Posts Tagged ‘chironomid pupa


Fly Tying: 2 Strands of Krytal Flash Midge

Here is a simple midge/chironomid pattern, on a size 20 hook, that I tied using two strands of Krystal Flash (peacock color) and a portion of one peacock herl. The thread was 14/0. Simply tie in at the bend of the hook and then tie in two strands of peacock Krsytal Flash. Wrap those two strands forward toward the thorax portion of the fly (final 1/3 to 1/4 of the shank). Tie off the strands and leave two short tag ends, which are forced to the rear by the thread wraps. I then create two additional small tags by tying in a small portion of flash on each side of the thorax. Then the one herl is tied in by the butt and wrapped two times to form the thorax. Finish off a thread head. Simple, flashy…a small dropper that I can get a tippet through the eye of the hook.This a nice beginner’s pattern that is a productive stillwater or stream pattern.


Fly Tying the Simple Dubbed Pupa for beginners

Caddis, Chironomid, Mayfly, Scud…the simple pupa pattern is simple in silhouette and design. The basic fly then lends itself to the bead and/or the wing. Keep it sparse and the pattern can be tied in different colors, although I have a proven comfort with green.

The pattern can be tied on hooks ranging from size 10 to size 18. Today I tied size 16’s and 14’s for the bead heads. I used the curved pupa hook, but you could use a straight shank hook.

Limerick Bend

Depending upon the size bead you use, you may have to crimp the barb down, which you would anyway if practicing C&R. For straight shank hooks be certain the bend of the hook is a sproat bend, a more circular bend, which allows the hook to slide up around the bend and up the shank to the eye. A more confined bend (Limerick) will thwart the application of the bead.

I used 8/0 black thread. The dubbing was a synthetic blend of sparkle dubbing with no spikiness. Insect green (Caddis Green) depending upon the manufacturer and black were used. I dubbed to the thread as opposed to a dubbing loop and was careful to dub sparsely. A copper wire rib was used.

How To For Basic Non-Beaded Pupa:

Put hook in vise…attach thread..wrap to rear at bend…tie in copper ribbing…dub abdomen with green dubbing…wrap copper wire ribbing up abdomen spacing wraps to give segmented appearance. If wraps dig into dubbing and disappear then counter wrap over dubbing so that wire lays over top of dubbing wraps or grooves…tie off wire and cut (not with tips of scissors, further down on blades)…dub black thorax same thickness as abdomen…tie off the head.

If you were going to add the bead head then it is the first thing to do…slide the bead on and then apply thread and tie as described above. If a wet fly is desired then the starling or partridge wing is wrapped just ahead of the thorax (allow enough room for this and don’t crowd the eye). If you want a bead head-wet then the wing goes on as a last step right behind the bead. The rest of the fly is the same…built upon the basic dubbed pupa. Excellent Dubbing Information.

Fished alone or as a dropper in smaller sizes, the simplicity does not detract from the fly’s effectiveness. More is not better, except in our obsession to over tweak every pattern. There is a reality of the simple fly, well presented and attended to does catch fish. Most adornments beyond that are for our appreciation and artistic bent.


chironomid, midge, gnat (klaus peter brodersen’s amazing images)

Midge Pupa

Midge Pupa

Pictures give you the elements of proportions, detail and colors. Then you have to learn your materials and visualize matching the images you can find re each insect. Matching existing patterns and trusting the tier matched the actual insect is ok…but, when you can come across the hard work of others like Brodersen or at…then it is all up to you to match or use the impressionistic style. Walk into any flyshop, craft store or fabric store (yes, you can cruise amongst the bolts, threads, yarns and patterns looking for something unique…and cheap) and you look at a material to do what? Color, flash, translucence, movement, life.    


Pheasant Tail Nymph (Tired and True)

I have stated my boredom with GRHE’s and PTN’s (a little insider acronym stuff there) But, truth be told and that is what we do here for better or worse, the Pheasant Tail Nymph is an excellent nymph in streams and stillwaters. Above you see ones I have tied as a flashback nymphs with copper wire ribs (a touch to heavy of wire, should have gone to small wire) and a peacock thorax. The flashback is mylar or strands of flashabou or Krystal Flash and the pheasant tail fibers are swept back to suggest legs. Sometimes in small sizes these legs can be omited and the fly tied in the traditional style (sans legs).

 A beadhead can be included for flies that are destined to tumble down moving waters. I would forgo the bead head on any fly that you intend to present in a steady, parallel direction, say in stillwates. The abdomen can be tied traditionally with pheasant tail feather fibers or for added density use copper wire, which is really nothing more than a Copper John. I have never altered from the natural color but recently I saw a PTN at the East Lake Resort store, which was tied with red pheasant tail fibers. It was nice looking pattern (see photo). the PTN is a very good and simple to tie pattern to match mayfly nymphal stages. These shown flies are on size 14 and 16 hooks. So although I am tired of some flies that does not mean they aren’t true(ly) (had to make sure you got the header) dependable patterns. Tumbled down a stream, tied on as a dropper or fished in the surface (without the bead) this fly is a proven fly and you always see it noted and recommended for the obvious reason.  

In the top pic you see Chironomid Pupa’s with peacock or peacock Ice Dub thorax and wine colored Krystal Flash body and silver ribbing. I tied them in two sizes (12/16’s). I tied green wired ‘Copper John’s’ behind those you see Cracklebacks, a Renegade and Olive Parachute. My boxes start out neat but I have remarked before upon how they end up: Double click on photos to zoom in for a detailed view.  I like the shot above, which I took outside in direct sunlight. Tim B. of planettrout gave me advice several months ago that his son takes certain shots outside. Turned out nice, I think. (Read!)

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