Posts Tagged ‘chironomid pattern


Fly Tying: Black Gnat Extinct?

Years ago, I recall having tied some rolly polly Black Gnats. Little creations with red hackle tails, fat little yarn bodies and somewhat upright duck quill wings and black hackle. I remember the pattern catching trout. Yet, I have not thought about tying a Black Gnat in decades. Does anyone tie a Black Gnat? 

Basic Black…use to be a mainstay for women’s attire and fly patterns to some extent. Maybe some basic Black Gnats are in order. The pattern was often tied in sizes 12-16. I am not sure if the Gnat was representative of a Chironomid (sometimes called a ‘gnat’). Regardless, the black silhouette could not hurt.

The most difficult tying technique, for an average tier, would be the pairing of the gray duck quill feather segments. Getting them paired and set atop the hook shank, then upright is the hardest part of the fly. Some tiers place a coating of a clear adhesive over the section of feather and let it dry. Then they cut the sections out, which are stiffer now, match them and prepare to tie the paired cut out section atop the shank. As you can see the wing can be swept back (wet fly style) a bit or upright in the more dry fly style.  


Fly Tying: Chironomid Emerger (Foam Head)

Mike at GuysFliesAndPies commented re the SwittersB Top 10 flies that he liked the foam headed chironomid pattern. The pic was not the best I had, so I am showing a different view of this exceptional pattern. The body is peacock herl/quill partially stripped between the fingers and wrapped, with a Krystal Flash ribbing (I touched up the quill with black permanent marker to eliminate the lighter colored spots before ribbing); grizzly hackle; peacock herl thorax, figure eight wrapped around the foam head. The foam head is tied in first and secured atop the shank right behind the eye of the hook.


Chironomid~Nymphal Imitation

This is a commercial tie. It is meant to be a chironomid-midge pupa pattern. I think the abdomen here has a unique look (underwrap of silver tinsel and overwrap of black vinyl wrap). The tail and gills are a white antron-synthetic fiber. The wingcase (over top of thorax section) is a black material that could be any flexible-stretch material. It could be a clear material and darkened with black permanent marker. The thorax is the ever wonderful peacock herl. It could also be Peacock Ice Dub, chopped fine and dub. The bead is a silver bead. The hook appears to be a 200R or similar straight eye hook (as opposed to the more frequent down eye). The hook is a size 14. So, that abdomen of silver tinsel and black vinyl ribbing is my favorite component of this fly.


Stick Fly (Chironomid Cluster Pattern)

I previously wrote about this pattern (7/15/08) and found reference to it again as a stillwater pattern suggestive of a cluster of midges/chironomids that have hatched or are hatching and clustered together. The Griffith’s Gnat is often suggested as such a pattern and I have caught nice trout with that little morsel. However, I am going to fish this pattern more and suggest you do also this Winter.




IMG_1698SThis is a straight forward pattern….simple enough without adding even more embellishments. In the July 08 post I added an ostrich herl wing on one and I am not sure it is necessary. The dubbing brush bristles with spiky animation and you can see in the brushes a lot of glint.

I start the thread at the eye and wrap back to cover the shank with the thread wraps. At the bend I tie in the brush while allowing a quarter inch or so of the brush to extend toward the rear. Once the brush is secure, I lift the brush upward, then pass the thread underneath and wrap the thread back up to the original tie on point behind the eye. Then I lay the brush down across the top of the shank and apply thread wraps to bind the brush down. I cut the brush leaving an equal extended portion to the front as in the rear. Tie off the thread and done. No ribbing. If the wraps are secure the pattern will not shift on the shank.

This is an in the film pattern that can be twitched a bit during the hatch or in rolling waves. Otherwise, I would not impart too much movement on calmer surfaces. These dubbing brushes are nice for all manner of nymphs and I know some make there own brushes or scoff at the idea of a brush. But, the beauty is the wire core that gives the material strength to extend fore and aft, and remain bristled. Fly Tying Specialties Jan Siman Ltd.

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