Double K Reverse Spider

Published Jul 13th 2010

A fly which is not quite like the average saltwater fly, but amazingly efficient. And you get the slightly similar Tsunami Warning as an added bonus.


Double K Reversed

This is another pattern that I developed, which I have had amazing success with. I call it the Double K Reverse Spider

This is a pattern originally developed for fishing the Stillaguamish River for Sea Run Cutthroat trout by Al Knudsen in the 1920's and then altered by guide Mike Kinney in the 1970's the materials are the same but the way they are tied in are reversed. These flies are known as the Knudsen Spider and the Reverse Spider.

The traditional Knudsen has chenille tied in as the body with a mallard flank palmered in a way that it the flank folds back over the body and, in fact, almost completely masks it.
The hackle is tied in first, immediately behind the hook's eye, by the tip, with the stem curving down and forward of the hook eye. It is wound back along the hook shank, one turn immediately behind the last it helps to shape the feather fibers forward to form a tight cone with the tips pointing out over the eye.
So the fly is tied from the eye to the bend where it is tied off.
The cone that is formed by the feather fibers has an amazing amount of movement and life like appearance when stripped.
The slightest current or movement of the fly causes the coned shape flank to pulse in the water.

The evolution

The reverse spider has been a "go to fly" for sea-run cutthroat anglers in Washington and Oregon in both salt and fresh water for these anadromous fish.
While working on a shrimp imitation pattern I developed a double Reverse Spider which includes a second Mallard flank or Guinea Fowl feather half way down the shank of the hook.

The Reversed way

I also replaced the chenille with dubbing so I could better control the taper of the fly and have a wider range of colors to the fly. I also tie a version with a hackle palmered toward the rear of the hook I call this version the Tsunami Warning based on the wake fish leave chasing this fly. Surprisingly I found the added mallard flank gave the fly more buoyancy and found when stripped quickly the fly will leave a wake from the water it displaces as it moves through the subsurface.

Watching large fish torpedo toward it as it moves along just under the surface prior to the strike can be as much fun as the fight once they are on.

I have often caught fish after fish on this fly while others fishing the same beach go without so mush as a hit.

While this was initially intended to be a salt water beach fly the amount of lifelike movement in it has hooked steelhead in rivers and small- and largemouth bass in lakes.


The Double K Reverse Spider
TypeCold saltwater fly
Kelvin Kleinman
Year of origin

HookSaltwater hook of your choice - size 4-2
Tying threadOrange
First hackleMallard flank
DubbingBright orange
Second hackleOrange Guinea fowl
Last dubbingBright orange
"head"Tyring thread

Step 1 - mallard flank - Get out a decent mallard feather
Step 1 - mallard flank
Step 2 - stroke back the fibers - This will give you a tipe for tying in the feather
Step 2 - stroke back the fibers
Step 3 - Guinea fowl - Get out a good Guinea fowl feather
Step 3 - Guinea fowl
Step 4 - prepare it - Stroke back the fibers here too
Step 4 - prepare it
Step 5 - feathers ready - You are ready to start tying
Step 5 - feathers ready
Step 6 - start in the front - This fly is from tied eye to bend in hook
Step 6 - start in the front
Step 7 - tie in mallard - Tip backwards, stem forwards
Step 7 - tie in mallard
Step 8 - brush forward - Brush fibers of feather forward toward eye
Step 8 - brush forward
Step 9 - wrap - Wrap in feather backwards in close turns. Tie down
Step 9 - wrap
Step 10 - trim - Trim the stem and cover the butts of the fibers to force them forwards
Step 10 - trim
Step 11 - dubbing loop - Form a dubbing loop from the tying thread and take the thread to the rear
Step 11 - dubbing loop
Step 12 - dubbing - Put a small amount of dubbing in the loop and twist it
Step 12 - dubbing
Step 13 - wind the dubbing - Dub the area behind the hackle with close turns
Step 13 - wind the dubbing
Step 14 - taper - You want a gentle taper towards the rear of the hook. Tie down and trim the dubbing rope
Step 14 - taper
Step 15 - Guinea fowl - Tie in the Guinea fowl feather tip first
Step 15 - Guinea fowl
Step 16 - brush forward - Brush fibers of feather forward toward eye
Step 16 - brush forward
Step 17 - wrap feather - Wrap rearwards in close turns and tie off and trim
Step 17 - wrap feather
Step 18 - second dubbing loop - Form second dubbing loop behind the rear hackle
Step 18 - second dubbing loop
Step 19 - add dubbing - Add some loose dubbing in the second loop
Step 19 - add dubbing
Step 20 - twist it - Twist the dubbing to a rope and start winding in close turns towards the rear, again with a slight taper.
Step 20 - twist it
Step 21 - finish off - Tie down the dubbing and trim it. Grab the thread and prepare for a whip finish
Step 21 - finish off
Step 22 - whip finish - Whip finish securely over the rear of the fly. Trim and varnish.
Step 22 - whip finish
Step 23 - brush - Brush the dubbing with some velcro to tease out the fibers
Step 23 - brush
Step 24 - finishing touch - The last fibers get arranged with a dubbing needle
Step 24 - finishing touch

Step 25 - job done!

Reversed and palmered

Tsunami Warning
TypeCold saltwater fly
Kelvin Kleiman
Year of origin

HookSaltwater hook of your choice - size 4-2
First hackleMallard flank
Second, palmered hackleFurnace
BodyBright orange dubbing
"head"Tying thread with varnish

Step 1 - select mallard - Select a nice mallard feather for the reversed hackle
Step 1 - select mallard
Step 2- prepare the feather - Stroke back the fibers to give a tip to tie in by
Step 2- prepare the feather
Step 3 - tie in feather - Tie in the feather by the tip
Step 3 - tie in feather
Step 4 - wind it - Wind it towards the rear of the fly in close turns while stroking the fibers forward
Step 4 - wind it
Step 5 - tie down and trim - Trim the stem and cover the butts with tying thread to force the fibers forwards
Step 5 - tie down and trim
Step 6 - tie in second hackle - Tie in the furnace hackle by the stem
Step 6 - tie in second hackle
Step 7 - dubbing loop - Create a dubbing loop, and bring thread rearwards. Twist some dubbing in the loop
Step 7 - dubbing loop
Step 8 - wind the body - Wind the dubbing in close turns to the rear of the fly, forming a cylindrical body
Step 8 - wind the body
Step 9 - hackle - Palmer the hackle over the body in fairly close turns and tie down
Step 9 - hackle

Step 10 - trim and whip finish - Trim the feather and whip finish over the rear of the fly. Cut thread and varnish over the \
Step 10 - trim and whip finish

Tsunami Warning

User comments
From: David K · kinds4·at·  Link
Submitted October 27th 2014

I love these flies! I'm tying a few larger sizes and incorporating glass beads for the body and I'm going to use them for steelhead. Great instructions on this site.

From: Joseph Wells · jwellsfarrier·at·  Link
Submitted July 26th 2010

Wow!!! I saw a fella fishing a reverse spider on the water a while ago, and have been tying it as best I can (from memory) for maybe two or three years now..... It's an awesome cut throat fly, and now I have some great variation ideas!!! Thanks so much! I love this fly!!!!!!!!

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