Deer Hair Chironomid Pupa


Imitates a midge pupa. The deer hair dubbing at the thorax represents the tangle of legs and antennae that are common on the natural insect. For suggestions for imitating different midge species, see the article Dubbing with Deer Hair.

Jeff Morgan writes, "This is an effective imitation of an emerging chironomid, which I use after hatches to imitate stillborn pupae still hanging in the surface film. The deer hair lets the fly float, as well as offering a "busy" silhouette because of the scraggly dubbing. However, I think the deer hair adds 'natural bulk,' and that may be its biggest contribution. The natural insect has a bunch of legs, wings, and antennae trapped in the thorax area of the pupae. By imitating this region with just a wad of peacock or a long soft hackle, we put something in the right spot, but it doesn't really imitate what is there. The dubbed deer hair actually looks like the wad of appendages, yet doesn't make the fly too bulky or add a lengthy tying step. Why not make the fly more natural if it is easier to tie? The fly also fishes well deep, using a heavy wire hook to accelerate the sink rate. I also like a variation of this for the "bloodworm" pupae as well, using 50% red deer hair and 50% olive deer hair for the dubbed thorax."

How to Fish

In lakes, use the static midge deep midge or slow retrieve presentations. On rivers, use the shallow nymph presentation.

Tying Instructions

1. Tie in thread, tie in Krystal Flash, trim excess.

2. Wrap thread to create the body. Keep the body as thin as possible.

3. Wrap up Krystal Flash, trying to keep an even banding effect for the body. Tie off and trim excess.

4. Tie in white antron for the gills. Trim excess and trim off gills at about 2x the width of the hook eye.

5. Dub the deer hair thorax, keeping it fairly sparse. Tie off and whip finish.

HOOK: Dai Riki 135 (sinking fly) or Dai Riki 300 (floating fly); size 10-16

THREAD: To match body

BODY: Black, red, or olive thread

RIBBING: Pearl Krystalflash

THORAX: Dubbed deer hair

GILLS: White Antron yarn