I couldn't find a picture of the ones I use, but mine are a little different than the ones pictured above. I like those in the picture though. Orvis sells an excellent rendition, with three sets of legs instead of two sets. Also, the Orvis green spider features white rubber legs.
I've fished this lure longer than I've driven a car. On rivers, creeks, streams, tanks, ponds and large lakes, I've caught many panfish and bass and even a small catfish on the green spider. For Texas, if I could have only three flies to fish with, this would be one of them. The other two flies would be some sort of mosquito/gnat immitation and a Dave's Hopper grasshopper fly. Solid producers in all types of Texas locales year round.
I've caught as many bass on this lure as I have panfish. I have even caught a tiny channel cat when fishing this fly deep like a wet fly/streamer. That's part of the versatility of this fly. If you want to fish it dry, it naturally floats on top of the water. If you want to run it deeper, you simply squeeze the sponge and fill it with water and you're going deeper.
In my youth I bought this fly from places like Netcraft. Orvis and other fly tyers began tying this fly a lot in the late 70's and early 80's and you can find versions just about everywhere. The white and the green have produced best for me, although I once had a good run of large perch on the Medina River near the road to Tarpley crossing just outside of Bandera on an overcast day with a yellow spider.
Mr. Circle is still writing and fishing. He was named the 2008 Samuel C. Johnson Fishing Journalist of the Year. After being with Sports Afield magazine for 35 years, he now writes for Bassmaster. He was a pioneer of fishing television shows, but I'll always remember him for the green rubber spider.