Midges are a significant part of the diet of fish (especially trout) in lakes and streams.
This tiny insect hatches all year, often hatching in the warm micro-layer of air just above the water’s surface even in sub-freezing temperatures. Even in the summer when many hatches occur on a daily basis, trout and panfish will zero in on the midge as the main source of their daily protein.
Midges are usually very small, but some hatches, especially in lakes, the midges can be as big as a size 12, although most will be size 16 or smaller. Start tying this pattern in a size 16 and work to smaller hooks as your abilities grow. It’s a good idea to have this pattern in sizes 16 to 22 if you want to be able to match the hatch in most of the circumstances. I tie it in colors that range from brown and tan to cream and light yellow. It’s not a bad micro-caddis pattern either.
Dubbing: Anglers Choice pure silk, tan mink, or any extra fine dubbing.
Rib: Anglers Choice Super Floss, black horse hair, small black nylon.
Wing: Small cluster of pine squirrel tail hairs or similar hair,antron.
Thread: Tan, brown, cream or black. 8/0 or 10/0.
1. Start the thread. Tie down ribbing material to the hook bend.
2. Select a few strands of dubbing and twist them around the thread with your thumb and finger.
Keep the dubbing thin or it won’t look natural. A few strands at a time is all it takes. Your dubbing should look like very fine, smooth yarn on the thread. Just a few wraps, add more as needed and make more wraps until you have a body of the right proportions. Most beginning fly tiers use way too much dubbing for the fly they are trying to tie. Dub the body to just behind the hook eye, leaving enough room for the head of the fly.
3. Stretch the super floss to a thin, thread like thickness. If using hair or nylon, you won’t need to stretch it. Wrap the ribbing material to the front of the body.
5. Build a thin thread base behind the hook eye. This will help keep the wing from twisting around the hook.
6. Select a small cluster of hairs for the wing. Don’t use too many hairs, about 12 will be enough
7. Make two loose wraps over the hair, keeping the hair on top of the hook with your fingers. Slide the front of the wing back to the hook eye then tighten your first two wraps. Tie down the wing with several more thread wraps. A slight upward pressure will keep the wing from rotating on the hook.
8. Build the head up slightly and trim or tie down any loose strands of hair. Whip finish the head and cut the thread.
9. Clip the wing above the hook bend. There is a little room for varying wing lengths, but I prefer a shorter wing like this one.
10. Apply a small drop of head cement to the head of the fly. If you get cement in the hook eye, clean it out with a needle or bodkin.
11.Your finished fly should look like this.
Tie a few up in various sizes and colors. You can use midge patterns a lot. Winter is a great time to fish if you have a good midge pattern.
Instructions and photos by Al Campbell – http://flyanglersonline.com/flytying/beginners/part8.php