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Orange Asher Pattern & Tying Instructions

Fly Tying Recipe: Orange Asher
TMC100, size 22
Fluorescent orange, 70-denier or 8/0
Hackle pliers
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Video Transcript:

The Orange Asher is a super simple midge pattern that works remarkably well here in New Jersey during the late fall and early winter.

For a hook I'm going to use a size 22 TMC 100. I've found small hooks such as these much easier to handle with the aid of EZ hackle pliers.

Start by, very carefully, mashing the barb and then reorienting the hook to get it firmly secured in your tying vise.

For thread, I'm going to go with UTC 70 Denier in fluorescent orange. To me, the brighter the orange you can find, the better.

Start your thread on the hook shank immediately behind the eye and take wraps rearward before snipping or breaking off the tag. Continue taking wraps rearward all the way to the hook bend.

Grizzly hackle is the only other material needed on the pattern. With hooks this size, you're basically using the smallest feathers on the neck so there's no reason to measure with a hackle gauge. Pluck a single feather free from the skin. You are going to need to strip some fibers from the stem before tying it in. This may well be the most difficult part of tying this fly.

Secure the bare stem to the near side of the hook and continue taking thread wraps forward all the way to just behind the eye. Get hold of the very tip of the feather with your hackle pliers and begin making open spiral wraps up the hook shank, over the tying thread. When you get to the hook eye, secure the hackle tip with a couple tight wraps of tying thread. You can then reach in with fine point tying scissors and snip the excess hackle off close.

Finally do a 3 or 4 turn whip finish and snip or cut your tying thread free. And that's really all there is to it. Why this pattern works as well as it does, I have no idea. I just wish I'd known about it 20 years ago.