Video: How to Tie the Jujubee Midge

A couple weeks ago, guide Kyle Wilkinson, of Trouts Fly Fishing, offered his “Top 10 Flies for Winter on Colorado’s Front Range,” and his list included two of Charlie Craven’s “Juju” patterns. Now, we’ve got a killer video on how to tie Craven’s Jujubee Midge, the creation of which is described on the Charlie’s Flybox website:

I developed my Jujubee Midge several years back when I was guiding on the South Platte River. Thread midges and the like are productive patterns in Cheesman Canyon, but I needed an edge for these ultra-selective fish. The Jujubee came about quite by accident one day. I was tying braided barracuda flies for an upcoming saltwater trip using SuperHair for the bodies, when I looked at the SuperHair in a different way. What if I wrapped it around a hook to form a midge body, rather than tying it on in hanks as for the cuda fly? I dug out a few smaller hooks and went to town mixing and matching the SuperHair colors to create different color patterns with contrasting ribs. The result is what you see here today.

The pattern has become wildly popular on the tailwaters of the Rockies, but fly fishers in the East have enjoyed similar success, especially in winter.

In this great video from Tightline Productions, Flagler shows how to create these tiny patterns, and the most important tips deal with handling the materials. If you don’t already own plunger-style hackle pliers, you’ll want to run right out and buy some.

Jujubee Midge
Hook: Standard dry-fly hook (here a Dai-Riki #305), size 22-26.
Thread #1: Fluorescent white, 8/0 or 70-denier.
Body: 3 strands of Super Hair: two black, one white.
Thread #2: Black, 8/0 or 70-denier.
Wingcase/legs: White Sparkle Organza or Fluoro Fibre.
Thorax: Black tying thread.
Note: Try the pattern in other color combinations, such as black/red.

5 thoughts on “Video: How to Tie the Jujubee Midge”

  1. Tim,
    Thank you so much for doing all these videos. They are top notch and informative and I enjoy watching every one of them. The Jujubee Midge should be tied on a curved hook such as a TMC 2488 hook. It just makes a much better looking fly as well as a better hooking pattern. I am not a fan of the Dia-Riki hook #305, especially in size 22 as the gap is too small to get a good grip on a fish. I am sure your style Jujubee would work just fine, but the Colorado tailwater fly tiers would never be caught tying or fishing it this way. It would be like tying Catskill patterns on scud hooks!! Either way, I appreciate what you do and I think I speak for all the fly tiers out there.
    Thanks- Hopper Juan.

    1. Juan,
      You got me on this one and I need to come clean. I would have done a video of this pattern years ago, not only because I like it so much but also because so many people have asked for it. The reason I didn’t comes down to one thing, the first turn of the Super Hair strands. On a size 22 or below curved shank emerger hook, no matter what trick I used, lighter thread, Super Hair held vertically, or perpendicular to the shank, slipping wraps down with my finger nail, tight wrap, loose wrap, whatever- the first wrap of the three strands of Super Hair seems to have a mind of its own. The further down the bend you start the wraps the worse the problem becomes. I’ll crank out a dozen Jujubee midges and all look fine even through heavy magnifiers. But with really close-up video, nearly every fly displays uneven, out of place wraps at the first couple of turns (something I’d certainly get grief for). In real life most people would never notice, I don’t think fish would care a bit, but quite frankly it looks like #%^& on video. With a straight shanked hook and the first wrap of Super Hair taken on the flat part of shank, the problem is solved. I caught tons of fish on the straight shanked version during low, clear water conditions this past summer and fall with no perceptible hook-up problems. So, I did the video using a #305.

      All that said, I definitely should have had more respect for the original pattern and its western origin, my bad. And you’re right, the curved shank version looks far sexier than the straight shank. If you have any tricks for nailing that first wrap, I’m all ears. Thanks for providing me the opportunity to cleanse.

  2. Pingback: Top 10 Winter Flies for the Upper Colorado River and Most Surrounding Rivers | Orvis News

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