Get Winterized!

As you fish this winter it is important to focus on your midges, and downsizing your fly selection. As every year passes, it seems like our favorite rivers get more crowded, so fishing smaller flies is one way to combat the extra pressure. Whether you prefer tie, or buy it is time to get winterized! Below are three of our must-have tiny winter midge patterns.

Bling Midge

The Bling Midge is a great option to imitate midge larva on tailwaters, especially in the winter months. The Bling Midge is an excellent attractor in a multi-fly nymphing setup.  The fly itself has a very thin profile with a little flash in the thorax to act as a trigger.  Sometimes all it takes is a little extra flash to get the fish moving even in the dead of winter.  The Bling Midge is one of the smallest midge patterns that we offer at Tailwater Junkie.


Hook: #20-24 Tiemco 101
Thread: Black UTC 70 Denier
Abdomen: Tan Sewing Thread
Thorax: Holographic Tinsel
Head: Black UTC 70 Denier

Bling Midge

Top Secret Midge

Dorsey’s Top Secret Midge has been fooling selective trout on western tailwaters for over 20 years. The Top Secret Midge is a deadly midge emerger that fishes best as a dropper. The durable two-color body combined with a little flash from the Glamour Madera wing produces a realistic-looking midge pupa (emerger) floating just below the water’s surface. When fishing gets tough, look no further than a size 22 to size 26 Top Secret Midge.


Hook: #18-24 Tiemco 2488
Thread: Brown UTC 70 Denier
Abdomen: Brown UTC 70 Denier
Rib: White UTC 70 Denier
Wing: Glamour Madeira
Thorax: Rust-Brown Superfine Dubbing

Top Secret Midge Bulk

Neon Nightmare Midge

McCannel’s Neon Nightmare Midge has a really thin and sparse profile to imitate the wormlike appearance of midge larvae. The thin body coating of resin creates a flashy thorax, that simulates the puparium filled with gases that provide buoyancy as the midge ascends to the surface to emerge into an adult. This pattern has fooled finicky tailwater trout all over the west. The Neon Nightmare midge is a fantastic attractor and is quickly becoming one of our go-to flies during the winter months.


Hook: #20-22 Tiemco 2488
Thread: White UTC 70 Denier
Rib: Orange UTC 70 Denier
Thorax: Orange UTC 70 Denier
Body Coating: Resin of your choice

Pat Dorsey fishes a deep, slow pool on a cold January day.

Sometimes getting out during winter is half the battle. Luckily, fishing in Colorado has its benefits, and we are blessed to have some great winter fisheries in our state. Some of our favorite winter fisheries are the Blue River, the Frying Pan River, the Taylor River and of course the South Platte River! We hope these fly suggestions will help you get winterized, and add another fish or two in the net this winter.

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