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Disco Midge Pattern & Tying Instructions

Fly Tying Recipe: Disco Midge
Emerger hook (e.g.Daiichi #125), sizes 18-24.
Midge size glass bead.
Fluorescent pink, 8/0 or 70-denier.
Peacock herl.
Try with different color thread.
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Video Transcript:

This is pretty much your standard Disco Midge with the addition of a glass bead head. They can be tied in a variety of colors but I really like hot pink, particularly for the winter months.

Here I’m going to tie one on a size 22 Dai-Riki #125 Emerger hook. To make handling small hooks easier, I’ve found nothing better than a pair of EZ hackle pliers. Gripping the hook, like so, allows you to do a variety of things without ever touching the hook.

Begin by mashing the barb with either your vise jaws or small needle-nosed pliers. For the bead, I'm going with a Midge-sized gray glass bead with a silver core. Getting these on a tiny hook can be a real bear but here’s a little trick. With the hook in your EZ pliers, simply troll the point through the beads and you’ll catch one in short order. It saves a lot of hassle.

With the bead on the hook, next get the hook secured in your tying vise and make sure the bead is slipped all the way up behind the eye.

For thread, I’m going with UTC 70 Denier in fluorescent pink, red also works very well. Start your thread on the hook shank immediately behind the eye before snipping or breaking off the tag.

Cut a single strand of small Flashabou free from the hank. You can also use the spooled variety. Secure the Flashabou to the top of the hook shank and take wraps of tying thread well down into the hook bend. Continue taking wraps back up the hook shank forming a nice, even underbody as you go. Stop with your thread just behind the bead.

Get hold of the Flashabou and start taking wraps over the thread underbody. You can see here how nicely the pink color shines through. Secure the Flashabou behind the bead with a few tight turns of tying thread and then snip off the remainder.

For the collar, cut a peacock herl from just below the eye. These have teeny fibers that work well on small flies. Attach the herl to the hook shank with thread wraps and then break off the excess tip. Take 2 or 3 wraps of the herl to build up a nice bushy little collar. Next make thread wraps to secure it and break the excess off close.

I like to use the whip finish to form a short hot spot collar just behind the bead. Once the whip finish is complete, seat it tightly and then cut or snip your tying thread free.

It’s a showy and very effective little pattern, but it’s still rather easy to tie even in the smallest of sizes. Give it a try.