Posts Tagged ‘midge pattern

16
Nov
13

Midge Emerger on a Kernel of Corn

No, I didn’t attempt to photograph this Midge Emerger setting atop a kernel of corn. But, for the uninitiated to fly tying, hook/pattern size it is helpful to imagine that kernel of unpopped corn and imagine the pattern in the picture as roughly the same size…or a little longer and fatter than a piece of cooked rice. The curved, light wired, pupa hook affords a slightly wider hook gape to hopefully facilitate the hook up with such small flies. Annoying to tie, necessary to have.

22 Midge emerger SwittersB

26
Mar
12

Fly Tying & Combo Thread: Segmented Bodies

This product has been out for a year or so, but I hadn’t seen it until I came upon a video demonstrating The Soft Hackle Midge Emerger by Craig Mathews at Blue Ribbon Flies. I have been using the tying thread for the body lately and then ribbing with a single strand of contrasting tying thread or fine wire. This Combo Thread, if offered in enough variety might be perfect. I am not sure, by the look of the spools, if a normal bobbin can be used? Appears to only come in 6/0? Worth a look see at Blue Ribbon Flies. Also, for the beginning tier…look at how Mathews ties in and wraps the feather. In the process of thread torque around the hook, the feather fans out nicely, as if wrapped in the conventional manner.

17
Jan
12

Fly Tying: Less is More? OMG! I forgot I had that……

This Midge Pattern is tied sparse and lively. One turn of hackle, an extended dubbed body and a few strands of trailing shuck. It would ride low and have considerable movement. Size 20

This Midge pattern has the same trailing shuck material, a dyed peacock herl abdomen, a touch of dubbing for the thorax, and a CDC wing faced with one turn of Starling. It is tied medium bodied. Size 18

This pattern is fully, maybe even over, dressed and better suited for the edges of riffles and seams. Midges prefer the slower glides of tailouts and silty bottoms. The same trailing shuck material is perhaps over done. The abdomen of herl is obscured by the dubbed collar of Snow Shoe Rabbit fur. I would still fish it with confidence. To the eye, on a size 20 hook, it looks tiny and white.

I am not going to write any thing too profound here. Conditions (type of insects, location of feeding, how the fish are feeding) often dictate the pattern selection. I offer up these patterns as experiments in the early tying season. I was experimenting, and as I often do, just having fun with the materials.

I love finding a plastic bag, opening it to find materials I purchased and forgot about…”Yeehaw! I forgot about that stuff”. I loaded up on some cool stuff last year. The task now is to stay on task and tie more than a couple of each pattern before jumping to the next pattern…like a fart in a windstorm.

I still have to tie several dozen unweighted, earth tone Woolly Buggers to compliment the weighted ones. How boring a prospect is that…of course, until this Spring when I am fishing the shoals with those slower sinking morsels.

07
Dec
11

Fly Tying: Griffith Gnat (Small, Palmered Midge)

A collage of Griffith Gnats that shows the typical pattern formation.

“The pattern is simple enough for the beginning tier: a size 16-18 fine wire hook; peacock herl, grizzly hackle suitable for a size 18 dry fly and 8/0 or 14/0 thread. The peacock and hackle stem are tied in at the rear and the peacock body is wrapped forward forming a full body and tied off. Then the hackle is palmered forward in wraps similar to a Woolly Worm/Woolly Bugger’s body formation; maybe a little closer wraps. The remaining hackle is clipped off and the thread head is formed. Use a floating line and keep the faith as you fish it in the film, amid the hatch. Don’t horse the fish. ”  (SB 7-14-2009)    

Yes, a scaled down version of a Woolly Worm, with a simple peacock herl body and a palmered, dry fly quality hackle (the hackle barbs should be equal to or only slightly greater than the width of the hook gape. The pattern makes for a very simple tie and a productive midge ‘cluster’ pattern for lakes or streams.

SwittersB & Fly Fishing

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

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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