Step 1: Insert the hook in the vise and tie in thread and wire ribbing. Tying in the wire behind the eye of the hook will eliminate a tie in bump at the bend of the hook.
Step 2: Advance your thread and wire to the bend of the hook. (TIP: If you lift the wire as you wrap the thread to the bend, the thread wraps will keep the wire in top of the hook shank).Tie in the pheasant tail fibers at the bend of the hook.
Step 3: Advance your thread to the eye of the hook. Gather the pheasant tail fibers and wrap them to the eye of the hook and tie them off.
Step 4: Spiral wrap the wire rib forward to the eye of the hook. Let’s pause here for a second: There are 2 ways to wrap the wire rib. Either clockwise or counter clockwise. I will let you make that choice. I have tied them both ways with no difference in quality.
Step 5: Tie in the wing material of your choice. I usually tie in a smaller amount as shown.
Step 6: Pull the wing material from over the eye of the hook back and tie down. Build the head with thread wrap, half hitch or whip finish and apply head cement.
Step 7: Trim the wing material to about ½ of the body length. Finish the head area and go fishing!
San Juan Midge
Hook - Tiemco 101, size 14-26
Thread - Black
Rib - Gold or copper wire
Body - Pheasant tail fibers
Wing - Z-lon
The recipe above is for the “Pheasant Tail San Juan Midge” pattern.
There are numerous variations in tying this pattern such as:
Use different styles of hooks.
Use different color wires for the ribbing.
Use dubbing, biots, stripped peacock quill, floss, uni stretch, spanflex, tinsel, turkey tail fibers, other species of pheasant tails or even thread for the body material.
Use different wing material such as Zlon, Darlon, poly yarn, hi-Viz etc.
Add a bead and make it a bead head pattern
Most importantly is to tie the fly using your tying style and preferences.
This fly can be fished as a nymph down deep or as an emerger, just below the surface. It’s your choice.