For my larger chronnies (above size 18), I use a white bead which takes the place of gills. Below that size, I'm using 1/16" beads and they don't paint up well and aren't available in white, so I use gill material on those. Rick
I think the white bead imitates what it imitates. I don't think the fish look at it and think to themselves, "Hey those are gills" or vise a versa. The white bead or multiple other contraptions on our bugs are attractors that set out bugs appart from the other bugs, something just different enough to catch their attention while at the same time not scaring them away altogether. When they are real keyed in that's when a more natrural approach becomes all the more important; size, color etc...
I'm seeing more and more doubles but I have not fished them yet, can't wait to give it a try.
As for gills I use antron on almost all my bugs, but I used to use ostritch don't know why I switched but I catch more fish now.
I think that if the bead is supposed to imitate a bubble, a silver bead would be a better choice. The static bag chromies do a good job of looking like a chironomid surrounded with air bubbles. The patterns that Randy Diefert ties with oil filled larva lace also imitate air bubbles. But who is to know-whatever turns the fish on is what we are striving for. Rick
I was thinking the same thing....LOL
I found this about the white bead I thought was good info:
"The Ice Cream Cone is meant to represent deep lying chironomid pupae. It is primarily a stillwater pattern that is especially effective when the naturals are staging. The pattern sinks quickly to depth where its white bead head, thought to indicate the gills of the natural, acts as a trigger point."
True, same here, but the bead was what I was getting at. Barber poles work good, and that Patriot. It originally is a simpler fly with no thorax, wing case, gills. That is just me doing that. It works killer either way, but again, with just bead, I let it just sink, with gills, I will pull occasionally for movement and wiggle.
Some of the chrinomids I see hatch on Rufus Woods are huge. They are literally the size of stoneflies. The underwater patterns are easy to tie and imitate for these "bombers". Right now I use a #10 or #8 black parachute pattern on top with some success. Been experimenting so I'll be ready in June this year when the big fish come to the surface to play.