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Simple Midge Larva Pattern & Tying Instructions

Fly Tying Recipe: Simple Midge Larva
3X-long natural-bend hook (here a Dai-Riki #270), sizes 20-24
Thread Body:
Yellow-olive, 8/0 or 70-denier
Copper Ultra Wire, extra-small
Tying thread, colored with a permanent marker
Needle-nose pliers
Tie this pattern in colors to match the naturals you find or in standard colors, such as white, black, and red
Show / Hide Simple Midge Larva Transcript

Video Transcript:

This Simple Midge Larva pattern may be one of the easiest flies you ever tie, well, except for the fact that this one is tied on a size 24. Midges are one of only a few aquatic insects that remain active and hatch throughout the winter months. These midge larvae were seined from a nearby river just days ago, so, what I’m going to tie in this video is intended to imitate them. Midges however come in a wide range of colors.

I start with a Dai-Riki #270, 3X long hook in a size 24. On hooks this small, needle nosed pliers often work better for mashing barbs than vise jaws do. After mashing the barb, get the hook firmly secured in your tying vise.

For thread, I’ve loaded a bobbin with a spool of UTC 70 Denier in a yellow olive to roughly match the color of the naturals I seined. You can either pick a thread color to match the naturals in your area or just go with standard midge colors, like white, black and red. Start your thread on the hook shank immediately behind the eye and take a few wraps rearward before snipping or breaking off the tag.

Extra small copper Ultra wire is used to rib and segment the fly. Six to eight inches is enough to make a whole bunch. Secure one end of the wire to the hook shank right behind the eye and take thread wraps rearward binding the wire down, deep into the bend.

With the wire anchored, begin making touching thread wraps back up the hook shank. End with your thread at about a half an eye length behind the hook eye.

Start making open spiral wraps with the copper wire to add a little flash and segment the body of the fly. When you reach your tying thread, use it to secure the wire with 2 or 3 wraps. Once secured, you can helicopter the wire to break it off close.

For the head of your midge, get hold of an appropriately colored permanent marker and color about an 1 1/2” of the tying thread below the fly. Start taking wraps with the colored thread to build up a small, darker colored head. Dso a 4 or 5 turn whip finish, and snip or cut your tying thread free. These are so easy to tie, you can knock out a bunch in fairly short order.

This handsome little brown trout, my first fish of 2016, fell for the very fly tied in this video. I’m hoping many more will follow his lead.