Sunday, February 28, 2010

March Midge Madness

As the weather warms and winter looses it's grip look around... there may actually be some bugs. Most trout streams have some sort of midge population, and when the big bugs are not around the trout focus on these little nuggets of protein. Trout must eat a lot of these little beauties to gain any sort of energy, so this spring increase your fish catching odds and buy some small hooks and tie a few midge flies.

My last trip to the stream I was happy to see the banks covered in something besides snow. Black is a popular early season midge color.

Many times if there are a lot of adults around you can catch fish in numbers on pupa and emerger patterns. Take out a fly and hold it up to a real bug... is it close? Many early spring midge flies are relatively big, so try hooks from #18-#24.

If you are lucky you can witness trout rising to these little bugs. Try this adult midge pattern, it is thread and two wraps of hackle... that's it!

My first dry fly fish of 2010 came to the net connected to #22 black midge emerger. Many times when you see small early season rises (sips) they are taking midge emergers in the film.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Guys, Flies & Pies

Had a great time on Saturday night tying flies, talking fishing, and eating Pizza. Met some great people and some really impressive tiers! Go check out their website for future events! Below are a few pics from the evening.

Having a good time and making a mess!

Lots of colorful materials to shoot.

Tying hands.

Very nice vise.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Guys at were nice enough to give my blog a shout out on theirs. Go over and check out their website today... Thanks again!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Segmentation on midge flies can be very enticing to the local trout. When you are creating a midge body, or any aquatic bug that has a segmented body, try using micro tubing and leave a little space in-between the wraps. This really gives the fly a nice look, and so far in my stream testing the fish think so too.

Brown midge pupa with segmented body, and a light thread rib to enhance it even more.

This b/w shot really shows the segmentation of the midge larva.

Flies that are tied like this work!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Small Flies (really small)

Have you ever fished when you know the trout are eating, but you can't tell what's on the menu? I'm not talking about having trouble with insect identification, I'm talking about when you can't even see the bugs that the fish are eating! Micro midge activity, can be a tough day on the water if you don't have the right fly (see the 2nd photo below). On the other hand with the right fly it can be the most productive day of fishing you have ever had. Anglers typically do not like to use these small flies (which is another reason why they work so well), but from experience they are worth the extra effort of tying them on and using light tippet. Most days when the trout key in on these ultra small midge larva or pupa you do not have to tie on another fly all day (unless of course you break off).

#30 midge larva. Don't be afraid of this hook. It is not that hard to tie, you can fit high quality 7X tippet through the eye, and they actually hold on to fish!

The 'big' fly in focus is a #20 midge larva. This picture shows the true size of these micro midge flies.

#26 midge emerger with krystal flash wings. Many times #26 is as small as you need to go. With a little practice this size fly can produce a high land:loose fish ratio.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Finding Winter Motivation

I am in full swing winter tying mode right now. The winter fishing remains ok around Western NY, but the fact is spring is approaching and I need to get my boxes ready! A few things that have improved my motivation: upcoming trip to Utah at the end of April, the new fly binders I have created, and a new book Modern Midges by R. Takahashi & J. Hubka (buy this if you fish with midge flies).

The small fly binder is about 1/4 of the way full already. Once full these flies will be available for purchase.

Light sow bug #14.

BWO soft-hackle #16.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Homemade Fly Binder

Here is my brand new homemade fly binder. It is modeled after my C&F boxes, but costs much much less. This is not something you can bring to the stream, but a great storage method for excess flies, and a nice presentation if you plan on selling your creations (which I am).

Materials: High Density Foam Sheet ($0.39/ea), Superglue ($1.49/3 tubes), Razor Blade (?), 3 ring binder (?). All things can be purchased at a craft store, binder and razor knife you may already have. See step by step pictures below...

Work Time: 15 minutes.

Total Cost: $4.00.

Step 1: Get an area to cut on. I us a scrap 1/2" piece of plywood.

Step 2: Cut uniform measured strips of foam (I used my mat cutter here to save time, you can use a ruler and a razor knife). I used a single layer of foam for my strips b/c my binder is for small flies... you can double up or triple the foam sheets to use for larger flies (glue the sheets together before you cut it into strips). Once you have all the strips cut stack 6-8 strips together and use the razor blade to cut slices (like C&F foam).

Step 3: Super glue the strips on a binder. I also superglued strips of cardboard to keep space between the binder so you don't squish your flies.

Step 4: (optional) You can add inserts if you would like. I used an old scrap mat board to glue more strips on, punched three holes and it gave me space for 400 more flies!

Step 5: Organize your excess flies and enjoy! This binder is for approximately 1000 flies #16 - #30 (yes it actually holds #30 sized flies nicely!)

There is unlimited potential here so feel free to modify my design. For example.. You can glue the whole sheet of foam on and make long slices in the foam for big flies (see C&F streamer boxes), you can use small plastic shell boxes to create fly boxes to bring to the stream, you can use a zipped 3 or 4" binder to fill with inserts to bring big streamers on a bass boat. It's up to you!