Failed / Emerging Midge (Chronomid).
This isn?t a pattern of my own invention. Many years ago Alan Roe arrived home from work late. On looking in the refrigerator for something to eat he saw a box containing 4 packs of Birds Eye Cod in Parsley Sauce. Grabbing it he put two in the microwave for dinner. Between the packs he found a sheet of thin foam packing material. After his dinner he sat for a couple of hours thinking that there must be a fly tying application for this foam sheet. This pattern is what he came up with. A few years later he taught me fly tying; one of the patterns he showed me was this one.
His method of fishing it is still effective today. It is a great pattern for the times when fish are sipping little midges from the surface. Set up a leader with two or three droppers. Put one of these on each dropper. On the point place a large parachute fly, with a visible wing post. Cast out across the wind, and place your rod down on the ground. Watch the parachute fly on the point as the flies drift round in the wind. When the parachute moves bend down and pick up the rod. The time it takes to pick up the rod will delay the strike just enough to let the fish turn on the fly.
Hook: Size 16 light wire curved shank.
Thread: Black UTC 70.
Breathers: Uni Floss White.
Rib: Fine wire, any colour you like.
Thorax: Course dubbing red, (seal?s fur or substitute).
Wing: Thin closed cell packing foam.
Start the thread and tie in a good doubled length of the white Uni Floss. The Uni Floss should be tied in at the highest point on the curved shank (12 o?clock). Make sure there is at least 2 inches of floss forward from the eye.
Continue along the shank in neat touching turns. As you go catch in some very fine wire under the hook shank. As the thread forms the abdomen your turns need to be neat and even. No gaps, no lumps.
Return the thread to the 12 o?clock position again in neat touching turns.
Follow the thread with the fine wire as a rib. Tie off the wire when the reaches the point the thread is now hanging. Worry off the extra wire. (Twist it around until it breaks, don?t cut wire. It ruins your scissors, and isn?t as secure. When you break the wire it leaves a burr that acts like a barb on a hook.)
Take a very small amount of red dubbing. Dub this to the thread. The dubbing noodle should be no more than ?? (12 mm) long. You don?t need much. Wind it in front of the floss.
In front (eye side) of the dubbing tie the floss down to the top of the hook shank, leaving a loop sticking up over the dubbing. The turns of thread used to tie the floss down should not be tight, only bobbin weight.
You will need a piece of closed cell foam. I am lucky in that I have found some that is backed with Tyvek. It can often be found in packaging. Ideally it should be about the same thickness as the wire of your hook. I have made a tool to cut out the wings, but you can do it with scissors. The tear drop shaped wing cutters that come in sets of four sizes are good for this fly. Fold the foam along one edge and punch or cut a truncated tear drop shape from the folded edge. The narrowest part of the tear drop shape should be at the fold. When the fold is opened the shape should be an elongated figure 8.
Take your wings and insert into the loop of floss. Then slowly pull the ends of the floss to tighten the loop down onto the wing.
As you pull it down the floss will crimp the wing a little. You want this. It helps the wing maintain its shape while in use.
Split the floss and tie down tightly with crossed wraps. Form a 3 turn whip finish immediately in front of the wing, behind the floss.
To secure everything apply a small bead of Diamond Fine UV Varnish along the floss over the wing and the whip finish. Leave it for a few moments to soak into the floss before zapping it with your UV laser.
Once dried, trim out the floss close to the eye, and at the tail. Hold the floss under tension and make one straight cut. Cut both pieces at once so they are equal, about 1/32? (1.5 mm) long at the head, and about twice that at the tail.
Then you have a finished fly.
You can tie it in any colour you like, but I find that different colours do not make much difference. Below are some more tied with blue dun thread.
In the above picture you can clearly see the Tyvek backing on the foam. If you can find this then it is best foam I have ever found for this fly.
The hooks I use for these are available from Finneys Flies. http://www.finneysflies.com/hooks_84.html
Diamond Fine is available from Deer Creek. http://www.deercreek.co.uk/DIAMOND-UV-RESINS.html
Good luck in finding Tyvek backed foam sheet. If you do find a supply, I would love to know about it.