This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Light Spanish Needle.
The Light Spanish Needle is another old fly pattern listed in The North Country Fly – Yorkshire’s Soft Hackle Tradition (2015) by Robert L. Smith. Many of these older soft hackle fly patterns come from the Yorkshire Dales in northern England. Wharfedale is a small area of of the Yorkshire Dales. The Light Spanish Needle fly, a North Country spider pattern, is found on page 21.
Jonathan Pickard (1799 – 1873) provided “A Description of Flies for the Season” of 1820. 47 different flies were listed to fish in the months of March through September.
Smith states in the book that Pickard’s 1820 list is “the earliest complete catalogue of Wharfedale flies.” An earlier list of flies in the Pickard family bible dates back to 1794.
The Light Spanish Needle fly is listed as one to use in the month of April. It is designed to imitate stone and needle flies.
The Light Spanish Needle
Orange silk, peacock harl, feather from the inside of a jack snipe wing.The North Country Fly by Robert L. Smith, page 21
I tied the fly on an Alec Jackson North Country Trout Fly hook, size 11.
In reading Smith’s book, I noted several North Country spider patterns utilized snipe feathers. The feather I used was from the skin of an English Snipe, a skin borrowed from a friend. I don’t know the difference between the English and Jack snipes.
I notice some similarities to the Golden Plover skin I have.
I purchased The North Country Fly – Yorkshire’s Soft Hackle Tradition (2015) by Robert L. Smith from The Rogue Angler.