Video: How to Tie the Mercury Midge

Although most anglers think of midge hatches as winter phenomena, these tiny insects hatch year-round in most places. (In fact, some stillwater anglers focus on midges almost exclusively throughout the season.) Winter anglers love midges best because Chironomids are often the only hatches that bring fish to the surface during the coldest months. (See yesterday’s. . .

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Video: How to Tie the Copper Zebra Midge

Midges are great patterns year-round, but they can be particularly useful in winter, when there’s so little other insect activity going on. Midge patterns are usually quite simple, partly because working with tiny hooks can be tough, especially for the sausage-fingered among us. So at first glance, the Copper Zebra Midge looks like a nightmare because it has so many features, such as. . .

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Video: How to Tie the Muddler Minnow

Muddler Minnow from Tightline Productions on Vimeo.

The Muddler Minnow was first tied by Minnesota angler Don Gapen in 1936 on the Ontario’s Nipigon River, where he owned a sportsmen’s resort. The fly was designed to catch the huge brook trout of the Nipigon, but variations of the fly have since caught hundreds of species, in fresh and salt water. Although most anglers consider it an imitation of a sculpin, you can fish the. . .

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Video: How to Tie the Shucked Up Emerger

Shucked Up Emerger from Richard Strolis on Vimeo.

We have featured many patterns from Connecticut-based guide Rich Strolis—such as his verion of a Blue-winged Olive Thorax pattern—and here’s a great emerger pattern to go with it. Blue-winged olives are among the most important insects in early spring out West, often hatching on overcast days or even during snow squalls. In the video, Rich says the fly is so effective he’s even a little hesitant to share his recipe, but I guess he can’t help himself…which helps us.

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Video: How to Tie the Beadhead Soft-Hackle Pheasant Tail

One of the oldest modern nymphs, the Pheasant Tail was created by English River Keeper Frank Sawyer, who wrote about it in his 1958 book Nymphs and the Trout. Ever since then, it has been one of the most popular nymphs for fly fishermen around the world. The fly is so successful because it seems to imitate a. . .

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Video: How to Tie the Pumpkin Head Midge

Last week, we featured a simple, diminutive midge pattern, so I figured we’d with go with something a little more garish this week. The Pumpkin Head Midge combines a dark body with a fluorescent-orange head—hardly mimicking the natural—to create something that’s both eye-catching and “buggy.” I know first-hand the power of fluorescent orange. When my friend Joe Phillips introduced me to. . .

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Video: How to Tie the Serendipity Midge

The Serendipity is a variation on the British Buzzer midge patterns that have been around forever. This modern American version is credited to the late Madison River guide Russ Marigold, who showed the fly to Craig Mathews—owner of Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone, Montana—in 1988. Marifold’s original had a smooth floss body of brown or olive, wrapped with a gold wire rib. He later. . .

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Video: How to Tie the Hornberg Dry Fly

I grew up fishing the traditional Hornberg Special pattern, which is a New England favorite—although it was first tied by a Wisconsin game warden named Frank Hornberg in the 1920s. In fact, it’s possible that the very first trout I ever caught on a fly was a brookie that fell for a Hornberg trolled behind a canoe paddled by my older brother and me on New Hampshire’s. . .

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