Posts Tagged ‘flash


Photography: Macro Puzzles

I struggle for consistency with my macro photography. Sometimes it is there and other times it just isn’t. Today, I wanted to photograph a small (size 16) emerger pattern I simply call a ‘Puff’ given the wing material is called a CDC Puff Feather. I tried to present a contrast to the flies size by shooting it in front of a U.S. Quarter for a point of reference. The flash was dialed way down. Yet it still washed out. You still get an idea but not as crisply as I would have hoped. The beauty of the macro lens or magnifying goggles is one can readily see the faults of one’s tying (sloppy thread head/cut starling hackle for example).

camera fly quarter SB puff quarter vise SB

sb cdc puff




Maggies Midge (Midge Pupa Imitation~Source Westfly~Oregon)

HOOK: 3X fine dry fly hook, sizes 10-16, THREAD: Black

TAIL: Few strands of white Antron yarn

BODY: Very thin sparkle dubbing (black, red, or olive)

RIBBING: Fine pearl mylar; BACK: Foam strip, colored to match body

THORAX: Arizona Synthetic Peacock dubbing , natural or golden

GILLS: White CDC, clipped short

Jeff Morgan writes about this fly: ” When chironomids are just about to emerge, they lie perfectly parallel to the surface film, a position tough to maintain with the emaciated patterns needed to consistently fool picky fish. This pattern achieves what is needed, a flush-floating pattern without the hackle or excessive CDC that would identify it as a fraud. This fly floats best with the addition of some sort of floatant (but not on the CDC), but with the foam and CDC it can usually last a couple of fish before sinking. On this and any other emerging chironomid, you can go crazy with flash, for the naturals are often glistening like the Hope Diamond thanks to all the trapped gasses inside the pupal skin. “You may find it helpful to first rib this fly with fine silver wire, then go over the ribbing with the pearl mylar. This will add to the durability of the fly’s foam back.”

Me: The pattern is interesting, yes, but  more interesting is the info re presentation considerations based upon Morgan’s assertion of horizontal positioning and the flash factor. Keeping the fly in that zone and matching the position is the challenge. Foam and floatant would help. Observation of the fly’s actions and the attempt to match that action in the design of the fly and the presentation is the fun. Solving the puzzle. That is the fun, no just seducing the fish.      

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