Winter Surface Flies “The Harlequin Midge”


During the winter months surface activity is sparse at best. Typically if the weather takes a turn for the best and warms up to 50 degrees or higher trout will start surface feeding on midges. Usually by midday the feeding starts and may last only a few hours. During these glimmers of activity I'm usually running outside and looking towards the sky like an angst-ridden teenager. The fly I usually leave the house with is a little black midge that I call the “Harlequin Midge”. This is a pattern I developed that seem to move fish that are in stasis mode and that have zeroed in on those little black midges we see so often throughout the winter months. Why the name “Harlequin Midge”? Well it takes a bit more animation and drama to get fish to move during the winter months. The extended body and and dyed pheasant tail legs seem to be a deadly combination. I tye this fly fairly sparse and use 14/0 Veevus thread to lighten the load. Sparse is always better for dry flies during the winter, this is because midges are pretty much the only thing on the surface menu.

Hook: TMC 2488 sizes 18-24
Thread: Veevus black 14/0
Body: Micro Chenille tip burned with cigarette lighter
Legs: Knotted black Pheasant tail
Wing: TMC Aero Dry Wing in gray or white
Hackle: 3-4 turns of light dun

For sporadic surface activity trout seem to really like this combination during the late fall and into the winter months for me.
                                ~Clint Joseph Bova


Veevus Threads

Veevus thread has the texture, suppleness, strength, and various diameters to really make me a convert.

I have been tying with Veevus for many years now and its now my choice over all other threads. Admittedly when I first used it I was not use to the sheen, uniformity, and slightly slippery surface but I quickly adjusted my techniques and I was extremely happy with this line of threads. If you tie smallish trout flies like I do a 14/0 thread is very very beneficial especially with low bulk sparse flies for weary fish. I have not used anything else since its introduction to the US market because of its superior strength and varying diameters. Now they have extended their color ways to make the line far more extensive.
                                ~Clint Joseph Bova


A Cold Day For The Record

A record cold day on The Mad River. A photo I took of a section of the river down the road from my house in bone chilling temperatures. Including the wind chill it was -24 degrees today (February 19th 2015). Spring fishing is nothing more than a very distant dream. I think tying another box of flies is in order for today to soften the blow.
         Happy 2015~ Clint Joseph Bova