D & D Midge Emerger

Over the last 55 years plus of tying I have tried to simplify flies to the point of almost non-existence to determine what characteristics of the flies seem to be essential to the fish’s take. This has led me to a whole series of imitations that I call the Down & Dirty Flies. They are super simple to tie, many use unconventional tying methodologies, and they all take fish readily. One of these is the D & D Midge Emerger. Jason and I first used this pattern on the Madison some 15 years ago or more, with great success. It’s proven great many other places, as well.

I use 17/0 gel-spun thread for this fly becasue this thread is incredibly strong and resists tearing by the trout's teeth far better than any other thread. Tie in a short tail of black polypropylene yarn filaments. Keep the tail on the sparce side. The tail represents the partially cast pupal husk.

Tie in a clump of 4-5 high quality pieces of peacock herl. Use 3-4 wraps of thread to secure it at the rear of the hook.

Spiral the thread forward in 3-4 wraps. As you wrap, wiggle the thread back and forth just a bit to work it down into the herl so that the barbules are not pinned down with the thread.

Tie off the thread and cut it away. Cut the front clump of herl the same length as the barbules. Clip the rear clump even with the bend of the hook. Scruffy bugger isn't it. That's the point. It's supposed to represent an adult midge in the emergence process, and they look plenty scruffy as they emerge.



  1. stpaulfly says:

    Intersting fly….especially as we approach winter season in the Driftless. Any size recommendations? #20 or #22?

  2. Bill Ninke says:

    Nice pattern. What size hooks do you use for it?