Ive, I know I'm a bit late here, but as a died in the wool, yet branching out chironomid fisherman I'd say you have stumbled on some great advice. My go to pattern for lakes are a size 12 black tungsten beaded mid with a black body and red holo ribbing wrapped with scud backing or coated with Sally Hansens (scud back is easier, but they don't quite sheen as nice), I also use white antron for gills above the bead. From there I pump and match. Most bugs I pump are black and the hemoglobin in their bodies give them a reddish ribbing. When the bugs are about to start popping then they start to take on the chrome color but they will often times take days to make this happen. In this time the bugs are better ribbed with a silver rib. Once they start to really get serious about popping that is when the chromy becomes king. Fish really like to key in on this stage when it is happening and if you miss it nothing else really works. This is a great pattern to fish as the fish rise in the water column to follow the hatch. I almost always fish size 12 or 14 scud hook mids, but I have found at times that when the fish are highly pressured or when a hatch has been heavy for a few days/weeks they will happily take size 18 bugs. During lolls in the fishing try throwing on blood worm or a balance leech.