Competition fly fishing requires patterns that are both effective and durable; you don’t want to waste fly-fishing time changing flies, after all. Chris Lee of North Carolina designed the Turbo Midge with a combination of silver and pearlescent ribbing material set off against a black body, which offers attractive flash and contrast. During the 2012 Fly Fishing Team USA National Championships–held Oregon’s Upper Deschutes and Crooked Rivers–Lee and his teammates used the Turbo Midge to take the silver medal. One member of the team, Loren Williams, writes that he caught 73 rainbows and whitefish over 20cm in three hours, mostly using the Turbo Midge.
In this great video by Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions, US Youth Fly Fishing Team member Doug Freemann demonstrates how to tie Lee’s pattern, which is extremely simple. It’s really just a bead, a body, two ribs, and a thorax. The Turbo Midge gets to the bottom quickly, which means that it is in the strike zone longer, a valuable trait in a small fly. So twist up a few of these and try them on your local trout.
Hook: Barbless jig hook (here, an Umpqua C400BL), sizes 14-18.
Bead: Silver slotted faceted tungsten bead, 2.5mm.
Thread: Black, 8/0 or 70-denier.
Rib #1: Silver Ultra Wire, X-SM.
Rib #2: Opalescent Sulky Sliver Metallic thread.
Adhesive: UV cure.
Collar: Black synthetic peacock dubbing, fine.