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Top Secret Midge Pattern & Tying Instructions

Fly Tying Recipe: Top Secret Midge
Scud/pupa hook (here a Tiemco 2488), sizes 20-26
Dark brown Veevus 16/0 or 8/0
White thread, 8/0
White Sparkle Organza
Rusty brown Superfine Dubbing
Two bobbins, Whip-finish tool
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Video Transcript:

This is Pat Dorsey’s Top Secret Midge. It’s a fantastic little pattern that’s fairly easy to tie, even in the smallest of sizes, here a 26. So, for a hook, I’m going to use a TMC 2488 in, again, size 26. Begin by getting the hook firmly secured in the jaws of your tying vise. Midge jaws are a real luxury when it comes to tying flies this small.

For thread, I’ve loaded a bobbin with a spool of dark brown Veevus 16/0, although the original recipe calls for dark brown 8/0 Uni thread. Get your thread started behind the hook eye and take a few wraps rearward before snipping or breaking off the tag.

6/0 white Uni thread is used to rib the fly. I like to have it on a bobbin but you can use just a short length if you prefer. Get hold of the end of the thread and secure it to the top of the hook shank with 2 or 3 turns of your dark brown thread. Then pull the white thread under the wraps so you don’t have to snip off the tag. Keep taking touching wraps with the brown thread down the hook shank. Angling the white thread slightly upwards helps to seat these wraps right up next to each other. Try to go well down into the hook bend and then start making touching wraps back up toward the eye. When you reach the eye, if you’re using 2 bobbins, stash the brown thread bobbin out of the way. This will allow you to freely give the white thread a healthy clockwise spin to really cord it up, without the two bobbins clunking together. Cording the thread up decreases its diameter and produces finer ribbing, which, to me, looks better on a fly this small. Keep in mind that when the white thread gets wet, it will become more translucent. Start taking evenly spaced open spiral wraps up the hook shank to rib and segment the fly. When you reach your brown tying thread, use it to anchor the rib and then snip the excess off close.

The original recipe called for a wing made of Glamour Madiera, a craft/sewing store material that’s not so easy to find. Instead, I like to use white sparkle organza. If you pull 10 or so fibers from the sheet, then fold them in half to double them, you end up with about the right amount of material. Snip the ends off square and even before tie-in. Using a pinch wrap, secure the material to the top of the hook shank with a few turns then pull the ends underneath the wraps. Keep taking thread wraps rearward until you’re directly above the hook point.

Rusty brown Super Fine dubbing is used for the thorax of the fly. The teeniest of wisps is all you need. Build a very short slender dubbing noodle on your tying thread and then take wraps with it to create a small, somewhat football shaped thorax. When you’re done, complete a 3 or 4 turn whip finish, seat the knot really well and then snip or cut your tying thread free.

The final step is to trim the wing to about the same length as the thorax. Make sure to save the unused wing material in a safe place for tying the next fly.

I believe the Top Secret Midge was originally intended for western tailwaters but it works seriously well here in the East, especially in smaller sizes, like anything from a 20 down to a 26.