Published Jul 1. 2010 - 13 years ago
Updated or edited Nov 30. 2023

Double K Reverse Spider

Kelvin Kleinman shows us how to tie a really different saltwater fly based on the freshwater spider style, adapted for cutthroat stream fishing and then reversed to become a saltwater shrimp from outer space! A very special but also efficient pattern.

Double K Reversed - As you can see the hackles point forward on the fly, which gives it some fantastic movement in the water.
Double K Reversed
Kelvin Kleinman

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.

Reversed - The Knudsen Spider (top) and the Reverse Spider
The old and the new - The Knudsen spider is from the 20's, the Reverse Spider from the 70's and The Double K Reversed Spider is from the future!
The evolution
Kelvin Kleinman

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.

Beauty of the salt - The sea runs are beautiful fish
Spidered - This sea run cutthroat fell for the Reverse Spider
Tsunami Warning - A slight variation of the reverse style
The Reversed way
Kelvin Kleinman

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.

Keep it in the family - The two reversed patterns: the Double K Reversed Spider and below the Tsunami Warning
Kelvin Kleinman
The Double K Reverse Spider
Pattern type: 
Cold saltwater fly
Kelvin Kleinman
Saltwater hook of your choice - size 4-2
Tying thread
First hackle
Mallard flank
Bright orange
Second hackle
Orange Guinea fowl
Last dubbing
Bright orange
Tyring thread
Skill level/difficulty: 

Step 1 - mallard flank

Step 2 - stroke back the fibers

Step 3 - Guinea fowl

Step 4 - prepare it

Step 5 - feathers ready

Step 6 - start in the front

Step 7 - tie in mallard

Step 8 - brush forward

Step 9 - wrap

Step 10 - trim

Step 11 - dubbing loop

Step 12 - dubbing

Step 13 - wind the dubbing

Step 14 - taper

Step 15 - Guinea fowl

Step 16 - brush forward

Step 17 - wrap feather

Step 18 - second dubbing loop

Step 19 - add dubbing

Step 20 - twist it

Step 21 - finish off

Step 22 - whip finish

Step 23 - brush

Step 24 - finishing touch

Step 25 - job done! - The finished fly, ready to catch some fish
Step 25 - job done!
Kelvin Kleinman
Reversed and palmered - The Tsunami Warning
Reversed and palmered
Kelvin Kleinman
Tsunami Warning
Pattern type: 
Cold saltwater fly
Kelvin Kleiman
Saltwater hook of your choice - size 4-2
First hackle
Mallard flank
Second, palmered hackle
Bright orange dubbing
Tying thread with varnish
Skill level/difficulty: 

Step 1 - select mallard

Step 2- prepare the feather

Step 3 - tie in feather

Step 4 - wind it

Step 5 - tie down and trim

Step 6 - tie in second hackle

Step 7 - dubbing loop

Step 8 - wind the body

Step 9 - hackle

Step 10 - trim and whip finish

Step 11 - done - The Tsunami Warning in all its might
Tsunami Warning
Kelvin Kleinman


Sweet fly, been catc...

Sweet fly, been catching plenty on the Sol Duc. Angry takes.

I love these flies! ...

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.

Wow!!! I saw a fella...

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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