Saturday, December 11, 2010

Haunted by Midges

Over the past two weeks I've been day dreaming about midge nymphs. In fact, during those moments when I needed a quick break from a chore or a conference call I've managed to tie a few dozen small flies. But still I just can't get small hooks, sparsely adorned out of my brain. I've taken to ordering a supply of small hooks, beads and sparse adornments because I don't have just the right size glass bead or the right color of wire. It's a malady that strikes all but the most strong willed tier -- the need for additional tying stuff.

It helps that it's small fly time of year here in the Northeast. And that the last time I was on the Housatonic, small flies worked almost as good as eggs. And with egg season waning the time for serious small flies is upon us. I've started with #18 and #20 sized hooks but before I'm done will tie in a good supply of #22s and #24s. When you're going small, you really have to commit to going small.
A sample from Midgeapalooza
Most of my midge arsenal features a bead of some sort -- small glass beads are my current favorite -- along with a thread or wire body. All thread bodies get adornment of either a copper, red, or chartreuse brassie sized wire. The fancy ones get a peacock herl abdomen or a sparkle wing case. Even fancier are those with a small tube body though I think those are designed more to catch a fly tier than a fish.

What surprised me when I started tying these small flies was how varied I was able to make the little critters. When tying sized #14 flies, there's plenty of hook real estate upon which to experiment and be creative. Not so with size #20 hook. Yet the small box I have is filled with a kaleidoscope of mini trout treats.

This weekend I gambled that the weather would cooperate and that some trout would come out to play in cold waters up north. The midges did their part though eggs and worms were the star performers. More to report later.

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