Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Friday, September 11, 2015

All Purpose Midge And The Beautiful Rain

What makes a tiny midge pattern work? Use any body material that you have confidence in for starters but the element that makes the surface or near surface imitation click is the wing. Snowshoe and CDC are great materials for wings because of their floating qualities and their visibility but we could do a better job of creating the wing.

Conventional wisdom says lay some CDC along the hook shank, bury the butts in thread or body material and then prop up the the wing.
Burying wing material adds bulk and contributes to absorbency. Instead do this: strip off some cdc and lay it ACROSS the hook up by the thorax. Then "figure 8" it to the hook (just a few turns). Tie off and then pull the cdc fibers UP and then cut off. Your wing will "puff up" if done right and your fly will hang in the film.

The photos are of a size 30 with a short tag of midge flash for a trailing shuck.

As I write this it has been raining for 12 hours and all of the area rivers are now ticking upward which is exactly what we need. This heat wave will leave us with what we expect in September: good flows and cool air and water. Check the flows on this site and then hit a river!!



Hibernation said...

Love the fly Ken! Ill add a "trick" for you. I dont think I'd do this on a 26 or smaller, but on flies 24 and smaller, lightly coat your thread with super glue (CA glue of any kind really) and do the last few wraps with the "super thread". It's not enough to negatively impact buoyancy, but it is enough to 1.) hold the thread great, and 2.) soak in just enough that the CDC will never slip out - even with minimal thread wraps.

On super small flies like that, the same "trick" can even eliminate the need for a whip finish or half hitch at the head, keeping the fly slim, and very very strong.


UpCloseAndFishy said...

Whoa! A size 30? That's amazing! I'm going blind tying size 20 nymphs!

Millers River Flyfisher said...


Good points and I will try them. When I tie smaller than 26 I use 17/0 thread. All I have is white BUT I mark up 8 inches with a black sharpie or brown or whatever. I also have a damp sponge to moisten my finger tips to catch stray cdc fibers.


BobT said...

Have you tried the Marc Petijean method of creating a CDC hackle/wing? Split the thread(Danville 6/0 is good for this - uni thread is almost impossible to split) trap some CDC fibers perpendicular to the thread maybe an inch and a quarters worth of thread(probably less on something smaller than 20). As you wrap like a hackle you continuously stroke/preen the fibers on the bottom or the sides to the top(sort of like folding wet fly hackle). He has a neat little tool called the Magic tool which makes handling cdc very easy ( I do own and use mine regularly) but it is not absolutely necessary to have. I've done CDC midges and olives to 24 they float great and are much easier to see because the wings tend to be a bit denser than other methods I have tried.

Anonymous said...

Hello Ken and everyone, Anyone familar with bass fishing might have heard a term called "confidence bait" it refers to a lure that one knows intimately and always keeps on hand. This fly is just that for me. I fish a similar fly on the swift and also still water like Walden pond and have had great success. I would like to say two things about this flies versatility, one is that this fly has worked to mimic small mayfly emergers for me on the swift Also this has been the only style of fly that I have had success at swinging SH style when it drowns mid drift. ( being cdc I dont dress this type of fly) All and all great fly
Paul Fay

Millers River Flyfisher said...


Thanks for the comment. Now, what does this look like? I've had good success with drowned versions of a lot of surface imitations. Any hint??