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Techniques for Fly Tying Chironomids
by Greg Leche
Chironomids start to hatch the day the ice leaves the lake and continue until the ice comes back on. However you will find the strongest hatches from mid May till the end of June. For techniques and strategies on how to fish Chironomids, visit my article How to fish Chironomids. Chironomids are one of the trout's main food source. So without a good selection of Chironomids in various sizes, styles and colors. You may not be as successful as someone with a well stocked fly box.
Notes on Chironomid fly tying:
- Chironomids come in several colors: black, brown, green, olive red, tan are just to name a few.
- Can range in size from a tiny #24 to as big as a #8 "bomber". Tunkwa and Leighton Lake are a couple lakes that are noted for "bomber" Chironomids.
- Try using beads on your Chironomid patterns. Beads will help sink your fly down. This reduces the time you waste while waiting for your fly to sink to the desired depth.
- Other beads to consider are small white or clear killer caddis beads. These beads are not very heavy, so they don't sink your fly as much. They are usually used in place of the gills which are usually made of Ostrich Herl or Antron Yarn. These flies are generally called snow-cone Chironomids.
- The material for the body of the fly can be made of many things. My personal favorites are frost bite and super floss. Frostbite seems to give the body a shine that fish just love. Super floss differs from floss as it is very stretchy, like an elastic. Other materials to consider would be floss, antron yarn, uni-yarn, v-rib or even thread.
- The white gills of the Chironomid can also be tied with many different materials. White Ostrich Herl, Antron or Darlon yarn are the most common. One other material to consider is white wool or glo-yarn as it is named on the package. Although more commonly used for Steelhead fishing. This wool costs under two dollars and makes an excellent representation of the gill's.
- Any Chironomid pattern can be tied with or without a small wingcase made of Pheasant Tail fibers.
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