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Tying Video – Black Midge

The Black Midge is another soft hackle fly that I am including in the upcoming Tie-A-Thon this spring.  It is a wonderful little fly and very easy to tie.  Not as easy as the Partridge and Yellow but almost.  The version that I am tying in the video is an updated version of the one found in Ray Bergman’s book Trout.  The fly is shown on Plate no. 6 and the recipe calls for only a floss body and a black hackle collar.  However, in doing a little research into the pattern I ran across an article by Don Bastian on his website where he tied the Black Midge just a little different.  When tying small soft hackles and wet flies with floss bodies it is common for the back end of the floss body to start loosening and sliding down the bend of the hook.   Often if a tag is behind the floss the tag is applied onto the hook in a manner as to anchor the back of the floss body.  If there is not a tag then a “keeper” strand of floss (see next weeks video on the Grey Hackle Yellow) is tied in and folded over the back of the floss body to keep it from sliding down the bend of the hook.  For this version of the Black Midge Don Bastian tied in an additional bit of floss but he twists it and wraps it in as a rib.  This helps the floss body to stay in place but it also adds some segmentation and bulk to the profile of the body.

I mention in the video that I use a UNI-Floss for the body and the rib on this fly.  Danville 4-Strand Rayon would also work but I would use two strands for the body and two for the rib unless you are tying on hooks smaller than size 14.  The UNI-Floss is a single strand which is thicker than a single strand of Rayon and I think it twists better.  Speaking of, I also mention that I twist the strand counter-clockwise when wrapping in the rib.  When I twist it clockwise it tends to unravel easier and I end up with less of a nice segmentation to the fly.  Maybe it is just me and the way I am wrapping it but that is what works for me.  However you choose to twist it, you will have to twist it tighter after each wrap so it stays as a cord an does not flatten out.


I mentioned above that I will be tying this fly at an upcoming Tie-A-Thon in Northern Indiana in May.  I went into greater detail about this event in the post and video on the Partridge & Yellow.  However, I do want to include some into and a link to the flier for the event in case anyone is interested in donating flies or participating in the event.  The Tie-A-Thon is being hosted by the St. Joseph River Valley Fly Fishers and all flies are being donated to a number of program to help young people learn to fly fish.  I know when I was a fledgling little fisherman I would have loved to have someone who knew how to fly fish set me on the path.  Unfortunately, I did not have any such person so it took a few more years before fate intervened and I was able to teach myself.  For now, click on the image to the left and it will take you to where you can download a PDF of the event with all the info.  By the way, even if you are hundreds of miles away you can donate flies to the cause!  More about this event in coming videos.

Hook:Mustad 3906, 3906b or 3399, #10 – #16
Thread:Uni-Thread 8/0, Black
Body & Rib:Uni-Floss, Black
Hackle:Hen Hackle, Black
Links above are to affiliate products as are the links to books or videos mentioned in this post.  If you purchase any of these products through the affiliate link it helps Dressed Irons.  Thanks in advance!

If you would like to purchase some Black Midge flies there are a number for sale (while supplies last).

If you haven’t yet, sign up for the weekly newsletter to stay up to date on Dressed Irons as well as receiving more details about this upcoming class.  The sign up form is on the right of this page!

As always, if you have any questions about this fly (or any other) you can leave a comment on Dressed Irons or any of the videos I have produced and I will help in anyway I can. Enjoy!

Remember….. It’s Fly tying….. If you’re not having fun, You’re Doin’ It Wrong.

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