This month’s fly supports the adage that less is more. The Zebra Midge is a nice, all-purpose nymph pattern. The black body with the highly contrasting gold bead and silver wire serves up a dish that trout find hard to resist. It’s also a tiny fly, usually tied in size 18 or smaller, which also works in its favor. Think of these like a bowl full of popcorn that trout will snack on all day long!
The Zebra Midge
Hook: curved shank nymph hook, size 18 or smaller
Thread: Black, 8/0
Head: gold bead
Ribbing: silver wire
Body: black thread
- Load a bead onto the hook, then start your thread behind the bead. Make a thread base along the shank and part way around the bend of the hook.
- Return the thread to the bead, then tie on a piece of silver wire. To do this, hold the wire beneath the shank at a 45 degree angle and trap it against the shank with 3 or 4 loose wraps of thread. Next, gently pull the wire straight back along the shank until the tip of the wire slides beneath the thread wraps. Now continue binding the wire to the bottom of the shank by holding the wire under moderate tension below the level of the hook and wrapping the thread in touching turns. Bind the wire to the point where your thread base ends, around the bend of the hook.
- Return your thread to the bead (in touching turns.) Create a tapered body by layering thread partway down the shank and back to the bead a few times until the taper is created. End this process with your thread hanging at the bead.
- Rib the body with the silver wire. Tie off and trim the wire behind the bead. Whip finish behind the bead and cement.