Chiro colors

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by JMitchell, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. markdmen

    markdmen New Member

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    If you read Phil Rowley, he can really help. His theory on hook shape is interesting: basically if chirons are coming off the bottom and staging to begin their ascent to the surface, he prefers straight shank hooks because they haven't started migrating upward (wiggling). Mid water or when the bugs begin to move from the lake bottom towards the surface, he prefers curved shank hooks to imitate the wiggling motion of the ascending insects. He also likes the idea of tying "redbutts" on the pupal patterns as they change from the larval stage to pupal stage which suggests the straighter shanked ties should incorporate a turn or two of something red near the butt of the fly. Even on the curved patterns, we've gotten in the habit of adding a little red at the butt of the fly. Grey/redbutts have become a staple pattern. Thin is important and therefor we use little more than 8/0 tying thread to make the bodies and coat them all with superglue to preserve the color and add durability.
     
  2. Rick Todd

    Rick Todd Active Member

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    Mark-when I was at Dry Falls a couple weeks ago, someone was killing a fish (I guess one is legal in that lake) and gave all the stomach contents to one of the fly club members. That bottle was FULL of chiros and it was interesting to see them swim around. Most were what I would call a "chromie" with a shiny grey body in sizes 12 2x down to 20 1x. Very interesting to see that! I thought they looked just like my static bag chromies, but I would think a grey thread body coated with superglue would be a good imitation as well. Do you get the weight for the fly from the bead or do you wrap some lead up near the head? Rick
     
  3. markdmen

    markdmen New Member

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    Rick, I never weight chirons, no place to hide the lead without making the fly too bulky or perverting the taper. These bugs are definitely tapered. I use either metal beads (which adds weight) but actually use more ceramic beads, which can be found ridiculously cheap at any bead shop, to simulate midge gills. The metal beads obviously add some weight, but the ceramic beads are pretty light. To get long leaders down with small flies I use a combination of barrel swivels, super-small splitshot, or multiple flies. Its also a good idea to keep some patterns without beads in your fly box. "Old style" antron gills on patterns used for selective or "educated" fish which see a lot of flies. MM
     
  4. Brian Thomas

    Brian Thomas Active Member

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    A gunmetal grey chironomid , tied with flashabou for the body , ribbed with red wire , and black bead , is one of my favorite patterns .
     
  5. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Brian, any chance you have a photo of the gunmetal grey with flashabou? It sounds simliar to a few I've purchased, but I've yet to really get into tying smaller chiros, dries and emergers. I need to force myself to tie smaller flies, many of those boxes need refilling. Thanks.
     
  6. markdmen

    markdmen New Member

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    gunmetal grey is the standard Rowley "static interference" anti-static bag chironomid pattern, using strips of anti-static bag material used to package electronics components -- his theory is when the pupae are readying to ascend, the gasses which form between the shuck and insect emit a translucence, or shimmering effect when reflecting light - its the trapped gasses inside the casing which allow the insect to move towards the surface - he, too, likes the black bead vs. white because the fly by itself is bright enough and easily seen by fish
     
  7. Brian Thomas

    Brian Thomas Active Member

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    Ed - I`ll post a pic tonight . I`m heading out the door in a couple of minutes to go fish a big fish lake .
     
  8. Stonefish

    Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

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    You can easily add lead without changing the taper or profile of your bug.
    Buy some 0.010 lead wire. Two turns for 16's and 18's with small beads, three for 12's and 14's with larger beads. Slide the lead up inside the beads and push it in tight with the tip of an old pair of tying scissors.
    No change to the taper or profile of the bug and it really helps increase the sink rate.
    Tungsten beads of course are the other option.
     
  9. markdmen

    markdmen New Member

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    good ideas re: adding lead; personally it doesn't work real well for me because I use so few metal beads. I use cheap ceramic beads (all colors and sizes) in which there is no space to cram anything. Another "theory" I have is that in general I don't like adding weight to stillwater patterns because (in my mind anyway) it causes them to act unnaturally in the water. Weighted flies resist currents, especially small flies which are more affected by current than bigger bugs. Subtle movements I want to impart to the fly are affected by added weight and can make the fly appear less natural. I achieve depth by changing lines or adding small types of weight (or more flies) to some other portion of the terminal tackle, not to the fly itself. About the only flies I add weight to are the Denny Rickards leech patterns in which he adds lead to the front portion of the fly to give it a jigging motion when retrieved. I'm speaking strictly stillwater fishing here. Rivers are a different matter all together.