Thursday, April 4, 2019

Tying the Smoke Jumper Midge with Special Guest Tier, Willie Voss

JV: Welcome. Today on VossFish, we've got a special treat. My 21-month-old son Willie will be demonstrating how to tie the Smoke Jumper Midge, the latest in my subscription from PostFly. Take it away, Willie.

WV: Thanks Dad. Alright folks, welcome and I hope you enjoy this pattern. It's not too complex, but you will have to be careful not to overcrowd the eye of the hook. But that's true with most patterns. It's a midge pattern and meant to imitate an underwater insect hatching from the stream bed and making its way to the surface of the water. I think with a good amount of motion in some clear moving water, this fly has the potential to catch a large number of fish. You'll notice below that it is not a weighted fly, and I believe that's due to the fact that you don't necessarily want to fish this on the bottom, or even near the bottom of the water column. Rather, you want it to have vertical motion to attract trout.

The first thing you're going to want to do is get your hook set in your vice. I set a nice base layer of red uni-thread down to the bend of the hook. The recipe called for using red floss in addition to the base red uni-thread, but I just don't know if that's necessary.

At the bend of the hook, secure in a length of silver wire. This will serve as the fly's rib. The picture below is a bit blurry because my dad apparently doesn't know how to use a smartphone camera.

It would be at this step where, if you choose, you could add in a length of red floss to add more girth to the fly. However, fly is pretty small, size #18, so it does not take too many thread turns to add volume to this bug. When I was experimenting, I found the floss just gummed up the works and didn't add any volume that I couldn't get with just more thread. Feel free to leave a comment below if I'm mistaken or missing something obvious. Now, using reverse wraps, bring the silver wire back towards the eye of the hook, giving yourself plenty of space at eye. You're probably okay only going 2/3 of the way back to the eye with the silver wire.

Once your silver wire is locked in, add in a pinch of wing material on top of your hook shank. With the wing material tied in, add in some of your black dubbing material to the thread hanging down to the bobbin. Less is usually more with dubbing material. I'm always shocked at how little material is needed to make a robust thorax.

Give that dubbed thread two or three good turns to form the thorax. Make sure you are leaving yourself some room at the eyelet so that you have space to tie down your wing material. Feel free to use a needle to jab at the bottom of the thorax to bring down some of the fuzzies to form "legs." Don't go to crazy though and ruin your dub.

Still with me? Great. Usually, the dubbing is the trickiest step, as it's easy for the material to get out of control, or to not stick to your thread. I usually just use spit to keep it sticking to the thread, but some more technical tiers will use honey and glue concoctions. Feel free to experiment with what works best for you.

Alright, one more step before we can tie off our thread and cut the chord, so to speak. Take that pinch of wing material you tied in earlier and bring it up and over the thorax/dubbing material. Tie it off behind the eye, but be careful not to block the eye itself.

The "tail" of the wing material will stick out over the top of the eye, and that's by design. But again, be careful not to block the eye with all of the material stacked behind it. Once your wing is secured over the thorax, tie off your thread with your whip finisher, snip your thread, and call it a day. As you can see, I wasn't shy with the number of thread wraps I used at the end to tie down the wing. Some tiers will be weary here with their wraps, but in my mind, the little shot of red near the eye can act as a hot-spot to attract the trout. This is purely in my mind though and I have not confirmed this with the fish one way or another.

That's it for me. I'm going to take a nap. Hope this article was helpful. If you have any questions, be sure to hit up my dad on Twitter and Instagram at @vossfish. Or shoot him an email at Adios.


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