I’ve read that blue can be a very powerful color for flies in the winter.

Last year, I tied up various nymphs to incorporate the color. Sometimes, the flies worked not at all. Other days, they pulled in fish after fish.

On one memorable February day, I was fishing in a snow storm. All of my takes were via a #20 midge larva, like the one above. Sometimes, the fish took the dropper, and, sometimes, they took the anchor. But, when I switched away from the midge-with-blue, all takes stopped. They ignored the new dropper and the old anchor.

I remembered that day as I this morning went through my fishing journal. I have long forgotten about that midge. But, today, I’ve tied up a half dozen to get ready for February.

Click here for Ed Engle’s thoughts on blue flies. It is in one of his books, Tying Small Flies, that I read about nymphing with blue midges. I’ve read all of his books, and I attended his nymphing seminar at the 2016 Fly Fishing Show. That man is a genius.

Edit #2:
Below is a blue fly from Tightline Productions. It might be the one referenced in one comment below.


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20 thoughts on “Blue

  1. I know if it works just fish it, but any theories as to why blue? I know sometimes blue eggs work with steelhead.

    1. Supposedly, there was a study. They did a color test on trout, fishing various egg patterns. The blue egg was the one most taken.

      Anglers like Ed Engle write that blue works best during winter; I don't recall he writing why, however.

  2. Tim Flagler tied a blue midge at the Marlboro show that he said had been working extremely well so far this winter.


    1. I wish I had taken a picture of it, however it had a blue thread base of some type of material he had purchased at a craft store and a silver wire ribbing with a bead at the head of the hook. He finished it off with epoxy. Very simple pattern.


    2. Probably sulky thread. He explained it on the latest Orvis podcast on fly tying. I recall him saying he's going to publish the video soon.

  3. Interesting observations. I'll be honest, blue is a colour I often neglect on my flies, maybe I'm missing out one something here though. I'll have to tie a few blue flies up.

  4. I have never used blue on my flies, but have to change my way of thinking it seems. Got out for three hours today on the Swift below Rt. 9 and got skunked, though I had one brief connection. Nice to be out though. Water is cold as can be.

    1. +1, Anonymous. I yesterday went out for 2 hrs. Landed four fall fish, but it was great to be outside and in the water. Most important, I saw some stoneflies buzzing around. So, as those bugs proliferate in the drift, the fish will start to station themselves in their usual feeding lies. Some great fishing can be had in Feb. and March….

    2. I agree with you, Anonymous…skunk doesn't matter being it is nice just to be out. It was interesting to see a fish that seemed pretty sizable rise to something on the surface, making a pretty big splash doing so. I tied on an elk hair caddis and drifted it over the zone, but nothing doing.

    3. Ha! The skunk and I are good friends after so many trips together.
      I have seen fish rising all winter on the swift but have found they are extremely selective and very spooky. Try a 24 serendipity-I had one fish swim half way across the river for one while I was setting up to cast. No idea how he saw that fly. In this case it was red.

    4. Tied this morning two $3 Dips, the Serendipity variant. They've only worked for me on the famed Upper Madison near Reynolds, but, hey, I figured it was worth a shot. Size 18, red thread.

    5. I tied up a few serendipity flies tonight as well. Normally my wife doesn't get involved in my fly tying, but she saw a close out on some bright red yak tail fibers at Orvis. She gave it to me for Christmas and I said thanks of course, but didn't know what I would do with it. I used it on the serendipities tonight and it looks pretty darned good.

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