Sorry... more chironomid questions

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Kaiserman, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. As (I think) I've mentioned before, I'm going to "pull the trigger" on fishing with chironos this coming spring.

    I have to tie some up, but was wondering what would be the best hook sizes and styles to start with?

    I know the scud and the stimulator styles are popular, but not sure what sizes to start out with. What about the Alec Jackson style?

    I have Googled some things, but it just seems like size 12 and 14 is kind of a big size to start out with around here. I know that they can get to be around an inch long, and I know a lot depends on what, when, where, etc - on lake conditions, but the key is - I just want to get started.

    Also, would it be worth the extra $$$ to buy tungsten beads?

    Thanks guys...
  2. Chromies, black body/red rib, and red body/white bead are good for starters. Scud hooks and AJ hooks in #10-16 are my favorites because of the wide gap - just be sure they are heavy wire. Fine wire hooks bend out on fish in the 15" + range. Tungsten beads are nice but if you're just getting started, stick with brass. They still sink.

    Don't neglect micro leeches.

    Edit: if you like tying books, check out Rowley's Fly Patterns for Stillwaters. I pull it out anytime I'm looking for inspiration. Not just for patterns but for techniques.
  3. We grow our bugs pretty big up here so most of the chironomids I see can be imitated tied on a #12 or #14 hook . There are exceptions , of course . Some of the bugs you`ll see at Tunkwa in August need to be imitated on at least a size 8 3xl hook ! For other hatches on other waters , I`ve tied them as small as #24 .

    I like scud hooks a little more than longer shanked hooks , but I`m not all that fussy .

    Anti-static bags can be your friend . Free (usually) , durable , and they take on different shades , depending on your color choice for thread .
    Don`t forget to tie up some bloodworms though .:)
    Dave Kaiserman likes this.
  4. Early Spring a #14 or #16 will work. Usually nothing smaller is needed. I also have #12 chromies along.
    Dave Kaiserman likes this.
  5. I usually tie 14-18 for the basin. I know people who will go smaller, and we've call caught some on #12s.

    Light wire scud hooks will open up after a while, but sometimes I feel like the 2xh are a little thick. Probably something I need to get over. But I agree, I wouldn't tie midges on light-wire hooks.

    Tungsten is entirely not necessary, though there's nothing wrong with it. Personally I am not willing to pay for it. A while ago they cost half or less of what they do now, and it was a little more feasible. But necessary? No.

    One thing that you can go to if you get really serious about 'mid fishing is a leader that isn't really tapered and is just a lot of skinny line. Thinner sinks much easier, seems like exponentially so. Say, run X feet of 10 lb (preferably fluoro), a swivel or tippet ring, and then 2' of 3x or 4x, a dropper another two feet off of that, etc. Casting isn't so pretty which is why it isn't much of a general purpose set-up, but it will sink a helluva lot easier than a leader with a thick butt section or even the thicker sections of the taper.
    Dave Kaiserman likes this.
  6. Awesome input men, thank you very much!!!

    I think I just learned more in just these few posts, than all the reading I've done online so far! :)

    Brian, are using the bags for the whole body, or just the thorax?

  7. Funny, I read this post thinking, "This guy has it nailed!" not realizing it was you. You changed your avatar.

    As for tungsten not being necessary, yes that is correct but then neither is fluorocarbon or any number of other steps, but tungsten gives you a few advantages that brass does not. It sinks faster yes, but more importantly it also hangs your bugs more accurately under an indicator so you are more appropriately in a zone. I like to take every variable out of play when I attempt to catch fish.
    Nick Clayton likes this.
  8. Personally I find size 12 to be the magic number for western Washington lakes in general. Chironomids, bloodworms, micro leeches, semi seal leeches.... Generally unless I have a specific reason to do otherwise, when I tie on a fly there is a good chance it's a size 12.

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