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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to see pictures of the top 3 favorite cronies in your fly box. Your most productive and go-to patterns that you depend on to quickly get in touch with the fish. My searches on the board have turned up sporadic chironomid images but I don't find a devoted thread to displaying a wide range of cronie patterns. Perhaps a devoted thread with a concentration of chironomid pictures would eliminate some of the hunt and peck now needed to find good information.

I am having a hard time getting motivated to tie, 20'' of snow on the ground and 0 degree weather for days with more heavy snow predicted tonight haven't exactly encouraged me to get started. Normally I start tying the day after Halloween but last year November was so nice that it just didn't seem like tying weather. Now it is only 51 days until the March 1st opener and I need to get ready for early season bobber fishing.

Whaddaya' got and where do ya' use it?
 

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Ive - I uploaded three chronies that I often use (only three??)......
Arthropod Fluid Liquid Insect Parasite

Last year we hiked into a BC lake, tortured by biting mosquitoes and deer flies. Once lakeside, before a huge wind came in, we did pretty well with the "Wine Ethyl" - wine thread over antistatic bag. I hooked one fish that spun my float tube 180 degrees and then nearly towed me. The fish was deep into backing in seconds. I never saw it but it had to have been LARGE.

Insect Arthropod Branch Twig Pollinator

I first heard about this fly from a fellow that used to guide out of Logan Lake, BC. He called it the "static bag" and we fished it under an indicator in a lake with a huge underwater shoal (hint, hint). We had multiple doubles using this fly.

Plant Insect Arthropod Pest Twig

This is the Olive Dairy. I sort of created this one on my own after two guys fishing near me on a certain cow like lake started hooking fish consistently on olive midges. I looked at one of their flies at the launch. It was just olive thread, no bead with red wire ribbing. It was too easy so I modified it. This fly has been my go to BC chironomid.
 

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Ive -

Here are three styles that are easily modified to fit your preferred colors and sizes. Mix-and-match to make them right for your waters.

Gut Bomb bloodworms
Wood Font Fashion accessory Laboratory equipment Art


Midge braid (Frostbite) chironomids. I tie these in a variety of colors and have done really well with both red and black. Super simple. Rib is optional.
Food Ingredient Cuisine Dish Spice mix


And for the shiny stuff, aka Chromies, I'm a fan of John Kent's Guns'n'Roses. Again, I use the tying style and switch up materials to suit.
 

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There is nothing I'd rather fish, tie or talk about! When it comes to my number one pattern, nothing comes close or compares. Twelve years ago while I was living at Tunkwa Lake and a friend phoned me from Dragon with a challenge to come up with a pattern based on his description, I never thought it would evolve to be my best pattern that found it's way across Western Canada's four provinces and made it's way to Phil Rowley's You Tube channel. The Dragon Lake Special is about as simple as a pattern gets, two threads, wire and a bead but it's the color combination that makes the fly so lethal.


In 2015 BCFROA (BC Fishing Resort Operators Association) invited me to their flyfishing championships at Salmon Lake on Douglas Lake Ranch between Merritt and Kamloops. I put an ad on my local forum to select a partner who perhaps never gets to take part in one of these events and soon I was partnered up with Jeff Choi of Surrey, BC. Having never fished the lake I went a day early to explore the lake. It was pretty obvious where the action was happening as there are only two good bays to fish chironomids, one at either end of the lake. We found two very productive patterns, the Dragon Lake and a Mirage pattern that a friend called "Elvis" and the name kinda stuck. Lo and behold on the day of the tourney we put on Elvis in the morning and never took it off. We ended up landing between 35-40 fish and lost a dozen more at the boat and won by a landslide. It was one of those days when the fish wanted shiny attractors and matching the hatch did very little.



Trout Pocket was gracious enough to select Guns n' Roses so I don't have to worry about that, although, it is one of my favorites. It was developed in August 2003 and earlier that year I noticed a lot of dark reddish brown naturals coming off of Tunkwa Lake and I remember reading Jack Shaw talking about it and trying to imitate the naturals. By tying Rainy's Dark Reddish Brown Stretchflex over red holo tinsel and adding a copper beadhead and The Coppertop was born. Another pattern that has stood the test of time and still remains as a very productive pupa pattern.

 

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There is nothing I'd rather fish, tie or talk about! When it comes to my number one pattern, nothing comes close or compares. Twelve years ago while I was living at Tunkwa Lake and a friend phoned me from Dragon with a challenge to come up with a pattern based on his description, I never thought it would evolve to be my best pattern that found it's way across Western Canada's four provinces and made it's way to Phil Rowley's You Tube channel. The Dragon Lake Special is about as simple as a pattern gets, two threads, wire and a bead but it's the color combination that makes the fly so lethal.


In 2015 BCFROA (BC Fishing Resort Operators Association) invited me to their flyfishing championships at Salmon Lake on Douglas Lake Ranch between Merritt and Kamloops. I put an ad on my local forum to select a partner who perhaps never gets to take part in one of these events and soon I was partnered up with Jeff Choi of Surrey, BC. Having never fished the lake I went a day early to explore the lake. It was pretty obvious where the action was happening as there are only two good bays to fish chironomids, one at either end of the lake. We found two very productive patterns, the Dragon Lake and a Mirage pattern that a friend called "Elvis" and the name kinda stuck. Lo and behold on the day of the tourney we put on Elvis in the morning and never took it off. We ended up landing between 35-40 fish and lost a dozen more at the boat and won by a landslide. It was one of those days when the fish wanted shiny attractors and matching the hatch did very little.



Trout Pocket was gracious enough to select Guns n' Roses so I don't have to worry about that, although, it is one of my favorites. It was developed in August 2003 and earlier that year I noticed a lot of dark reddish brown naturals coming off of Tunkwa Lake and I remember reading Jack Shaw talking about it and trying to imitate the naturals. By tying Rainy's Dark Reddish Brown Stretchflex over red holo tinsel and adding a copper beadhead and The Coppertop was born. Another pattern that has stood the test of time and still remains as a very productive pupa pattern.

I am humbled!
 

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Here are some emergers to go with your chironomid fishing.

the larger one is a friends simple tie using dark crystal flash and white foam. I have seen him consistently pick off browns with this pattern when there were mostly rainbows around, when there were still browns in the popular eastern washington selective gear lakes.

the deer hair fly is a commercial sample, the pattern is "hatchmaster" in the Tying Emergers book by Schollmeyer and Leeson, not to be confused with a hatchmaster pattern you will find googling and looking like a mayfly. this is the best midge pattern I have used, but hard to see.

The little red on the lower right is a commercial sample, and has produced some epic hookups, but once its slimed it can be hard to keep it floating right. I think the red color is good as the pupa sometimes turn (or become visibly) intense red as they emerge at the surface.

Jay

I discovered I am out of some of my best pupa patterns so need to get tying before I could post pictures.

Ruler Office ruler Fishing lure Bait Wood
 

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I use a piece of melamine board, a steel straight edge and exacto knife. I agree with johnk; thinner the better!
Curious where you get your ASB...
I have some old antistatic electronics packaging but its a bit too thick and stiff for good fly tying, although I will try making some very thin strips given suggestions on this thread.

Jay
 

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Curious where you get your ASB...
I have some old antistatic electronics packaging but its a bit too thick and stiff for good fly tying, although I will try making some very thin strips given suggestions on this thread.
Jay - I got a couple bags from the IT folks I used to work with. Basically stuff they were tossing. One of the bags is a bit darker than the other, not sure that makes a bit of difference.
 

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Sometimes you can separate the ASB from the clear plastic lining to get a thinner product - try stretching a corner.

Hi John, my friend Mike (Royal Coachman) has got some good chronie and lake info from you in the past.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
John, thanks for raising the bar to another level for tying chironomids. Those are some stunning patterns-really presentation grade stuff. Many of us (most!) are not fishing patterns that look that good yet we still manage to catch fish. My hope is that more people will continue to share their patterns even though they might not be as elegant. We have yet to see contributions from Ediger and Ira and several others known to be excellent cronie fishermen.

My enthusiasm for tying shiny 'mids has been bumped up a notch from this thread, I'm grateful for that.

Ive
 

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Oddly enough, for a die-hard stillwater flyfisher, I don't have a favorite midge emerger pattern. I carry flies in just about every style shown above and switch it up when fishing the critters. I've never found one specific style, color or size that constantly works to a point that I consider it my go-to midge emerger pattern.
 

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Indi Ira
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I've been a bit busy. I'll post a couple of patterns tomorrow, but honestly with over 2000 different species of midge species in the US it becomes an interesting proposition to narrow it down to a few. My preference changes year to year and trip to trip.
 
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