A Variant of Variant's seal spider

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ronr
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Location: Central Oregon/Texas Transplant

A Variant of Variant's seal spider

Post by ronr » Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:13 pm

Recently, Variant shared one of his patterns with me that he calls a black seal spider. He mentioned that he thought it would do well on the Crooked River here in Central Oregon. For those of you unfamiliar, the Crooked is a small tailwater, heavily fished, but home to healthy populations of wild Oregon redside trout and mountain whitefish. The trout average about 10" but there are larger fish up to about 18" or so.
Lou's flies are always well thought out and he strives for translucence and livliness in his patterns. This fly doesn't look like the classic spiders and utilizes only a thread body and seal fur or substitute.
I've tried to be true to his intent with this fly and have managed to produce a variant that has proven to be a great fish catcher. I've had two great days, a week apart, in basically the same stretch of this river the last two times out. I used my variant as a point fly and after catching everything on this fly, cut off my dropper and this fly accounted for the three largest trout I've caught on the river this year. All were solid 15-17" fish which are really nice for the Crooked. Both days were solid 20+ fish days in the same 75 yard stretch of water. I'd say the fish liked the fly.
Lou's version that he shared with me, was a dark body and basically a black hackle. I've tied some with a black body and dark olive hackle, black and black, and purple body with a dun hackle of Angora Goat.
I've used split thread to wind the hackle up the body, in the traditional spider method. It creates a wild looking fly, that looks like I stuck my finger in an electric socket while holding the hook...

This isn't the first fly that Variant has shared with me and I hope not the last. They have all been winners.My photography won't do justice to how buggy these flies are, but you'll get the idea.
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RickA
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Re: A Variant of Variant's seal spider

Post by RickA » Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:43 am

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IT'S ALIVE !
That is cool.
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Theroe
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Re: A Variant of Variant's seal spider

Post by Theroe » Wed Sep 30, 2020 8:05 am

Not that far off of a Stewart’s black spider.........
Soft and wet - the only way....
Variant
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Re: A Variant of Variant's seal spider

Post by Variant » Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:59 am

Theroe wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 8:05 am Not that far off of a Stewart’s black spider.........
Dana,
You are correct. I wanted a pattern that has more translucency and be more durable than the traditional Stuart’s spider.The black baby seal and black silk did the trick. The qualities and springiness of the seal IMHO exceeds that of hen hackle. I have used it as a searching pattern and have done very well, but where it really shines is in the very small sizes, tied on a light wire hook such as a Varivas 2200BL-B or light wire scud hook and a touch of frogs fanny and fished in the final inch of the water column ,it has produced!

Lou
In sport,method is everything.The more the skill the method calls for,the higher it’s yield of emotional stir and satisfaction,the higher it’s place must be in a sportsman’s scale of values. RODERICK HAIG-BROWN
ronr
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Re: A Variant of Variant's seal spider

Post by ronr » Wed Sep 30, 2020 6:03 pm

Hit em again today... same stretch of water, same results. Only difference was I caught the largest on DUBBN's partridge and yellow with the red head today. But, the black seal was on point again. I agree with Variant...the fly does look a lot like the traditional Stewarts when wet, but the hackle is indestructible. I've been fishing it with a Kona scud hook, size 16 and 18. Its a light wire but not as light as Lou's choice. The fish have definitely been taking it in the film. Gonna give it a go on the Metolius tomorrow...
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Old Hat
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Re: A Variant of Variant's seal spider

Post by Old Hat » Mon Oct 05, 2020 4:39 pm

Excellent patterns gentlemen.

Seal is a great material for this purpose. Like you say it is very durable and makes a good "high" fly hackle by dubbing it scrubby. All the interstitial spaces trap air and keep it up.
I hate it when I think I'm buying organic vegetables, and when I get home I discover they are just regular donuts.
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