As first in a series of “greatest hits” fly tying videos to tide visitors over before I start posting tying videos again early in 2019, here’s a “season-appropriate” pair of tying videos I posted a few years back. Try one or all if you’re looking for a good winter midge pattern for the Yellowstone River and beyond.
WD-40 Midges and Red Haze Serendipity Midges
This pair of midge pupae are good choices anytime you can bear to fish the Yellowstone this winter. The WD-40 is usually the better bet on the big river, since it pulls double duty as a BWO nymph as well as a winter midge fly pattern, while the Serendipity variant is a good choice on spring creeks and tailwaters nationwide but only a changeup on the Yellowstone. Fish these low and slow, ticking bottom from time to time, in the slow walking-speed runs that are at least waist deep.
Yellowstone River JRB Midge
This little dry is a variation on a pattern the shop stocked from 1960 to 1980. The only change of note is a wing swap, from hair to synthetic. Other patterns available starting in the 1960s are variations on this one, such as the Herter’s Bastard Midge. This fly is an excellent single midge pattern in #18-22 when you start seeing the fish rise to emerging midges. In fact, it was designed specifically as a winter midge pattern for the Yellowstone. Trail it behind something like a Purple Hazy Cripple in #18-20, a Coachman Trude or Coachman Clacka Caddis in #16, or a #16-18 Griffith’s Gnat or Buzzball, basically a fly that the trout might also take when they’re eating midges but which is easy to see.