Cap Spider Fly Step-by-Step

Cap Spider Fly Step-by-Step:

Fly tying can be a complicated and intimidating pursuit. Intricate salmon patterns may require a dozen or more materials, and twice as many steps. Size 24 dries, a surgeon’s dexterity and an artist’s eye. Other patterns, a list of furs and feathers from species you’d swear had gone extinct. It can be a lot to process and enough to cause many to shy away from the pursuit.

Thankfully, for every potentially overwhelming pattern that exists, there are equally productive patterns built upon simplicity. Today’s tutorial is just such a pattern, requiring no more than five materials and less than half a dozen steps.

Consisting of little more than chenille and rubber legs tied on a light jighead (or jig hook with bead as shown), this pattern, by the late Mike Verduin, has a proven track record for catching panfish across the south.

60-degree jig hook (#10-16) 70-denier (Olive)Materials Slotted Tungsten (sized to hook)
Materials Ultra Chenille (Olive; Micro)Materials Rubber Legs (Barred, Sand)Materials Substitute a light Jighead for hook/bead

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Cap Spider Fly Step-by-Step Tying Instructions:

(Mobile Viewers: Click images to enlarge)

Tips and Tricks

  1. Fish it deep – Weighted and tied in a manner that ensures the hook point rides up, this pattern is designed to be fished deep. Use a long leader and/or sink-tip fly line to get this pattern down to the bottom. Once it is down there, twitch it in slowly and wait for the take.
  2. Think Big – Not so much a tip or a trick, but don’t be surprised if/when something a little larger occasionally falls for this pattern. According to the article that first brought this pattern to my attention, fish as large as freshwater drum and redfish have been known to fall for this simple pattern.

Proof of Concept

Rigging my 3wt with a small, olive Cap Spider, I stepped out my back in hopes of proving out the pattern on some of the resident bluegill. Though the Louisiana heat had me concerned the water (as well as my skin) was approaching the boiling point, the fish eagerly complied.

Allowing the fly to settle onto the substrate, I proceeded to retrieve with a series of short, erratic strips. And while the action was not nonstop, every third or fourth cast was greeted with an unmistakable “tap.” In all, the thirty minute session produced over a dozen ‘gills.

Tight Lines!


A momentary place holder…
Species Caught on Cap Spider Fly to Date:

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