Zebra Midge Variations
No other fly has proven itself more effective in catching trout for me compared to the Zebra Midge. This lowly, small, unassuming fly is also perhaps one of the simplest and easiest flies to tie. But don't let this dissuade you. From the White, to the Driftless, to Lee's Ferry (where it was invented) this fly produces. As it is my most effective pattern; I have learned and employed several variations based on the original black/silver bead head design. Below are several of the variations I employ and if applicable comments on when I use that particular one. I find that sizes #20-16 seem most effective regardless of variation.
Often one of the first flies I try at all times of the year in all conditions, along with hares ears and pheasant tails, the zebra midge is one of those "go to" nymph patterns.
Given clear water and bright conditions, the addition of peacock herl provides a subtle but effective variation.
Adding a strand of flash to the end of the midge, adds both movement and visual stimulation.
By far my most used zebra midge variation; sometimes it pays to stand out from the crowd. Overcast or sunny, this pattern will produce. Be sure to have a few of these in your box.
My go to midge at Taneycomo. Seems to work better when sunny.
According to several articles I have read and from personal experience, purple while not a color often found in nature, is a color optimized within the range of trout's natural visual spectrum. Steelheaders and bass fisherman are all to familiar with purple and long has it been a secret favorite. Again sometimes it pays to stick out.
Great pattern for overcast days or when subtlety is the key.
Is this a zebra midge variation or a variation of the "miracle midge", who cares, but be sure to try this at your favorite tailwater.
Another pattern that seems most effective in overcast, or low light conditions.