Fly Tying Mondays Resume on December 5th.

We will get another season rolling on Monday December 4th at TC Outfitters. From 7 pm to 9 pm.

...new members are always welcome.

A box full of flies!

A box full of flies!
...and fly fishers

Monday, March 19, 2012

Bruce Tilbrook Tying Tiny, ...Midges

We were warned by Bruce last week that tonight's flies were going to be small, real small. Nevertheless, 30 keen tyers came to find out how to tie 4 of Bruce Tilbrook's favourite midges. Yes, it was a challenge. None of the flies were difficult to tie if we were using size 14 hooks. But we were using size 18 to size 22 hooks and that is where the challenge lies. Getting the proportions right can be a real challenge, especially not over dressing the fly. I over heard one of the gang say he loves to catch 20 inch trout on a size 20 fly. In fact it only took 20 years to accomplish the feat in his favourite rivers. Bringing a 20 inch trout to hand without breaking the fly off or straightening the hook is a real art.

Midge fishing is generally regarded, in the fly fishing world, as using hooks ranging in size from 16-28. The technical term for midges is the order of insects known as diptera; the adults are two winged insects, such as gnats, houseflies and mosquitoes. But midges also include very small beetles, shrimp, nymphs, hoppers, caddis, mayflies and ants. The four flies we’re tying tonight form only a small part of the repertoire of the serious midge fly angler.

The first two were originally tied by a fellow from Pennsylvania by the name of Ed Koch---the Jassid and the Herl Midge. These two flies beautifully copied the corresponding insects in the spring/limestone creeks of the Cumberland Valley near his home in east central Pennsylvania. He also ties the last two flies but mine are a variation on them.

If you desire to use these flies on stillwater, I would suggest casting them near lillypads and weed beds close to shore where trout are known to cruise in early morning or evening. The trout would likely be proposing quietly on a calm surface leisurely sipping them in. If after a minute there is no response, a slight twitch might be tried.

On the other hand, using these flies on moving water is sometimes easier to get the trout’s attention as they have less time to make a decision, therefore, maybe more hookups. A good day on the stream for these flies would be either clouds and a bit of sun or a completely overcast, maybe even a drizzly kind of a day.

Apart from the smaller hook size and tippet, the fly angler will sometimes lose sight of the fly, especially in low light conditions. If the angler tries this aspect of fly fishing often, the sight will sharpen quickly even in low light conditions.

I would encourage that you to try this unique part of fly fishing. If you ever hook and land an extra large trout on a size 24 elk hair caddis, you will rarely go back to the larger flies.

We were reminded that fishing Trico's, our smallest mayflies, here in Alberta can quickly become a neat experience at first light in the fall. Blue winged olives can hatch year round if those dreary rainy conditions or overcast days happen on your favourite trout stream. We all should tie on a size 20-24 midge and fish it in the early season. You maybe in for a real surprise.

Below are two suggested leader set ups for fly fishing midges.

LEADERS

10’ – 6X 12’ – 7X

BUTT: 48” OF .019 DIA. MONO BUTT: 54” OF .021 DIA. MONO

15” OF .015 24” OF .017

12” OF .013 12” OF .013

6” OF .011 10” OF .011

6” OF .009 8” OF .009

6” OF .007 6” OF .007

24” OF .005 6” OF .005

24” OF .003

A QUICK NOTE ABOUT FLY RODS: THE CHOICE IS AS VARIED AS THE FLIES. I TEND TO STICK WITH THE SHORTER RODS, 6’ TO 8’ MEDIUM ACTION, BUT ONE CAN USE MUCH LONGER. THE KEY IS THE SMALLER LINE. DON’T USE ANY LINE WEIGHT HEAVIER THAN 5. THE HEAVIER THE LINE THE MORE DIFFICULTY THERE WOULD BE IN ALLOWING THE SMALL FLY AND LEADER TO LAND AS DELICATELY AS POSSIBLE ON THE WATER. THE LEADERS WILL BE LONGER AND LINES LIGHTER, SO WINDY DAYS ARE THE MORE DIFFICULT ONES TO FISH WITH MIDGES.

TIGHT LINES!


Thanks Bruce for the challenge of tying small midges.

Nest week is our final tying session of the year. Roy Saunders will be our guest tyer.

Just a reminder that our spey rod/switch rod casting sessions will be scheduled for April 28th and 29th (two, one day sessions). Maxwell Robinson will be the instructor. You will have the chance to cast a variety of different spey rods. Just contact Bob (bvanderwater@rdpsd.ab.ca) and sign up. The cost will be $125.

Bruce Tilbrook




Barry brought the magnifier and he took full advantage of it tonight.

Jungle cock is very popular for tying eyes on many streamer patterns.

Herl Midge (Ed Koch originator)

Hook: dry fly sizes 20 to 28
Thread: Black 8/0
Tail: Black hackle fibers
Body: Black ostrich herl

Jassid (Ed Koch originator)

Hook: dry fly sizes 16 to 28
Thread: Black or brown 8/0
Body: Same as thread
Hackle: Black, brown or grizzly palmered
Wing: Jungle cock

Trico Dun or Tricorythodes

Hook: dry fly sizes 20 to 26
Thread: Black 8/0
Tail: Blue dun fibers
Body: Thread
Hackle: Blue dun

Blue Winged Olive

Hook: Dry fly sizes 18 to 22
Thread: Olive 8/0
Tail: Blue dun fibers
Body: olive antron/ rabbit
Wing: Tips from blue dun saddle/neck or poly wing
Hackle: Blue dun

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