Posts Tagged ‘Fly Tying: Chironomid

11
Dec
11

Fly Tying: Down to the Gnat’s Ass

A simple beginner's midge pattern to tie. A size 14-18 fine wire hook, an abdomen of one barb of pheasant tail and one strand of green kystal flash wrapped up the shank together. The hackle is one wrap of dry fly quality grizzly and the small tab of foam in figured eighted atop the shank and then covered with a few wraps of peacock herl. The rear end of the fly will ride slightly downward and the wing/foam will support the fly in the film. SwittersB

The fly fishing literature will advise you that midges-chironomids-buzzers are available year around as a dry fly/emerger option. The above pattern is, at a size 16, on the large size for most streams/rivers, but suitable for many lakes. 

Study up on the larva, pupa, emerger and dry fly patterns that work from the muck up onto the surface. Dry, Emerger, and droppers are suitable for rivers, but you are advised to know your larva/pupa patterns when fishing  the vertical presentation of a lake.

By no means the only resources, but you would be well served to study UK and BC literature on how to tie and present Chironomid patterns. The buzzer, midge, gnat, chironomid/bloodworm designations are more regional in use and in no way are separate insects. As a rule, the UK=Buzzer, BC=Chironomids and the US=Midge….are uniform in tying and presentation, with variations, of course, as in all fly tying/fly fishing.

The midge patterns are simple to tie (particularly larva and pupa patterns) yet very effective. They are always there, so have the necessary assortment of options.

28
Jul
11

Fly Tying: Fore & Aft Patterns

I am by no means a fly pattern historian. I leave it to others to delve back through the annals of fly tying. The fore and aft style fly pattern is reputed to have originated in England over a century ago. Most patterns (save those with new synthetic materials) probably had multiple originators in the far corners of the fly tying/fishing world.

The fore and aft is often offered up as a midge cluster. Well, that seems fine for a very small pattern, say size 16 to 20, but my experience with say the Renegade pattern is it has done amazingly well in B.C. lakes as a Caddis pattern beneath the surface. I recall a small, remote lake near Wavy L. that to this day afforded some of the most amazing fly fishing I have ever experienced. The Renegade pattern was in tatters, with the tinsel and rear hackle trailing behind. There were no chironomid/midge in sight. Only, Caddis/Sedge were emerging and skittering. As tempting as it was to put on a large dry Caddis pattern, the sunken Renegade was intoxicating to the fish and to me. I will never forget the fly line zipping through the water as the Kamloops took the fly and jetted off across my path. 

Whether the body in tied thinly or rather plump, like the Renegade, experiment with the fore and aft hackling on a pattern. Try it as a searching pattern where exact dry fly /emerger pattern presentations are not called for. Lakes and busy surface streams would be good choices. The hackles can be the dry fly quality feather or even a softer hackles for a busier look. I have include a Renegade I tied and a Stick Fly (midge) pattern that shows Ostrich Herl for the hackle. 

04
Jun
11

Fly Tying & Fishing: Borger Brassie

It is a reality of fly tying and fishing that we tend to seek refinements ad nauseam for patterns. It cannot stand that a simple, effective pattern can just be, as is, without more color options, dubbing, beads, etc…. refinements from what if’s and what about’s.

Several years ago, I sat front row at a Fly Fishing Expo affair in Portland, Oregon. Gary Borger was a featured speaker in one of the little side theaters. My son and I sat excited to get some inside refinement to our fishing efforts and from a notable fly fisher to boot. Borger was, that day, crusty and authoritative. Boy, this was going to be good.

Authoritative about what? One of his go to patterns, a copper wire bodied fly with a red thread head and no beard as depicted in the pic here. That fly with a split shot a foot above the fly was the offering that day. Initially, I heard a man from behind mumble ‘you’re kidding me?’  But, Borger wasn’t kidding and he remarked at the simplicity of the whole fly, rigging, presentation. It struck me that day how confused I was. That was it?

Was that all there was? Really, if that was true then maybe the problem wasn’t the gear, the waters, the fly….maybe it was me over thinking, over planning, over “everything-ing…(my word, you can borrow it). I have not forgotten that simple approach that Borger offered that day. It still flies in the face of the difficulties I have catching Steelhead on big rivers (not smaller coastal rivers where pods stack up and one hander nymphing rigs connect with fish).

But, none the less, the point here is some patterns are simple and presentation is perhaps more critical than over tweaked fly patterns. The over tweaking is part of the creative bent most tiers enjoy and the fun of putting your personal touches on a pattern. If it works, all the better. The admonition to KISS is often good advice. I think it is a benchmark to keep an eye on when one ranges so far afield, that basics are forgotten and success is elusive. 

“This pattern is attributed to Gary Borger although it is an adaptation of a pattern originally tied for the South Platte in 1971 by Ed Marsh. Gary admits that this particular version came about by him not remembering the correct dressing as related to him earlier. Anyway he was fishing the Armstrong Spring Creek the next summer when he saw the little flies in his box and tied one on in desperation and the rest is well, history. He says it has taken trout feeding on midges in rivers and streams the world over as well as even fooling steelhead!

“It works because the wire body provides a strongly segmented appearance and because the bright copper produces an attention-getting flash. The copper colour also suggests a rusty brown larva and may hint at the red colour of a bloodworm. I’ve dressed this pattern in every imaginable shape and form; with a thorax, with a tail , with legs, with a sparkle yarn husk, with a wing, with a soft hackle, with a stiff hackle, and so on.

They all catch fish, but not anymore effective than the simple body and throat. So I’ve stayed with my original, mistaken design.” (Gary Borger, Designing Trout Flies, 1991, page 93).”           http://www.goulburnvlyflyfishing.com.au

02
Jun
11

Fly Tying & Fishing: Patterns in the Algae

I came upon a source (stillwater blog re chironomid presentation) this week and then lost it to credit here…the site mentioned fishing patterns (they were talking about chironomid pupa patterns) in the often frequent algae bloom on/in lakes. The writer mentioned something interesting: the algae will taint/tint/paint your chironomid patterns that have antron or similar wings, gills, filaments. The writer suggested that a white bead would be a better substitute for the oft used white synthetic elements that extend above the bead, over the eye or horizontally beneath a wingcase, out to the sides. Something to consider. The algae bloom often only extends 5-10′ beneath the surface. A pattern can be presented below the bloom. But, drawing the the pattern through the bloom will coat the pattern with a green film. So, a simpler pupa pattern that can be swished clean is a suggestion. For all the others?….might as well stay with olive as the color theme? Anyway, I thought it an interesting suggestion for later in the Summer on stillwaters with a bloom.

Frequent use of antron extending out over eye of hook

White Bead for Thorax region (SwittersB)

 

 

02
Jun
11

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.   

24
Apr
11

Fly Tying: Reverse Hackling (Tenkara’s Sakasa-Kebari)

REVERSE HACKLING CONCEPT~TENKARA’S SAKASA-KEBARI

The ever creative Anthony Naples at Casting Around has had an infatuation the Tenkara fishing concept. One of the techniques in tying Tenkara flies is the wrapping the hackle wing so that it slopes forward over the eye (sakasa-kebari). In this piece, Anthony has combined the reverse hackle with that daunting tiny fly (let’s see how many flies we can put on a penny/dime?) style. This is an interesting concept for tiny flies in the film. Study the ideas and note that Anthony highligted another tier that has also combined the reverse hackling and small hooks. Also, explore Anthony’s site for beautiful fly fishing related art work.

Sakasa Kebari (Reverse Hackling) Anthony Naples

 

16
Mar
11

Fly Tying: Fish Envy?

Worse than anatomical envy is fish envy? As I perused FB tonight, I observed one pic after another of large steelhead and trout. Big fish, big flies? I mean it is so enticing, so powerful a draw. And yet, there I sit. Squinting even with my 2x googles. Bobbing back and forth to come into focus on a size 24 hook. Tying the simplest fly of a single strand of Krystal Flash drawn out to take the kink out. A simple tiny craft yarn was used for the thorax. Tying a small fly (midge), of late, has become a tying right of passage. Yet those slabs…… Fish envy is a nagging attack on your self worth. Look at April Vokey with yet another beautiful fish, then look down at the dime. Hmmm? Identity crisis and at my age.




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