Friday Tutorial: Widow Spruce Moth

The Blackfoot river has been experiencing one of the biggest spruce moth hatches in recent memory, and the right pattern can make a good trip through the canyon a great one. Spruce moth hatches are sporadic and don’t travel up or down a river like most of the hatches that anglers chase, but when the fish in a particular section are eating them, it is on like white kids at prom. The hatch on the Blackfoot is winding down, but now is a good a time as any to fill up the boxes and remember them for next season. Waler Wiese’s Widow Spruce Moth is my personal favorite spruce moth pattern. It floats well due to a synthetic wing that dries with a couple of false casts, sits in the water column like the naturals and flat out fishes when the hatch is on. I tie mine for the Blackfoot from size 14 all the way up to a size 10, which I’ve found is perfect for when the hatch is on and I’ve got beginning anglers or tired eyes on the fly. One thing that I like to do to improve the pattern slightly is to tie a mixed clump of tan and white widow’s web together, with the tan predominantly on the bottom and the white on the top. This helps to mimic the mottled wing of the natural with the tan, and allows the angler to see it better with the white on top. Watch this great tutorial, tie up some moths and keep them handy if you’re on the Blackfoot.

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