Black Midge Emerger

Black Midge Emerger

I can't count the number of times I've hit a hatch of black midges on a stream, pond or lake. They seem to thrive everywhere and trout seem to thrive on

  • By: A. K. Best
I can't count the number of times I've hit a hatch of black midges on a stream, pond or lake. They seem to thrive everywhere and trout seem to thrive on them as well. They can range in size from 14 to tiny 22's. Years ago I tied both emergers with trailing shucks and the winged adults. Since then I've learned that the emerger with a trailing shuck is the most productive. If I need winged adults, I merely snip off the trailing shuck.

Attach thread one-half hook-gap space behind the eye, wrap to beginning of bend, and clip off tag.

Clip five or six fibers from a dyed tan mallard flank side feather for the trailing shuck, measure for length to equal entire hook, and tie onto the hook immediately over the end of the shank. Lash down to the thread start and clip off butts.

For size 14 and 16 hooks, select one stripped and dyed black hackle quill, clip away the tip until the remaining diameter equals the hook shank and trailing shuck underbody.

Tie in the clipped tip at the shoulder of the trailing shuck, lash it down to the tailing, and wind the quill forward in tightly nesting wraps to the tie-down point. Lift the butt and clip it off. Use two black moose mane hairs for size 18, and thread only for size 20 and smaller.

Cut a strip of waffle imprinted plastic material to equal the hook space, clip one end to an arrow shape and attach the arrow end on top of the shoulder of the body. Clip off butt one hook-gap space beyond bend and snip off corners.

Attach a hackle (color your choice) immediately in front of wing tie down, wind forward two turns for 22 and 20, three turns for 18 and 16, and four turns for size 14 hooks. Tie down tip, clip off excess, whip finish, and apply a drop of head lacquer.

Hook: Mustad 94840 size 14-18. Use a ring eye for sizes 20 through 22
Thread
: Danville's 6/0 black for 14 and 16, and 8/0 for 18 and smaller
Trailing shuck: Mallard flank side feather dyed tan with Rit Tan Powder
Body: Stripped and dyed black rooster neck hackle quill for size 14 and 16. Two black moose mane hairs for size 18. And only thread body for size 20 and smaller
Wing: Strip of waffle-imprinted plastic such as found near the closure strip on plastic bags. (The kind that says, "Yellow and blue make green.") Width to equal hook gap
Hackle: Be careful! Some black midge emergers have cream-colored legs, not black!