies such as the Snipe and Purple, Waterhen Bloa and Partridge and Orange. You could be forgiven for thinking that the North Country style of fly stopped evolving with these ancient patterns, that the style somehow was locked in its era, locked in its time. But the style transcends its era and time as the Black Magic shows, being created in the 1960’s rather than the 1820’s. You could say the North Country style of fly continues to evolve.
To me, the Black Magic pattern shouts out to be used as a Chironomid pattern. This should ensure (in theory at least) that it is successful in stillwater as well as running water. Dressed on a light wire hook such as the Kamasan B410 (as shown) will mean that you can fish it just under, in or on the surface during a hatch of black midge. Drifting along with the current, it should also make a good searching pattern, particularly during difficult, lean times.
The Black Magic is a nice pattern to have in your flybox and in addition to the hook, to tie it, just three materials are required: black thread (8/0 used here), some peacock herl and a soft black hen hackle. After tying in the thread at the eye and taking it towards the bend of the hook, I ribbed the fly with the thread, returning it to where I wanted the thorax to begin. A single strand of peacock herl was tied in and wound towards the eye, stopping just before it. The hen hackle was then added and wound. Just a single turn was needed and then the fly was finished with a whip finish and some varnish on the head. I used a size 12 hook in the dressing and you can of course use smaller sizes to suit the size of the naturals where you fish. I swept the hackle back slightly too while forming the head of the fly.
Thanks for reading.