Quill Body Midge Emerger

Quill Body Midge Emerger

A versatile and easy early season fly

  • By: A. K. Best
I think one of the things I enjoy most about fly-fishing (and tying) is a midge hatch. To be successful I must be able to present a fly with what amounts to pinpoint accuracy, because most trout won't move more than a few inches to eat such a small insect. The fly must be the right size and color, as well as the correct stage of the hatch the trout happen to be feeding on at the moment. This could mean carrying a lot of different patterns in various sizes and colors. I've been able to simplify this a great deal with this pattern.Fish it as is and you have a floating emerger with a trailing shuck. Clip off the trailing shuck and you have a winged adult. Trim back the trailing shuck, shorten the wing and hackle collar and you have a midge larva. Hook: Your favorite fine wire dryfly hook in sizes 22-14 Thread: 6/0 or 8/0 color to match natural's body Trailing shuck: Black or Cream Midge: Tan dyed mallard flank fibers Dun or Olive Midge: Natural mallard flank fibers Body: Black Midge: Black quill Dun Midge: Light dun quill Olive Midge: Light green quill Cream Midge: Very light tan quill Wing: One strip of waffle imprinted plastic bag from near the closure strip of a Glad sandwich bag. Hackle: Two or three turns of high quality saddle. Color to match body color. 1) Attach the tying thread onto the hook about one hook gap space behind the eye, wind to the beginning of the bend and cut off the tag. 2) Select four or five fibers from the heavy side of a mallard flank feather and tie them onto the hook to allow a trailing shuck equal to the hook shank length. Lash the fibers to the top of the hook, wind thread forward and clip off the butts at the thread starting point. 3) Select one stripped and dyed rooster neck hackle quill, clip off the tip to a point where the remaining quill tip is equal in diameter to the hook, thread and trailing shuck under body. 4) Tie the quill onto the hook (butt to the rear) with the clipped tip directly over the end of the trailing shuck butt under body. Wrap thread to the rear and forward again. 5) Wind the quill forward in tightly nesting wraps, tie the butt down on top of the hook, clip off the butt and smooth down with additional turns of thread. 6) Cut a strip of the waffle imprinted portion of a Glad Bag to be equal in width to the hook gap space. 7) Clip one end into an arrow shape, place the pointed portion on the hook just behind the hook eye and lash it down to a point that is on top of the last turn of the quill body. This will prevent the wing strip from pointing straight up. Clip off the end of the wing to be one hook gap longer than the hook and trim off the corners. 8) Select a sized saddle hackle, trim the butt and tie it onto the top of the hook. Wind two or three turns of hackle forward, tie down on top of the hook, trim off the tip, and whip finish.