An 1886 Spider PatternDating from around 1886 the Partridge and Blue spider pattern really does add some style to your soft hackle wet fly collection. Just three materials are required for this fly: dark blue thread, some natural mole fur and a nicely speckled partridge hackle. Catch in the dark blue (or purple for a darker fly) thread and wrap the thread down the shank of hook. Touch-dub a very fine dubbing of mole fur (you could also use grey rabbit) increasing the amount very gradually as you form the body. Tie in the partridge hackle and form the hackle, then whip finish and varnish the head of the fly.
The Partridge and Blue is slightly unusual in that it calls for a dark blue thread body. You don’t often come across soft hackle wet flies calling for a dark blue under-body. I used purple here as I wanted a slightly darker bodied fly. The dubbing will of course darken the thread under-body as will the effect of the water on the thread soaking through it. But the dark blue/purple thread will still show through in places due to the sparseness of the dubbing: which is just the effect that we are aiming to achieve! Add to that a lovely speckled grey partridge hackle and you really do have an eye stopping pattern to add into your fly box.
I am hoping to employ this pattern successfully during a hatch of chironomids, which seem to form an ever increasing part of the diet of our brown trout these days. Given the distinct buzzing noise that the adults make these flies are more commonly know as ‘buzzers’ and they are in fact species of non-biting (thankfully!) midge. I envisage fishing my Partridge and Blue soft hackle just sub-surface and letting the wind and water currents drift the fly along for me. It will be interesting to see what the brown trout make of this dark blue/purple bodied fly with its grey mottled legs/wings.