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Van Patten Midge

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The Van Patten Midge first found its way into my fly box after a conversation with Mark Van Patten who is a fish biologist and coordinator of the Missouri Stream Teams with the Missouri Department of Conservation. Mark gave me the recipe for the pattern while at a stream program and it has become a staple in my fly box. I called it the Van Patten Midge since Mark gave me the recipe.

I later discovered that the pattern has been around for awhile and was actually developed by a friend of Mark's - Kent Campbell. The real name of the fly is the Harvester Midge. Whether you call it the Van Patten Midge or the Harvester Midge, it is a very effective pattern.

Printable Version


Hook:Dai-Riki 060, Tiemco 2488 or Mustad C49S; Size 16-22
Thread:8/0 Danville Brown (no substitute)
Body:Danville Brown Thread
Bead:Black tungsten to fit size of hook
Gills:White Antron Yarn
Ribbing:Black wire to size of hook

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Tying Instructions

  1. Mount the bead backward on the hook. (The drill side would then be toward the eye. This will allow the bead to slide over the front gills.)
  2. Place the hook in the vice and start the thread behind the eye in front of the bead.
  3. Tie in five or six strands of antron yarn about 1-1/2 in length.
  4. Whip finish, cut off and slide the bead over the yarn.
  5. Start the thread behind the bead and wind down a distance of about half of the hook shank
  6. Cut off the front gills to length. The remainder of the yarn should be tied in behind the bead (will form back gill).
  7. Tie in a piece of fine black wire. Wrap the thread over both the wire and antron yarn (back gill) to the bend or slightly beyond.
  8. Bring the thread back to a point behind the bead (Form a tapered body).
  9. Wrap the wire to a point behind the bead (no more than 5-6 wraps).
  10. Tie off the wire and whip finish.

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