Zebra Midges are one of the simplest but most effective trout flies for a beginner to tie. They can be tied in a huge range of combinations with the most common being red, black, and olive all with silver wire and beads. A beginner may want to start with a size 18 Zebra Midge to get the hang of it before moving down to smaller sizes.
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Step 1: Materials
-Size 18 or smaller curved fly tying hook
-Brass or tungsten bead of appropriate size for hook.
-Small size UTC Ultra Wire
-Size 70 UTC Ultra Thread
- Fly tying vise, bobbin, scissors, head cement, and whip finisher tool.
*NOTE* I will be tying a black Midge with a black-nickel 1.5mm bead-head and silver wire on a size 22 curved hook.
Step 2: Preparing the Hook
1. Slide the bead onto the hook small hole first, depending on your hook (and water regulations), you may have to smash the barb.
2. Begin wrapping some thread around the hook just behind the bead and trim off the excess.
3. Wrap a single layer of thread across the entire hook until the half way point of the hook bend.
Step 3: Creating the Body
1. Remove several inches of wire from the spool and place an end underneath the bead on the side closest to you. It is important to secure the wire on this side to create a proper body shape.
2. Create a thread body by wrapping only a few layers of thread across the body of the fly. To help create a taper, do not add anymore thread to the very back of the fly, add some to the middle, and slightly more behind the bead but still leaving room to whip finish behind the bead.
Step 4: Adding Ribbing and Finishing
1. Leave the thread hanging behind the bead and begin wrapping the wire around the body of the midge. I usually space my wraps so that I can see 5 wraps of thread on my side, the last wrap is usually covered with the whip finish.
2. Position the wire where your thread will catch it behind the bead. Wrap two or three thread wraps around the wire and break the wire off close to the body. Whip finish 2 sets of three turn whip finishes behind the head of the fly and cut the thread.
3. Coat the midge with your choice of either Head Cement or Nail Polish. I personally use Nail polish on Zebra Midges and coat the entire fly.
Step 5: Tips
-Zebra Midges typically benefit from being tied in smaller sizes.
-Zebra Midges seem to catch more fish in the winter, but still produce fish all year.
-It can be difficult to store Zebra Midges in a normal fly box, I glued a magnet in my fly box and it makes removing and storing my Zebra Midges much easier. Simply place the fly on the magnet with several others and it will stay put.