During the winter and early spring, midge are a huge food source for, particularly in tailwaters. The midge has a complete metamorphosis, which means that it has a larval and a pupal form. When there is an active hatch, the pupa is more often than not what the fish will be keying on, with its dark color and with its almost ice cream cone shape, which this pupa pattern does a good job of imitating. But when there is no active hatch at all, the fish are more than likely seeing the larval form of the pattern, since these guys are alive and waiting for the right conditions and time to turn into a pupa. In this light, fish are going to see way more larval forms, and it should come as no shock that a midge pattern imitating a midge larva is a great all-round searching fly during the winter months. A bright red midge, called a blood midge, is a larval form that is bright red from the buildup of hemoglobin in its body. This is why it’s called the blood midge.
Whether or not there are actually “blood midge” in the water, the fly pattern, the blood midge larva, is a great pattern for imitating the larval form of the midge throughout the winter. There is just something about the color red and midge patterns that the fish seem to love. You can tie this pattern in whatever color you like, but red is just such a good color for those winter fish. In very slow water, cream can also be a good choice, and light olive is close to the color of other midge larva species. Either way, the blood midge larva is about as easy a fly to tie as exists, and just catches fish. Make sure to have a high-quality hook with, and use a hook that will let you tie a longer fly, just like the larval form of the natural midge.
- Hook: Tiemco 200R (#18 – 22)
- Thread: Red (6/0 – 10/0)
- Body: Hareline Micro Tubing (red)
- Head: Same red thread.
- Lacquer: Hard-as-hull.