Fly Of The Week
Stillwater Midge
Stillwater Midge
By Mike Croft, Tacoma, WA USA

Previous Flies
Fly Tying Terms

Stillwater Midge


    Hooks:  Dry fly, 10 to 16, 2x long.

    Thread:  Black 8/0.

    Wing:  Two hackle tips, light dun.

    Tail:  One strand of flashabou.

    Body:  One strand of wool yarn, twisted.

    Ribbing:  3/0 thread, to match natural.

    Wing Case:   Turkey, to match natural's thorax.

    Thorax:  Rabbit fur, to match natural.

Tying Instructions:

The flashabou will reflect light down at an angle. What we want to achieve is a fly that will catch the attention of the fish long enough to make him key in on this bug and not all the others. From below the flashabou will look just like an empty shuck stuck on the back of a midge.

Step 1

1. Tie in one strand of flashabou and run thread up the shank a little bit.

Step 2

2. Try and get the flashabou to form a tent shape about 45 degrees from vertical on both sides.

Step 3

3. Twist the wool until it is very tight then wrap body. Rib if the natural requires it.

Step 4

4. Tie off wool and ribbing (if used). Trim off excess.

Step 5

5. Attach short, light, hackle-tip wings and turkey, matching to natural. Use the turkey to separate the hackle tip wings.

Step 6

6. Dub the thorax to match the natural (usually gray or tan) and tie down turkey wing case. Leave long guard hairs for legs.

Step 7

7. Whip the head and trim the 'shuck-tail' to match the length of the body.

8. The finished fly as seen from above.

Finished Fly

9. Walla!


When asked to do this Fly of the Week, I tried to think of a pattern that would have interest world-wide. There are various species of midges universally distributed, yet for some reason there are very few adult fly patterns. I picked the Stillwater Midge, which is a system more than a pattern. If your fly shop sells chironomids for local use, a variation of this pattern will work in your waters. Tie it on the same hook size as your most popular size of chironomid. It should be noted that the chironomid is the pupa stage of the midge fly. You just can't find one without the other. ~ MC

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