Mathew’s Zelon Midge is the creation of Craig Mathews, owner of Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone, Montana. Here, author, fly tier and blogger Matt Grobert is going to tie one on a size 20 Dai-Riki #125 emerger hook.
After mashing the barb and securing the hook in his tying vise, Matt loads a bobbin with a spool of olive 6/0 Danville.
Start your thread on the hook shank, leaving a small amount of space behind the eye and take wraps rearward to about the barb before breaking or snipping off the tag end.
Midge Gray Straight Zelon is used for both the trailing shuck and the wings of the fly. Snip approximately a 3 inch length of one of the strands then separate about 1/3 of that material free from the rest of the strand. Don’t discard the remaining 2/3’s as that will be used to form the wings. Give the 1/3 clump a little twist to align the fibers and slip them underneath your tying thread until they rest on top of the hook shank. Take a few wraps down the hook bend to secure the Zelon then make touching thread wraps up the hook shank to form the abdomen of the fly. At approximately the 2/3rds’ point on the shank, lift the fibers up and snip them off close. Reach in with your tying scissors and cut off the remaining Zelon to form a trailing shuck about a hook gap in length.
Pick up the other segment of Zelon, the 2/3rds clump, pull it under your tying thread and orient it perpendicular to the hook shank. Make several cross wraps to secure the fibers in this position and then take a final wrap just around the hook shank to help lock everything in place.
Black Australian possum is used for the thorax, just the smallest pinch is all that’s needed. With the dubbing, create a short, slender noodle on your tying thread and take cross wraps both in front and in back of the wings to build up a bulbous little thorax.
Once the thorax is complete, do a 5 or 6 turn whip finish and then snip or cut your tying thread free. Lift the wings to vertical and snip them off so each is about a hook gap in length.
And that’s all there is to it. To change the color, simply change the color of your thread. In addition to olive, black, red and cream also work well. Try them in sizes from 18 all the way down to a 24.