Winter Fly Fishing – Midge Patterns For Colorado

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Effective Midge Patterns for Colorado

If You’re Anything Like Me, The Dead of Winter is Like a Jail Cell. You Get Cooped Up For Hours on End, Rarely Getting a Chance to Get Outside and Do What You Love: Fly Fishing. So You Come to The Catch and The Hatch, Read Articles, Look at Fly Fishing Pictures, Watch Fly Fishing Videos and Dream About The Warmer, Fishable Months. Then You Tie Enough Flies to Last You Through 2020. All of That Gets You Through to About January 25th. Then You Start Jonesin’. So You Do What Any Self-Respecting Fly Fisherman Does in The Winter and Put on 4 Layers of Clothing and Go Fishing Regardless of the Weather.

It’s Different Than What You Might Expect

What You’ll Find However, is Winter Fly Fishing is Fundamentally Different Than Fishing During Any of the Other Seasons of the Year. Fish Are Slower, More Lethargic and Not Willing to Move to Eat Your Fly as Aggressively as the Summer or Fall. You Have Unexpected Hurdles Like Your Fly Line Freezing, or Your Eyes on Your Rod Filling in With Ice Preventing You From Casting. The Flies Are Smaller, the Food Sources Are Less Active and Plentiful, and On Top of It, You Only Have 3-5 Hours of Good Fishing At Best Since the Sun Rises at 7 and Sets at 5.

If You Want to Learn How to Fly Fish Successfully During the Winter, You Can Read My Other Post – 5 Tips to Successful Winter Fly Fishing, and Then Come Back Here Where I Will Outline a Few of My Favorite Midge Patterns for Winter Fly Fishing That Will Make the Difference in a Memorable Day, and Just a Plain Cold Day.

It’s All About the Midges

Like it or Not, They Are the Most Active Year Round Bug in Colorado. They Are Small, Hard to See if Your Fishing Dry Fly Midge Patterns, and Typically Require Patience, Stalking, and a Good Cast to the Fish Feeding on Midges. Below Are a Few Midge Patterns I Would Highly Recommend as They Have Brought Me the Most Success in Colorado.

I Have Chosen These Flies For the Following Reasons:

  • Quick and Easy to Tie For All Levels of Fly Tyers
  • Cheap Patterns Requiring Few Materials
  • They Are My Most Successful Midge Patterns

Nymph Patterns for Midges

The First Midge Pattern I Would Recommend is Pat Dorsey’s Mercury Midge. It’s Fast, Cheap, and Effective. Everything You Could Hope For in a Fly Pattern.

Fish This Pattern Next to the Bottom With an Egg, or Large Attractor Pattern as the Lead Nymph. Watch for Subtle Strikes and Be Ready for That Hawg.

Mercury Midge

  • Hook Type: Tiemco 2457
  • Hook Size: 18-26
  • Thread Type: 70 Denier Thread
  • Thread Color: Shiny Metallic in Colors Red, Black, Blue, Brown, and Olive
  • Wire Type: Small
  • Wire Color: Silver, Gold, Black, Red, Pink and More
  • Dubbing: Optional in Sizes 22 and Up, But Anything Ultra Fine Will Work.
  • Bead: Mercury Bead
  • Effectiveness: 8/10
  • Difficulty to Tie: 1/10 – Very Easy
  • Average Cost Per Fly – .50 to .60 Per 25

Buy This Pattern – (Closest I Could Find) photo

Buy The Materials and Tie Your Own

Thread – UTC Ultra Thread 70 Denier color: Black photo $1.55
Beads - Glass Beads photo  $2.00
Wiring -Hareline: Ultra Wire  photo$1.90
Hooks - Tiemco 2457 Hooks  photo$23.10 for 100 Hooks

Emerger Patterns for Midges

I Prefer Emerger Patterns to Be Flashy and Float Just Below the Surface Film. This Fly Does a Great Job of That as The Coarse Wing Casing Makes it Slightly Buoyant.

Fish This When It Gets Above Freezing and the Fish Start Tailing or a Hatch is Coming of For Best Success.

  • Hook Type: Tiemco 2457
  • Hook Size: 18-26
  • Thread Type: 70 Denier –
  • Thread Color: Shiny Metallic in Colors Red, Black, Blue, Brown, and Olive
  • Wire Type: Small
  • Wire Color: Silver, Gold, Black, Red, and Pink
  • Dubbing: Optional in Sizes 22 and Up, But Anything Ultra Fine Will Work.
  • Wing Case: Krystal Flash Mixed Colors From Hareiline Dubbin, INC.
  • Effectiveness: 7/10
  • Difficulty to Tie: 2/10 – Very Easy
  • Average Cost Per Fly - .50 to .60 Per 25 

Buy This Pattern – (Closest I Could Find) photo

Buy The Materials and Tie Your Own

Thread – UTC Ultra Thread 70 Denier color: Black photo $1.55
Beads - Glass Beads photo  $2.00
Wiring -Hareline: Ultra Wire  photo$1.90
Wing Casing Krystal Flash photo $4.50
Hooks - Tiemco 2457 Hooks  photo$23.10 for 100 Hooks

Dry Fly Pattern for Midges

The 2 Patterns I Use Are a Griffiths Gnat and a Small Parachute Adams #20-#26. These Are Great Patterns That Represent a Midge Very Well During the Winter Months.  The Parachute is Usually The Lead Fly as It’s Easier to See.  Remember Here That Size is the Most Important Attribute to Match.

Fish These on 6x With a Long Leader and Some Stealth. Trout Sipping on Dry Flies During the Winter Are Spookier Than Usual Since the Water is Lower.  It Can However, Be Some of the Most Rewarding and Exciting Dry Fly Fishing of the Year Though.

How to Tie a Griffiths Gnat

  • Hook Type: Tiemco 100
  • Hook Size: 18-26
  • Thread Type: 70 Denier –
  • Thread Color: Black and Grey
  • Dubbing: Peacock Herl
  • Wing Case/Hackle: Grizzly Hackle (Whiting Farms Recommended)
  • Effectiveness: 8/10
  • Difficulty to Tie: 2/10 – Very Easy
  • Average Cost Per Fly - .50 to .60 Per 25 

Buy This Pattern

Buy Griffiths Gnat: Griffiths Gnat $.84 Per Fly photo

Buy The Materials For This Pattern

Thread – UTC Ultra Thread 70 Denier color: Black photo $1.55
Hooks - Tiemco 100 Hooks photo $18.55 for 100 Hooks
Dubbing: Peacock Herl photo $5.50
Dry Fly Hackle – Whiting Farms Dry Fly Hackle photo $18.00

How to Tie a Parachute Adams

  • Hook Type: Tiemco 100
  • Hook Size: 18-26
  • Thread Type: 70 Denier –
  • Thread Color: Grey, Black, and Olive Are Your Best Winter Colors
  • Dubbing: Anything Ultra Fine to Match The Thread
  • Parachute: Mcflylon White or Yellow or Pink (Pink for Black Works Really Well)
  • Hackle: Grizzly and Brown Hen Hackle to Match Hook Size
  • Effectiveness: 7/10
  • Difficulty to Tie: 6/10 – Moderate
  • Average Cost Per Fly - .60 to .70 Per 25 

Buy This Pattern

Parachute Adams: Parachute Adams: Many Sizes photo $.84 Per Fly

Buy The Materials For This Pattern

Thread – UTC Ultra Thread 70 Denier color: Black photo $1.55
Hooks - Tiemco 100 Hooks photo $18.55 for 100 Hooks
Parachute: Mcflylon Parachute
Dry Fly Hackle – Whiting Farms Dry Fly Hackle photo $18.00

Get On The Vise!

If You Have These Materials Then You’re Good to Go. Tie Some of These Babies Up and Go Hit Your Local Tailwater or Any Open Stretch of River. If There’s Trout in the River, There’s Midges.

If You Don’t Have The Materials, We’ve Posted a Few Links That I Use to Purchase These Materials. I Prefer to Use the Best Materials Out There at the Lowest Price. Below Are My Recommendations.

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