We tied the May-Midge as something of an experiment prior to last season, intending it to combine attributes of midge patterns like the Griffith’s Gnat while maintaining the overall silhouette of tiny, sparse mayflies. Our goal with this fly was to come up with something that would fool the spooky, lazily-rising fish we often see in the morning in flat water in late summer and early fall. These fish seldom eat any one thing in particular, but are feeding on a mixture of midges and the duns of three or four species of mayflies, as well as the occasional odd ant, mayfly spinner, and other “schmutz.” The May-Midge proved extremely effective in this role this season, particularly in the Lamar Drainage, where it turned out several very large fish on lower Slough Creek that were turned off by larger and/or more heavily-dressed flies.
Note: This fly is intended for use in slow water, particularly big eddy lines or places with many complicated micro-currents. It should not be used in choppy water, as it won’t float well in chop.
Hook: #16-22 1x short, 1x fine emerger hook.
Thread #1 and Abdomen: Claret Veevus Body Quill (I called it wine in the video).
Tail/Shuck: Gray Sparkle Emerger Yarn or similar.
Thread #2: 8/0 or 10/0 wine.
Wing: White Widow’s Web or similar synthetic yarn.
Hackle: Grizzly saddle, tied sparse.
Thorax: UV Brown Ice Dub.
Other Colors: Light olive, black, copper, gray (use alternate abdomen material on gray, as there is no gray Body Quill). Change threads and dubbing to match desired fly color. Tail, wing, and hackle do not change.