Glass Beads


I at times sit down to tie a fly or two and just roll with it. Nothing fancy, sometimes odd-looking. If the fly works, I tie some more for the next outing.

Above is a fly that I hope will work at the Farmington. A thread midge. Size 18 and with a glass bead.

With water so low, I’ve been tinkering with glass for my dropper flies. I wanted some weight, but I didn’t want big splashes. I also wanted something that floated naturally vs. dragging the bottom. These flies worked really well at the Farmington with a dry-dropper set-up (prior post here).

You can buy the beads in different colors, although I’ve been sticking with just two: black and crystal. The latter are good for emerger patterns, as they can appear like an air bubble on a bug ready to rise to the surface.

This isn’t new material. People like Pat Dorsey, who invented the Mercury Midge, long have been incorporating glass beads to dupe the hard-to-fool fish at Colorado tailwaters. I find that reading up on what he and Ed Engle do out there is a great way to find “best practices” at other tailwaters. Ed’s book, Tying Small Flies, is incredibly good.

So, consider trying glass beads to give your flies a different look. They’ve worked well for me so far.


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3 thoughts on “Glass Beads

  1. Just curious how many midge colors do you fish? I read about various pupa colors including red, but how many are useful in our waters vs out west or in ponds? Other than as dry droppers, any tips on how to best use them?

    1. I have been chironomid fishing on a couple ponds and nothing beats the chromie, green, brown, black, orange, yellow, grey and white all work good, red is best fished has the lowest flie and no more than 1ft from the bottom of the lake, anything higher than that and trout will ignore the red, red is to imitate bloodworms stage of the midge and they hang tight to the bottom.
      Find the shoal of the lake you like to fish and hang some chironomids from a slip on indicator and you will catch fish, the only question is what dept are fish feeding, with a fish finder you will have a good idea of the dept the fish are hanging, but if you don't have one remember that early morning fish close to bottom and has the day progresses keep raising your flies, by mid afternoon you should be able to use a dry midge with a dropping pupa.
      Good luck and any questions just email me, I will answer what I can
      Rui Machado

    2. (I'm not an expert. Rui Machado clearly is!)

      I have all sorts of colors, but I suspect black or olive-brown will cover more than enough bases.

      Can't answer your question as I've not fished midges out West (I started fly fishing regularly three years ago and haven't been out West since then,) and I don't fish ponds.

      You can just fish them in a dual nymphing rig. I don't think there's any secret sauce, IMO. If you really want a lot of detail, Ed Engle's "Fishing Small Flies" is a great book. There also is a lot of info online for free.

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