Pattern Description: Guy Turk developed his Tarantula in 1990. George Anderson used this fly to win the Jackson Hole One-Fly Contest that year and it has since become one of the most popular attractor flies in the world.
Mr. Turks creation has all you could ask for in an attractor; wide profile, great buoyancy and visibility. The combination of readily available materials and ease of tying make this an essential western fly.
One of the best things about this pattern is its versatility. I like to fish the Tarantula dry along the bank and when it sweeps under the water at the end of the drift I let it swing on through. Once hanging directly downstream, I will start a strip retrieve, fishing the fly back to me as a streamer. One fly as a dry, wet and streamer is pretty versatile and I can clearly see how George Anderson could wreak havoc with a pattern like this.
The Tarantula is also my favorite Mothers Day Caddis pattern. Yes, I know its way too big but the fish really seem to be able to pick this big buoyant fly out of the crowd and voice their opinions with crushing strikes. There are a few tricks to tying the Tarantula that I have tried to clarify in the following tutorial. Pay close attention to the details and crank out some of your own. Feel free to use alternate color schemes and substitute materials as needed. I have added the barred rubber legs to this version because they are so easy to do I can’t help myself and I really like the look. Play with this one and see what you can come up with.