Beginner’s Fly Tying: Griffith’s Gnat and Zebra Midge

Zebra Midge
Zebra Midge
Griffith's Gnat
Griffith’s Gnat

Just because its winter and some of the warmer-water species (e.g. smallmouth and largemouth bass) are not as active, that’s no reason not to go fly fishing. There are two types of winter days which I enjoy my fly fishing; when the snow is falling in large flakes, or on a sunny afternoon when there is a midge-hatch. Nevertheless, the combination of warmer temperature and witnessing the repetitive rise of a fish taking one midge after another enhances my day on the water.

While there are hundreds of fly patterns which imitate midges* (ref. Midge Magic by Don Holbrook and Ed Koch, 1st edition, 2001) two of my favorite patterns are the Griffith’s gnat and the Zebra midge. I consider these two flies (with the Zebra midge tied in several colors) will cover most fresh-water streams and rivers.

Join our Beginner fly tying class at 7:00 PM on February 20th, at Trinity United Methodist Church, West Patrick St. Frederick. As always, we welcome fly fishers who have never tied an artificial fly to join our Beginner fly tying classes. Equipment and materials are provided to both newcomers** and club members.
*Midges are a subcategory of non-biting flies found in the same scientific Order (Diptera) as biting flies, e.g. deer flies, horse flies and gnats.

**Note for all fly tying newcomers. Our PVFF fly tying instruction has been broadened to provide monthly instruction for those who might never have tied a fly (i.e. true beginners), as well as for those who have some experience in fly tying and wish to expand their skills by tying artificial flies which imitate natural fish foods. If you are planning on attending and do not already have your own basic equipment for fly tying, please let Don Fine (301-371-5617) know prior to the January 16th session, so a tying vise and tools will be provided.

By Don Fine