Posts Tagged ‘chironomids


Fly Fishing: Hi-Jinx’ed (Midges Flush)

Hi-Jinx Midge Emerger (SwittersB)

Stillwater, conventional, fly fishing wisdom is to present your chironomid/midge pattern in a vertical posture from the muck to the surface. I agree with this. There are always exceptions. I can recall  moving from one part of a lake to another and trolling along a midge pupa, that had to be bobbing between vertical to horizontal as I rowed, and getting nailed. But, a stationary, vertical presentation toward the surface is predominantly called for.

That said, I have had excellent results with a horizontal presentation for midge emergers in the film. Retrieved back, twitched or wind drifting, a pattern tied and presented in a horizontal path does provide positive results on top.

Now I am talking stillwaters, re that maneuver. On the slower tailouts of rivers, a drag free, dry fly presentation is appropriate. A light wire hook is better on a river to maintain a mostly horizontal position for the fly. The rear end of the fly will cant downward because of the lack of a tail to prop the fly up in the surface, or pattern design.

With the Hi-Jinx pattern above, the fly is tied smaller on a size 16 hook. This is not a bad idea for some patterns: still go somewhat small for the hook size and then reduce further the pattern size on the shank of the hook. The positives of the pattern will overcome the perceived negatives of the exposed hook. Pattern + Presentation will usually overcome most negatives.   


Stillwater Rigging, Techniques and ‘Bungs’?

A couple interesting pieces at GFF re rigging the Diawl Bach (Little Devil) and Buzzers on a reservoir-loch-lake near you. It is a bit early for many of us either because of ice or regs. But, for others it is a timely impetus to brave the cold winds and waves. A bung is a word for a strike indicator. Defined as a:  ‘A kind of plug or cork..’  My mom had a much different and derisive use of bung coupled with hole aimed at those she shook her fist at (she was a feisty, old German women): ‘a cork or other stopper for the hole in a barrel, cask, or keg; a bunghole’. I know. I just launched into that when I saw the GFF reference to bung for a strike indicator. I hadn’t considered the word in years. I think I will use indicator, even bobber.

A. Ferguson commented at SB re a previous post on his slick, slender buzzer pattern. So, given the piece by GFF re slender, chrionomid-buzzer patterns we’ll show this excellent tutorial (SBS: Step By Step) again “The Electro Static Buzzer SBS”.

Many in B.C. will take exception with my comment, and I don’t blame you, but the seemingly definitive experts on fishing chironomids are the Brits. Different techniques perhaps? Perhaps not. Either way, good to study the techniques and patterns from the lochs and reservoirs.


Fly Tying: Down Sizing Fly Selection

“The average fly fisherman can have a bug in his hand and 90% of the time the will think that a size 18 is a size 14.  This is particularly true when the bug has taken flight and they are observed in the air.  A little caddis flutters by and Billy Bob reaches for his size 14 Elk Hair Caddis when in all reality he’s been fooled by the flapping wings and should be pulling a size 18.  Nymphs are very much the same.  An angler seines up a glob of crap off the bottom and all this bugs are crawling around in it.  His eye will be drawn to the largest bug first and in a lot of cases, all brain function ceases at that point.  He ties on a size 14 Pheasant Tail Nymph despite the fact that the rest of that glob of goop is crawling with size 20 Baetis nymphs.  We have a tendency to fall into the “Big Mac” syndrome and think that the fish are going to eat the biggest meal available when in reality they are going to eat whatever they have to expend the least energy to take.” Poudre Canyon Chronicles

BH Midge Pupa, Size 20 (SwittersB)

This is so true. We tie many patterns too large because it is easier and rationalized. We don’t recognize bug size and consequently reduce our odds of contact with fish during certain hatches/drifts. The size 14 is easier to see than the size 18. The hook up seems more likely with the bigger fly. Of late, I know that my larger ties are primarily an issue of eye sight and tying station backdrop. I will say that I tied 4 of these pupa’s before I got the wire wraps worthy of a photograph and only knew that after the photo was taken. Definitely need smaller beads. Midge patterns, small midge patterns, do not have to have obsessive attention to detail (wire body above). Simple thread bodies in different colors, ribbed with ultra fine wire, or contrasting thread or fine tinsels will do.


Fly Tying: Chironomid~Midge~Buzzer Emerger

Aside from an Adams, how often do you use grey in any of your patterns. I have highlighted the ‘Little Grey’ nymph before (a very simple nymph tie). Grey is kind of that forgotten color. A neutral color, it seems to have fallen away since muskrat and other grey furs are less utilized in tying these days. Grey or Gray, the color is a nice natural color in nature that lends itself to contrasting materials (ribbing and darker materials). The pattern here has a grey dubbed body with black wire ribbing. The hackle is starling and the thread a little heavy 8/0 on a size 16 hook.


Fly Tying: Ian Akers on Buzzers

Shucked Deer Hair Emerger (Ian Akers at Practical Fly Fishing & Fly Tying)

Buzzers and alike at Practical Fly Fishing and Fly Tying


Buzzer-Midge Pupa Construction (wing buds)

Typical Midge Pupa's by SwittersB

Typical Midge Pupa's by SwittersB



Midlander's Bubble Gray Boy Pupa (wing buds)

Midlander's Bubble Gray Boy Pupa (wing buds)


I have noticed a decided difference in UK chironomid pupa construction from the West. UK patterns are sleeker, seldom bead headed and often possess the addition of a ‘wing bud’; almost its own attractor it would seem. I have experimented with this a bit. A couple good midge sites (buzzer, chironomids, gnats)

 “Slim buzzers are really important: the creatures you are imitating are not bulky at any point of their anatomy – so why should your artificial one be so? Secondly, pick a target feature to incorporate in your dressing. In most buzzers the wing bud is quite a distinct feature in the natural, so many fly-tiers emphasise this element. I believe I told readers about this a few weeks ago when I was going through some early season patterns. I use “Tulip T-shirt” paint to get my buzzers with a target spot, but there are many other bits and pieces used. One of the most common materials to get this wing bud effect is a slither cut from a “Walkers” chicken flavoured crisps packet, whilst other tyers use a couple of turns of fluorescent floss silk.”


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.    

Below @ “The Past” you can search back to 2008 month by month

March 2020

Please visit MUNCY DESIGNS (click)

Welcome to SwittersB & Exploring. Please Share, Comment & Like Away!

Please subscribe just below. Use the Search box to search topics.

Enter your email address to subscribe to the SwittersB blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,136 other followers

The Past

231!!! Countries Visiting SwittersB~Thank You!!!

free counters

Blog Stats: There are lies, damn lies and statistics

  • 4,790,263 Visits/Views (WP Original Stat~Pre Flag Counter Stats)

%d bloggers like this: