How do you organize your chironomid box?

Kirk Singleton

Capt Kirk
I am about to do a major reorganization of all my chironomids into a new box. I have about 1500 or so. How do you set up your box?
-Color first then organize by size
-Size first and then organize by color,
-A mess without organization jammed in a box
Last edited:


Color, then size within color, then exact pattern (or ribbing variations, etc.). Plus a misc/new/let's-try-this section. But really, it's 6 of one and half-dozen of the other. You're going to want to match both, so doesn't really matter if you start with your #12s and then hit your olive section of 12s, or if you start with your olives and hit the #12 section of olives.


WFF Supporter
Reminds me of a story...( words my kids have learned to dread)
Some years ago, I was on a lake and getting no hits, while guy next to me was doing well. I didn't ask, but he offered up: "Chironomids !" I noticed quite a few floating around me, so I scooped a couple up and took a sample home (ala Brian Chan). Over the next few days, I tied up some very close imitations in several sizes. A couple of days later, I was back on the lake, again with no luck...and again, the guy was nailing them. He finally asked me what color I was using, and I said "Just like the ones on the water.
He said "That's odd, all I'm seeing floating are shucks." ......You can guess the rest.... :rolleyes:
Last edited:


Indi Ira
WFF Supporter
Size then color then.... hah, who am I kidding, I have several boxes and after I tie, I grab one and try to find a spot. Sometimes I organize here and there, but then I ended stuffing things in again.

I do admire others though who take the time to make their boxes look nice. My lack of organization has likely cost me a fish or two while my buddies on a bender and I can’t find a pattern I’m kind of sure that I maybe have. It has also cost me tying more of a pattern than I needed to because I lost track of where something was. If you have ever fished with me, that kind of sums me up.

Phil Fravel

Row by size
Collum by color
Groping by ribbing color

this is my sons box. It was not compleat at time of picture. I tie and organize both boxes the exact same way so we can tell each other what row, Column and #1,2or 3 in the group


  • 5FC5C299-D9F5-4D7E-99F8-449CAB14FEE8.jpeg
    317.5 KB · Views: 68
Last edited:


Active Member
Frickin cram them in there and quickly close the lid! That’s my box....and I have a bunch more in smaller containers stuffed in my gear bag.
View attachment 274196
There does appear to be some semblance of organization - all those wormy things seem to be in one general location, eh!!

Maybe twice a decade I try to organize my midges. One time I went to the trouble of removing all of them onto a table top, sorting by size, color, shape and reinstalling. That works for what? How long? Until you tie a new pattern and decide you need ten of "Olive Dairy"; wait - now I want it with a clear glass bead, no - a white tungsen bead..... and how do I fit in the next dozen or so? Taking all the flies out and sorting them? No, too much trouble. Just start another box.
IMG_5261.jpg Olive Dairy - center row, top. My best ever stillwater BC trout. Wingbud midges. What a pain in the butt for me to tie, mine are just awful. One day we were fishing a nice lake near Kamloops - chromies were working really well. I had a blue beadhead chromie that was super effective. The next day the trout wouldn't look at it. Keith was railing fish with a (big bomber) "Purple People Eater" so of course I had to add a few of those, then in different shades and sizes..... (that's just one box, not saying how many I have).


Active Member
A box or two for each size, colours organized within the boxes. A bit or time spent organizing on the front end mean much less time trying to find what you are looking for on the water.
Bloodworms get a separate box of their own.


Active Member
Sheesh, I got to get on the bench to keep up with you guys. I didn't know you had to organize them too. I just put them in a bin in a box and pull out one that looks like it will fish. My colors are black, red and other. Lots of other, in other sizes too.

Support WFF | Remove the Ads

Support WFF by upgrading your account. Site supporters benefits include no ads and access to some additional features, few now, more in the works. Info

Latest posts