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Zebra Midge

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The Thread Midge was created in a tool shed in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 1996. "I was a production tier at the time and, after staying up all night to complete a large order for Wendy Gunn of Lee's Ferry, I had an hour to wait for the mailman to pick up an order of Brassies, Pheasant Tails, and scads of chironomids.

Tired and not sure what I was going to tie next, I put a bead on a hook, with a little lead under the bead to hold it straight, applied some wire behind the bead and wrapped the thread on it. Voila! I tied 12 copper heads with copper wire and 12 silver beads with silver wire and included them in Wendy's order. I asked her to pass a few to her guides.

A couple days later I drove up to the Ferry to collect a check and to go fishing. When I got to the fly shop I was approached by one of her guides, who asked if I had any more of those copper and silver flies. I said no and asked why. He said the fish were swimming across the river for those flies. When Wendy heard this she ordered 200 of each and it went from there. After a few days, Wendy called and asked me to apply different colors of thread to the body. I had no idea that this particular fly would become so productive and popular at such a rapid rate. Now the Zebra Midge is a staple here at Lee's Ferry."...Ted (AKA Deadly Teddly) Wellington Marble Canyon, Arizona

Printable Version


Hook:Dai-Riki 060, Tiemco 2488 or Dai-Riki 125
Thread:8/0 Black
Body:Black Thread
Bead:Silver 5/64 tungsten or 1/16 tungsten for smaller than #18
Gills:White Antron Yarn

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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 silver 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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