June 17, 2017

The Bluegill Bug – The Pond Spider


I would like to share another surface pattern for rising Bluegill.  The foam spider was one of the first flies I ever used to fly fish for Bluegill with.  That was about (40) years ago now.  While I fished with store bought foam spiders until I took up fly tying in earnest, foam spiders have always seemed to attract the gullible Bluegill in the areas I fish.  Over the years, as I learned to tie flies, and, as tying material became more widely available, the foam spider has taken on a different look in some ways.    However, the results still always seem to be that Bluegill just love foam bugs on the surface.  Nothing to unique here, but, this is my variation of The Pond Spider…….

Let’s tie one on!

Hook: Size (12) standard Dry Fly Hook

Thread: 6/0 Black Thread. (Color may vary with the color of the foam used if that works for you!)

Body: In this case, 2MM Purple Foam.  ( I tie these in White, Purple, Chartreuse, etc)

Rubber Legs: Variegated color Rubber Leg material. (Color Options are up to the tyer)

Wing: Small bunch of Hareline Baitfish Emulator. (use whatever you want, or, don’t use it at all.  The Pond Spider still works!)

  1. Begin by laying a thread base to the rear of your hook and back up to the eye of the hook.  Cut a small piece of foam about the width of the gap of the hook.  I, usually, cut my foam strips a little on the long side just to make sure I can cover the body of the fly and not come up short!  Take your foam strip and cut one end to a triangle shape. 
  2. Tie in the triangle tip directly behind the eye of the fly  with the foam extending forward over the eye of the fly.
  3. Bring your thread back down the hook shank 1/3 of the way.
  4. Pull your foam back over the hook shank and tie it down at the spot where your thread is positioned.
  5. Tie  your rubber leg material with a piece on each side.  Leg length may vary!
  6. Now tie in a small bunch of Baitfish Emulator extending back over the rear of the fly.  The wing should extend just beyond the rear foam section of your fly.
  7. I like to then trim my foam section on the rear to a triangle shape for appearance purposes. 
  8. Use head cement and a whip finish knot at the point where legs and wing are tied in.  Fun! Fun! Fun times on the water!


6 thoughts on “The Bluegill Bug – The Pond Spider
  1. Alan Petrucci

    Mel, I have found that purple is a great color to use in various trout patterns. I think your spider will wake up the fish in anyone’s pond.

  2. Mel

    The same to you on this Fathers Day, Howard. It is great too have family and grandchildren around anytime, but, especially on this day for me! Yes, buddy, we do need to hit some ponds and do some relaxing at the same time. The Pond Spiders are an essential surface bug for any pond fishing for warm water fish.

  3. Mel

    Happy Fathers Day to you, Alan! You know you are quite right on the color Purple. It has become a popular color for the Bluegill I chase, enough so, that I never leave home without them. The color White tied in the same pattern has been known to take a sly ol’ trout or two, also!

  4. loydtruss

    This pattern is an excellent replica of the spider and one that will attract the bluegill and bass as well. I really like the foam patterns you tie, because of the way they float high on the surface film. Have you thought about an ant pattern? Thanks for sharing

  5. Mel

    Good Morning, Bill! I hope you had a great Fathers Day also……….. I have fished this style of Pond Spider for years and years with only adding the Wing Flash. The flash doesn’t seem to make any great differences in fish catching ability, but, I like it that way. I am and will be testing a foam ant pattern this summer and fall. Thanks for all you do to support me, Bill.


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