Swap Cutter inverted midge swap


Active Member

Ralph Cutter's challenge to come up with "the fly" representing an inverted emerging midge trapped beneath the surface film (see http://washingtonflyfishing.com/board/showthread.php?t=47654) got me thinking about hosting a swap.

Are any of you designers interested in a swap to compare, contrast and field test our patterns? The ultimate goal would be to mix and match the characteristics (tying ease, visibility, hooking ability, fragility, etc) of each to help create the ideal fly. Feedback could be continually updated on this thread as our patterns evolve in regard to materials, tying, presentation, etc.

Flies mailed 6/28/08

riseform (Nick)...........................Cutter inverted emerger
obiwankanobi (Bob)....................dropped
Mike........................................Woven body bean bag emerger
Ron.........................................Cutter Chromie, Cutter Phrowley
spritualized50 (Eric)....................Inverted emerger

We'll be tying a total of 20 flies (including your own 4). Two flies of each size, size 14 and size 16. Due date June 21, 2008. Thanks to all who participated.
I will bite on this Riseform since when the challenge came up on the previous thread, I had a great solution for pattern that will demonstrate the characteristic "U" shape of the natural without compromising the "catching" ability of the fly by the invertion of the hook.



Active Member
Sadly, only 95 views in a one week trial balloon. Even though this is an atypical swap in terms of developing a fly rather than exchanging proven patterns, I had anticipated a bit more enthusiasm.

I think this fly has great potential to fill a niche for selectively feeding trout. It could be the fly that turns a frustrating day into a productive one. Given the plethora of tying and fishing talent on this board, I have no doubt that a durable, visible and effective fly could be created. Does anyone else see an opportunity here? I'll give it another week before I stop cheerleading.


-Marc Chapman, icthyoantagonist
I'd participate if I had the time, but work will have me swamped for the next two months and I haven't even prototyped anything yet. I really like the idea, though!


Active Member
Ok, it looks like we have at least 5 participants so I think it's worth a go. If more people want to join, please feel free.

Since this involves a new design, I'll put the due date out to summer solstice, June 21, 2008. That will give us time to tie, float, modify and perhaps fish our personal designs before swapping.

Being a small swap, I'm suggesting 4 flies each?
2 in size 18
2 in size 20

That should cover the usual sizes and provide a spare if you break one off on your first fish when field testing. Keep them in a special tin and you'll be able to refer back to the pictures to remember who belongs to what after a day of fishing. Let me know if it's too many flies or you'd prefer alternate sizes. If more people sign up we could cut down the number or just do one size.

I recognize you may not fish midges until fall, winter or early next spring, but ultimately we're looking for feedback from each participant. When you finally find yourself tossing midges to a rising pod of selective fish, please report back on results, likes, dislikes, hooking ability, visibility, fly longevity, how you fished it (greased tippet, as a dropper, etc). Remember, our goal is to create the perfect fly, which may borrow characteristics from each of our patterns. Thanks to those who have signed up.


Active Member
Sounds good to me.

so that is 4 flies of the same pattern (in 2 sizes), for 20 total, correct?

Correct, that'd be twenty total.

I'm toying with several designs, so I'd open up that if someone can't decide between two design styles, you could submit one pair as 18's and the alternate design as a pair of 20's (same total number).

If any of you are doing a small hook hanging from a suspended body, feel free to use any size hook you prefer for the design.


Active Member
That's fine with me, I just chose sizes based upon what I usually fish, but I'm open. Give me two sizes you'd likely find yourself using and we'll come to a consensus. I'm going to bump the original Cutter thread one last time.


Active Member
I made my decision based on my personal experience as well. Most of my midge fishing is Montana tailwaters and spring creeks off season and it's usually size 18 or smaller. I don't do a lot of lake fishing. Let's see what the other members want and we'll make an easy decision.

My goal is to have sizes that we'll actually test and use rather than sit in a box somewhere because they're the wrong size. It's such a small group, we could even tailor them to individual member's needs.
i would say 14 and 16 would probably be right for most lakes around here. I was at rattlesnake last week, and the big bow i caught puked out some size 8's in my net so they can be quite big! But i am also kind of a newb at chronie fishing so this is just my observation from a small sampling of trips.