Over the years I have found chironomid fishing is often long periods of inactivity with occasional bursts of energetic action! During those dull intervals when the trout seems to be totally zipper-mouthed, we keep changing flies to see if a new colour or shape can bring on some strikes. You are indeed puzzled by the fact the chironomid that was hot last year is being totally ignored now! Such was the case on a late June trip my friend Al Kouritzin and I made to Fawn Lake off Highway 24 in the Southern Cariboo. Most of the morning had passed with only one good fish that I managed to boat using a brown chironomid with a white bead and gold rib, a fly that has produced well in past years. However, ever so slight changes can sometimes make a difference which we were to find out. We both had changed patterns several times when Al hit on the right colour combination. Yes, it had a brown body but with a dark bead and a red rib. Suddenly hits began every few minutes with this fly when most of the morning we were fishless! Why? I guess it is a case where the fish are always right just like baseball umpires even when blind! If you should review my previous fly articles, this chironomid is very similar to the one described in number 199, May 2013, the Gardom Lake chironomid. The small difference is a wisp of a tail and a black thread collar rather than peacock herl.
Pinch the hook barb and slide a small black bead, say 5/64 in size, to the hook eye. I like to add a few turns of fine lead wire just behind the bead to quicken the fly sink rate but this is optional. Then secure a short piece of white floss over the lead wrap to be trimmed later above the bead. Now half hitch a piece of small red wire along the hook shank to be later wound forward as the rib. Next wrap medium brown size D rod winding thread hook bead to hook bend and try to create a slightly tapered body, thinner at the tail. Tie off at the tail leaving just a short stub at this point. An option that can also produce is a very short tail of green crystal flash in a slight "V" shape. Wrap the red wire forward in spaced turns to create the rib and tie off at the bead. Finish the fly with a black or dark brown thread wrap just behind the bead taking care to leave a piece of the white floss projecting above the bead. Trim the white floss short and then apply a coat of hardener such as Sally Hansen's Hard as Nails product throughout the fly body. Why did this chironomid produce when similar flies did not? I guess that's a question that only the fish can answer!
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