The North Country School
Spider patterns, or 'soft hackles' as they are often called in America, go right back to the early years of the 19th century, if not before. Deceptively simple to tie, they can be devastatingly effective in the right conditions, which is one of the reasons why experienced anglers always keep a few in their boxes. Follow this link to find out more about them and watch Andrew Herd tying a couple of flies which were popular in the early 1800s.
North Country flies are featured in Andrew's book The History of Fly Fishing, which is the most comprehensive history of fly fishing available today. You can order the book by visiting this link.
You can learn more about the fishermen who used these patterns in Angling Giants, another classic from the amusing and informative pen of this well-known author. You can read more about Angling Giants by clicking here and you can order a copy by following this link.