Posts Tagged ‘midge pupa


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)




Fly Tying: Chironomid (Larva & Pupa)

Close Up of Thorax (SB)

I have noted of late, that many chironomid larva/pupa patterns, like mine above, are a bit chunky. At the Sportsman’s Show this past weekend (Feb. 2010, Portland) there was a notorious stillwater fly fisher in attendance whose chironomid patterns (larva) were considerably more slender than anything I normally tie. Made me reconsider how my pupa patterns have produced…very well. But, would I do better with a simpler thread body and ultra fine silver ribbed body with a much smaller thorax? I also noted that Mr. Stillwater’s Midge Larva patterns were much bigger (hook, size 10) than most midge patterns I tie. Also, I wonder if the progression of a midge from a larva to a pupa creates a more robust body.

Midge Larva

Larva v. Pupa

Midge Pupa

Midges (Dinky Droppers)

Nothing much to these lil’ flies. They simply reinforce my love of peacock as one of the 5 best materials (don’t ask) and the fuzziness of wrapped turkey feather fibers turned out to be much fuzzier than when I recently used it for a BWO pattern. This fuzziness is akin to wrapped pheasant tail barbs. Fragile though, hence the ribbing. But, the turkey did give a nice fuzzy look. Also, look at that bottom pattern. I used the most miniscule piece of Rootbeer Krystal Flash, but look at the twist to it and the colors. I tied all these smaller on the size 16 hook. I also didn’t resort to the curved shank pupa hook. Mostly just dinking around to see how materials look through the lens and to play with presentation. Winter/early spring are great times to fish small midges given the limited hatches.





Midge Male and Chironomids (Pupa’s, Emerger’s, Dry’s)


My ties below. With beads and without. Use V-Rib for some bodies and permanent marker for top portion of abdomen. Legs were either Starling hackle tips or reverse portion of hackle pulled from stem. A few bodies were simply black thread bodies and black, small or fine wire ribbing. Dry’s: Griffiths Gnat in two sizes; also, size 18 simple wets of black or gray thread body with a simple wound Starling wing. The Emerger is black biot body overlayed with black or red Krystal Flash strand. A chunk of white foam is tied in horizontally just back from the eye. A small Peacock thorax and simple dun wrap of hackle finishes it off. Frankly, the biot wrap in small flies has been problematic for me and I don’t believe worth the effort to affix the biot on such a small fly (14). I have successfully tied a few small strands of marabou or small black ostrich in and then ribbed it. Much easier.   

Pretty detailed stuff re Chironomidae (Midges). Greek ur Latin to me. Also, a more general entomology link with some good pics. 

 The Emerger to the right is an example of the abdomen built from a strand or two of black marabou and ribbed with red tinsel. Narrow ostrich feathers could also be used. The peacock is used to build the thorax and to cover the thread wraps securing the foam wing “bow tie”.   








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