I tied two spider imitations for trout many years ago. One was the Wolfspider and the other the Tetrapheasant Spider. The inspiration for the Tetrapheasant Spider came from a small-stream trout that was after long-jawed water spiders dangling in their webs about fifty centimeters above the water. I had spotted the pale rainbow swimming around the shaded inlet of a pool. It seemed disturbed by something, but since I was confident that the fish hadn’t seen me approach the pool from the tail-end, I stopped and sat down in the dense, bankside vegetation to let it settle down before casting a fly at it. It was then that the fish jumped into the air and snapped at a big female spider that had spun her web across the head of the pool and too close to the water surface. The spider got away, but the incident inspired me to imitate the long-jawed water spiders (Tetragnatha spp.) that live on the banks of our Western Cape rivers.
I will elaborate on these spider imitations in the next post, but this movie clip of a big brown trying to grab a fly that got stuck on a stick above the water brought back fond memories that I wanted to share with our readers: