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Black Widow
By Richard Komar

The Black Widow is the sub-surface sister to her brother the Hard-Hackle Spider, a top-water arachnid. When the surface activity slows down, try the Black Widow for non-stop action underwater! The Black Widow's legs are formed using a "reverse hackling" technique. This method, coupled with good quality genetic hen hackle, gives her unbelievable life-like action, whether she is just slowly sinking down, being nudged along in short twitches or just floating with the current like her cousins, the soft-hackles. The red bead takes on different hues depending on the light and depth. So if you're ready, let's tie this lethal beauty!

Materials List:

    Hook: Mustad 3906B, sizes 6-14.

    Thread: 6/0 or 8/0 black.

    Thorax: Glass or Plastic Bead, Red.

    Body: Ultra-Chenille, Black.

    Hackle: Genetic Hen, Black.

Instructions - Black Widow:

1. Slip the bead on the hook and position it at the eye out of the way for now. Lay a thread base along the length of the hook shank starting just behind the bead to the hook bend.

2. Tie in the chenille and advance it toward the hook eye about one-third the length of the hook shank.

3. Select an appropriate sized genetic hen hackle (saddle or cape). Tie the feather in by the base, with the concave (cupped, dull) side facing the hook bend. Strip off the barbs on the side of the feather farthest away from you (other side of hook).

4. Wind the hackle away from you, tie off, trim and whip finish a couple of turns to secure the thread and cut it.

5. Slide the bead snugly against the hackle and build up a small hump ahead of the bead to secure it in place on the hook shank.

6. Tie in the second genetic hen hackle by the base, directly behind the bead, with the concave (cupped, dull) side facing the hook EYE. Strip off the barbs on the side of the feather farthest away from you (other side of the hook).

7. Using a "reverse hackling" technique, wind the feather away from you, trim and secure it with a couple of half hitches.

8. Slip a "soda straw" hackle guard over the hackle. Tie in the chenille to cover the front third of the hook shank.

9. Tie off the chenille, trim, whip finish, apply head cement (if desired), remove the hackle guard, and Viola! The Black Widow is ready to fish!

How to Fish the Black Widow:

The Black Widow is best fished when the surface action has slowed down. She can be fished like a traditional soft-hackle, or allowed to slowly sink ever so tantalizingly or you can strip her in with little twitches, pausing ever so momentarily between tugs. She can be tied in as large as 1/0 for largemouth bass (black widows are not small spiders!) and as small as size 18 for trout. Use fine chenille in the larger sizes and floss or just thread in the smaller sizes for the body. Use your imagination and available feathers to make Brown Widows, Dun Widows, Grizzly Widows, and Grey Widows, but keep the signature red bead!

With the Hard-Hackle Spider brothers playing on the surface and the Black Widow sisters frolicking below the surface, these deadly duos may be just the ticket to a successful day! ~ Richard

About Richard:

Richard Komar lives in Plano, Texas and is a member of the Dallas FlyFishers and The Great American Bass Club.


For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying, Intermediate Fly Tying and Advanced Fly Tying.


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