FOSAF NEWS - The Karoo soft hackle Midge by Alan Hobson

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Here is my summer fly of the month:

 

Hot summer days are very often cooled down by a late afternoon breeze just as the sun sets, the time that insects hatch prolifically, none more so than midges on our waters in South Africa. On my home waters here in Somerset East, this phenomenon is accentuated by the anabatic, upslope winds we experience with the 700m climb in altitude from the base to the top of the Boschberg mountain, on Mountain dam. The summer time evening rise at Mountain dam is legendary, insect hatches are explosive and abundant, which does present opportunity to sight fish feeding Trout using a dry fly. That golden hour we all dream about! However, I have found greater success fishing tiny emerger patterns using a floating line with a 12 foot leader set-up, casting at cruising fish, stripped in short sharp bursts just below the surface. The thinking being, that when the Trout is sipping spent or hatching midges in the meniscus on the surface, they have very little window of vision and often miss your fly, unless your presentation is absolutely perfect, whilst sipping with gay abandon. By stripping an emerger, quickly, just below the surface, you catch the attention of the fish when his head dips below the surface. They have a chance of seeing the fly, and as the light fades, they pick up the movement, instead of guessing by slurping off the surface. This method is a little more forgiving. This fly is really simple to tie and super effective. One can play with colour combinations according to the colours of the midges in your local waters.

STEP BY STEP:

HOOK: Partridge Still Water Wide #14 (We use these as they are very strong), presenting to Big Fish, otherwise Daiichi 1640 #18 or smaller.

THREAD: Semperfli Tan #18/0

ABDOMEN: Flashabou Magnum Holographic Olive as the underbody. Then wrap clear nymph or midge vinyl D-Rib over the holographic tinsel. Tie this off behind the eye of the hook to allow space for a soft hackle thorax.

THORAX: Create a dubbing loop using Pale Dun CDC and the neck feathers of a Pheasant.

Below are photographs showing the sequence of tying.

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