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Texas Foam Midge
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Texas Foam Midge
By Hillfisher, Texas

I have been itching to go fishing but the last few days have been rainy with a few snowflakes mixed in here and there. During these brief but intense storms, the bream and bass go deep and will not take anything. It's a good time to catch up on tying and chores around the house. The last storm lasted only three days but temperatures reached the 20's during the nights and 40's during the day. My hat is off to my northern brothers who can put up with this for long periods of time.

Today the eastern sky dawned clear and bright and the temperatures are to reach the upper 60's. I have a lot of wood to chop from the big storms we had this last spring and figured I would get a good start on it. This is actually one of my more favorite chores. Mostly because I get to play with large sharp objects (ax) and power tools (chainsaw). After a little warming up I'm really getting into the wood chopping. Every piece the perfect length and stacked by size. After a couple of hours I have made some pretty good progress. Then I made a mistake. I took a break and while I was sitting there I heard water being slapped in the creek. Hmmm . . ."I better check this out." I thought to myself and proceeded down to the bank. There were rings everywhere! When I approached the edge of the creek the bream were startled and several tail slaps were observed as they turned and headed for deeper water. I squatted down and waited for a time and soon they were once again rising. They were feeding so actively that at times the water being slapped as they would partially clear the surface feeding.

Ok that's enough wood chopping for today! I ran, literally, back up to the house and grabbed my 5wt and hip waders, which I keep ready in the garage just for days like this. Under a slight bit more control, I walked back down to the creek and very carefully waded into position. After a few minutes there were rings forming all around me. Some of these fish were rising within three feet of me. They were all bream. This was going to be a great afternoon!

I started with a surface yellow spider but after a few casts, it was apparent they did not give a darn for yellow spiders. I tried a variety of other surface flys but to no avail. This was really exasperating! I was watching these fish actively rise to feed all around me. I tried a nymph about size 12 and started getting taps and an occasional hook up with some small bream, but nothing compared to the activity I was seeing around me.

I stopped casting and watched the water around me. The afternoon sun had produced enough warmth to cause a hatch. There were some very small flies hatching on the surface and I mean some really small flies. The bream were selectively feeding on these. I carefully waded out of the creek and went straight to the tying table. Not wanting to spend a lot of time spinning dubbing etc. I went straight for the foam. I know for some fly tyers the use of foam is just not considered to be the true art of tying and in some ways I do tend to agree. However for speed, likeness and performance, foam is quickly replacing a lot of natural materials with the new generation of tyers. In a some cases I will use foam to test the effectiveness of a pattern and then switch to natural materials to get a more traditional appearance.

All said and done the fly which came of the vise somewhat resembled the hatch. It produced some nice bream that afternoon and the next day. I think dubbing will produce a better fly and by slightly varying the pattern to remove the wings and replacing with a wing case will get the instant nymph pattern which was also very effective. Below is the recipe and quick tying instructions. Have fun!

Materials: Texas Foam Midge

    Hook:  Mustad 3399D size 18.

    Thread:  Thread 6/0 black.

    Body:  Body brown foam strips in 1/16 x 1/8 x 3 inches.

    Rib:   Copper wire.

    Wingcase:  Optional - Peacock Hurl.

    Wings:  Wings white duck quill (Adult), Turkey (nymph).

Tying Steps:

1. Create thread bed and start foam strip just behind the eye of the hook.

2. Wrap foam back to bend of hook. Wrap thread over foam to the bend of hook. Tie in copper wire at bend of hook.

3. Wrap foam up to just behind the eye. Wrap thread up to just behind the eye in between the foam layers. Wrap thread back to about two eye widths and let hang. Wrap copper wire up to thread and tie in.

4. Tie in white duck quill wings and shape by thread pressure and cutting. Whip finish.

5. Finished fly with wings.

6. Without wings, with wingcase. ~ Hillfisher

For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying, Intermediate Fly Tying and Advanced Fly Tying.

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