The Partridge and Orange and The Greenwells Glory

by Jonathan

Today we will be explaining how to tie wet flies and spider patterns, the old standard, partridge and orange popular in the north country and the Greenwells Glory, which is more universal, and has also stood the test of time. You will find them both easy to tie and well worth a place in the box of river fishers.

The Partridge and Orange has only two materials, the hackle and the tying silk. The hackle is from the back of the old english grey partridge. The ideal hackles do not have distinct brown bar across the top but those with a lesser bold bar are acceptable and you will find that most commercially sold packs have a mixture. If you want the best go out and shoot your own. Only joking. There is another similar grey hackle on the partridge plumage which is well worth using and can be used for the partridge and yellow.

The older school of fly tyers always laboured that hackles on spider patterns had to be very sparse. To do this you strip the fibres off one side of the hackle before you tie it in. To do this correctly lie the hackle on top of the hook with curved side of the feather uppermost, grasp all the fibres on the side away from you and peel them gently off to the stem. Tie in the hackle as shown on the video clip and wind round the hook 2-3 turns and tie off at the head.

You will find some tyers who recommend tying the hackle in by the point. By all means try this once you have got the hang of doing the basics, but beware, the points of partridge hackles are very fragile. You can (and I often do) actually tie the hackle in whole and give it 2 turns and tie off.

The brown partridge can also be used for the march brown spider, the partridge and yellow and damsel nymphs.

The Greenwells Glory has only three materials, the hackle, the tying silk and the fine gold braid or wire for the rib. The hackle is from a hen cape. You can either buy a full cape or buy a packet of hackles. The disadvantage of a cape is the relatively small number of hackle of a size but it does give you a better selection of sizes but they are usually more expensive. If you want to tie a dry pattern you will have to use a cock cape, it has stiffer fibres and floats better but the dressing is the same. The book states that the tying silk should be primrose and well waxed, (use beeswax), because it transforms the colour to light olive.

Hooks wet fly sizes 12 / 14 / 16.

Once you have mastered these two all you need are the various hackles to open up a new world of spider patterns.

Hope you enjoy the lessons. Beware it has been said that fly tying can become addictive.

David Cammiss and The Team


{ 1 trackback }

Easy to tie but productive wets please! - Fly Fishing Forums
February 11, 2012 at 9:45 pm

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

fly tyer SWM April 27, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Dave I had fun tying the Greenwells Glory. Your videos are very clear and easy to follow. I have a few questions for you, please e-mail me back.
Thank you.

Neil E December 3, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Excellent site David. I’ve learned loads and now I’m going to take a few of the creations like the Greenwells spider and all the variations that I could think of up the River Browney near Croxdale and see if I can find a Grayling or two! Cheers for your help

SJEP January 21, 2010 at 9:08 pm

We are fast approaching the time when Large Olives (upwinged flies), February red (Stoneflies) and various midges will start to make more of an appearance especially on warmer days in the afternoon. Fortunately for the fly fisher the humble Partridge and Orange imitates small brown stoneflies, upwinged fly spinners, and orange midges etc, the partridge and yellow will imitate small yellow midges and later in the year pale wateries.
If like me you live in Derbyshire and the Derwent is full of snowmelt and its fast and deep you can add a rib of gold wire and even a small tungsten bead just behind the hackle as opposed to at the head of the fly, you may even be able to get an orange tungsten bead. This will help it get down where the fish are and act as a small thorax. As for the Greenwells Glory, the wet fly will imitate olive midges quite well and if you add some gray mallard wings sloping back over the body and a furnace cock tail it does an ok job of representing olive duns especially the stillwater” lake and pond olives”, if you want a Dry Greenwell then add a tail of furnace cock and upright wings of starling or grey mallard with a furnace cock hackle wound 3 or 4 turns in front of the wing and 2 or 3 turns behind depending on the speed and ripple of the water you are fishing. lastly if you give the body of the dry greenwell a dark olive silk body and darker wing it will work as an iron blue instead of an olive. hope this is of some use in the coming months. Tight lines.

Alex December 10, 2009 at 7:10 am

Hey Dave,
I was tying a greenwells glory and instead of black hackle, I used white cock hackle and got the same results as using the black hackle.

topflyman January 24, 2008 at 10:30 am

Hi Rod
Thanks for your comments….appreciated by all the team.
We already have 2 lessons in the bag to put out whilst I am off to New Zealand for a few weeks…a lifetime ambition and at 71 yrs I feel I must make the effort now. We will make an effort next vid to do the double half hitch more slowly.
DaveC.and the Team

Rod Hart January 23, 2008 at 11:13 pm

David and Team,

MANY THANKS TO YOU AND THE TEAM FOR THE WEBSITE. it is a great help to old chaps like me coming back to fly fishing. after a 30 year break. All aspects of your lessons are of excellent quality and easily understood. You have a novel way of Casting Of or Whip Finnishing with your fingers, can you do a short video of this in SLOW Time so us old chaps can keep up with you and get it right.

All the Very Best and Thanks again.

Rod Hart

Chris Davis January 8, 2008 at 3:55 pm

Fantastic site!

I began flyfishing in April 07 and having been bitten by the bug, I had started to experiment with my own ‘tyings’ using my sons arts and crafts box, it would take a fair amount of imagination to accept these early experiments as proper fly tyings as without any equipment there was a lot of glue involved (managed to catch a few trout though!).

Christmas saw a beginners flytying kit in my stocking, but without your invaluable advice I would still be churning out ‘monsters’ – the kit, despite being for beginners, assumes a knowledge of how to use the tools and when and where to use each weird and wonderful material.

With the help of your videos I am now on my way to becoming a proper tyer!


MIKE W December 19, 2007 at 9:34 pm

Hi David,
I’d just like to say what an excellent site I have only recently stumbled upon it !!. I have just started flytying and was really struggling with the basics. i am now even dreaming up my own designs. Can you give us some dies and and some Klinkhamers please. keep up the brilliant site.
Best Regards,

topflyman November 22, 2007 at 9:58 pm

Hi Graig
Well done. We will try to keep you busy
DaveC. and Team

colton craig November 22, 2007 at 3:58 pm

hello mr.cammis,
thanks for the videos. thier great and i can tie all the flies on the video and im only 12! i cant wait for new ones.
colton craig (US)

topflyman November 10, 2007 at 4:51 pm

Hi Michael
Thanks for your comments. There are more on the way……already videoed but have to be editted. My son Jon has limited time to do this. On the list Klinkhammer and crane fly (daddy long legs)
Dave C.

miguelranea November 9, 2007 at 11:04 pm

A pesar de no hablar inglés los videos son tan explícitos que hablan por si solos. Muchas Gracias. Miguel de Argentina

MICHAEL D BAKER September 11, 2007 at 2:19 am




Ian Taylor September 6, 2007 at 7:13 am

Another great lesson David. I’m getting quite good at this.. thanks to you. Only problem is, now I’m having to supply all my fishing buddies with flies hehe Seriously though, great vids, really clear and simple to follow. Keep up the good work.


David Cammiss September 4, 2007 at 4:12 pm

Hi Josh,

Glad you like the videos and thanks for letting me know about the spelling mistake.


Josh September 4, 2007 at 3:51 pm

Hey dave excellent videos. there is a slight problem on this site as it says “partride and orange” not partridge and orange.

Steve B September 2, 2007 at 7:13 pm

Hello David, thank you for such clear and detailed instructions. Your flies in this lesson went perfectly with an article in the summer fly tyer by Oliver Edwards on North country wet flys. I look forward to each new lesson. I am learning so much. Steve B. Newark, Delaware. USA

Jiah Turner September 2, 2007 at 6:35 pm

Hola David,
I’ve been watching your videos, and I really like what you do. I can’t quite get the hang of parachutes. Could you show us how?

Thanx ^_^!

Eamonn (fly master) mclaughlin September 1, 2007 at 12:55 am

hello david,
i find your fly tying videos very spectacular. ive really improved on fly tying since i found your website. could you tie a dry mayfly for video 8. please! ive even put this website as my homepage on the internet.

yours respectfully Eamonn mclaughlin

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