Red-Butt Hard-Hackle Spider
Some of you are already familiar with another of my
Flies-of-the-Week here on FAOL, the Hard-Hackle Spider,
the all-hackle alternative to the all-foam rubber spider.
By Richard Komar
This is the improved, more effective and more durable
version: the Red-Butt Hard-Hackle Spider!
It still retains its hackle body heritage, but gains 8
rubber legs like a real arachnid and a red butt. There
is something to say about flies with red in the pattern
and wiggly legs when it comes to effectiveness!
If you already have a good supply of original Hard-Hackle
Spiders, they can easily be "retro-fitted" to become
Red-Butts! Simply remove the hackle legs, attach rubber
legs and wrap some red floss on the hook bend!
Materials for Red-Butt Hard-Hackle Spider:
Hook: Mustad 94833, Sizes 10-14.
Thread: 6/0 or 8/0, Black.
Hackle: Rooster Cape Feather, Black.
Butt: Floss, Red.
Legs: Round Rubber, Small, Black.
Instructions - Red-Butt Hard-Hackle Spider:
1. Start wrapping the red floss on the hook shank
right above the hook point. Wrap a "smooth" red insect
butt, covering about one-third of the bend. Whip finish
and tie off.
2. Wrap a black thread base from the hook eye to
the red floss.
3. Select a rooster cape feather with hackle extending
a bit past the hook gape, and tie it in dry-fly style,
concave side toward the hook eye. Wrap the feather about
one-third up the shank. Tie off and advance the thread
a tad, forming a thin thorax.
4. Tie in another rooster cape feather, and wrap
toward the hook eye, whip finish and tie off the head.
5. Tie in the thread at the thorax and attach a pair
of small round rubber legs (unsplit) on either side of the
hook shank. The legs may not look pretty at this point,
but you will make them look "spidey-like" in the next step.
6. Split the leg pairs, gently pulling and tugging to
get them in a splayed fashion on each side. Afterall, a
spider does have 8 legs! Cut the legs to your desired
length. Apply head cement to the red butt, thorax and leg
junction and head. You're done!
How to Fish the Red-Butt Hard-Hackle Spider:
Size 10 and 14 lightweight dry fly hooks work the best
for the Red-Butt. Black is most effective, but you can
also try brown, gray and even yellow!
The Red-Butt Hard-Hackle Spider is a dual-purpose fly.
It starts off as a floater like a real spider falling on
the water's surface. It is fished at this point like a
dry fly, just drifting along. When the hackle becomes
waterlogged, the Red-Butt will start to sink like a dying
spider, with its rubber legs undulating as it descends
through the water column. Now it is fished like an
For twice the action, fish a Red-Butt on the surface and
another one of my Flies-of-the-Week, the Black Widow, as
a dropper fly. When the Red-Butt goes subsurface, you
now have a lethal tandem setup (where legal, of course)!
The Red-Butt Hard-Hackle Spider is a terrific terrestrial
for bass, panfish and trout! ~ Richard
Richard Komar lives in Plano, Texas and is a member
of the Dallas FlyFishers and The American Fish & Game