Posts Tagged ‘jeff morgan


Phantom Midge by Jeff Morgan

Phantom Midge~Jeff Morgan

Phantom Midge~Jeff Morgan

Imitates pupae of the phantom midge. Jeff Morgan writes about this pattern: “While not an everyday pattern, this one can save the day when fish are feeding on the pupae of the nearly transparent phantom midge. The name phantom midge originated from the ghoulish ‘face’ that appears on the thorax of the natural, making the creature look like a miniature ghost.

“Standard patterns, with their solid colors and firm silhouettes, are almost worthless if fish are picky. A thin, flashy pattern like this one can be the only answer. A pearlescent fly, while not perfectly the clear-white of the natural, is the best color, since using exclusively clear materials will let the dark hook shank show through. I guess this insect will remain a challenge for tiers to imitate until some wacky engineer comes up with a fluorocarbon fishhook!”

Jeff moved to Nebraska a year or so ago. What an amazing fountain of info re trout, habitat and NW fly fishing! I imagine he has found waters to fish nearby the University and is accumulating even more knowledge. Jeff wrote many fine articles for Westfly-Oregon.


Leech Lust Reconsidered…



In October 2006, Jeff Morgan wrote a very thought provoking newsletter on Westfly~Oregon re his extensive findings on Leeches’ place in the trout’s diet. He challenges our use of sizes, weighting locations, colors and presentations. This is a very interesting article and at a minimum it makes me affirm the following: tie more multicolored mini leeches and don’t jonly use long strips when imitating leeches. I wonder when we use Buggers and utilize longer, fast strips if we are not imitating baitfish rather than leeches, but don’t always realize that is what we are doing. Check out the article a page or so down into the newsletter. Check out Westfly for great NW US info on all facets of flyfishing and tying.  Jeff was a very creative and refreshing force while at Westfly. He now teaches at a Mid-West university.




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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