Building a better Midge

 One of my little “Black Ninja Midges” tied on a #17 TMC 212Y
The process of tying is like trying on new hats for me. There are infinite combinations when it comes to fly tying materials. Recently within the last ten years synthetics have come a long way indeed. Manufacturers have developed more UV glues with different viscosities, colors, and even buoyancies.

Synthetics such as Aero Wing Dry Fly have superb qualities that incorporate hollow fibers much like a feather does. When considering the durable and expressive qualities the synthetics have then combining them with more traditional mediums the results are often outstanding. Anyone who knows me knows I am a die hard traditionalist when it comes to materials but alas my synthetic repertoire is growing exponentially. Most of my hooks I have to get from Europe because they are simply not available in the United States. Most of my concerns are with the hook availability here in the USA. In my honest opinion the European fly tyers are blessed with some phenomenal hook selections especially when it comes to dry fly hooks.

The conversation never ends in my brain when it comes to constructing a better midge in all of its life stages. It is such a staple for most of my fishing so obviously its at the top of my menu. My midge box evolves constantly and is always being taken apart and put back together. Midges change throughout the season until late fall and even through winter. The variations are staggering but I am always on the prowl when tying these little morsels. Adapting and readapting, combining synthetics, hackles, wing posts, flash, no flash, wire, tinsel, segmentation, hook gap, shank lengths, etc...Needless to say when I go to bed at night I am still tying in my head. Tying in bed does happen, I admit I knot pheasant tail legs while in bed. So I am a bit manic when I am on the verge of building a better midge. The final beta testing is done on the river and typically success is decided by an audience of Brown trout.

                    ~Clint Joseph Bova


Shallow Waters on the Mad River

“Shallow Waters” by Clint Bova 
11"x14" Watercolor on Arches 9o lb.

“Breaking the norm” is always a fishing mantra of mine especially when it comes to the topic of where the fish hold and where they actually feed. Many fisherman go directly to the deepest chasm they can find and drop lines. Depending on what time of day you may find them in the deepest lanes but they may not be feeding. The Mad River has taught me time and time again that big fish often feed directly in front of the deeper lies or holding areas. The upstream approach is always the most intelligent tactic carefully watching for tipping snouts and what I call “super sippers” these are fish that are over 15" and out in the open taking smallish flies.

 This nice Mad River Brown (above) was caught in about 12 inches of water and took a #18 Para Ant. Below him back about 25 feet was his holding lane that is about 4 feet deep. Looking for deep water is all fine and good but always remember often in the shallows above their holes is their favorite buffet lines.
                           ~Clint Joseph Bova


The Art of Doing and Making

“When the artist is alive in any person, whatever his kind of work may be, he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressive creature. He becomes interesting to other people. He disturbs, upsets, enlightens, and opens ways for better understanding. Where those who are not artists are trying to close the book, he opens it and shows there are still more pages possible.”

                   ~Robert Henri