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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Foamerger: Midge Emerger Extraordinaire

My go-to midge pattern for fussy fish


New Dressing for the Foamerger
This is literally one of the easiest patterns you'll EVER tie.

The pattern, however, was designed out of pure frustration. I was fishing a phenomenal midge hatch on

the Green River in Utah one day and after a couple of hours of fishing my traditional midge patterns (griffith's gnats, true midge dries etc), the score was: Picky Trout -- 1000; cold dumb midge fisherman -- 1. I landed only one fish in three hours. As I packed up and picked the pieces of my ego up from the rocks, a dude comes walking along the trail, sees the rising fish, takes one cast and nails a fish. Must've been luck. Next cast: fish on. I suck.

As I walk by, he actually strikes up a conversation and I came to find out he was fishing a fly his son had given him and he wasn't sure of the name. It was a variation of a palomino midge and it was designed to sit in the surface film.With new hope of redemption for my next midge encounter, I got busy trying to understand what it was about that style of pattern that made such a difference. I came to understand, as a lot of people already know, midges have a tendency to hang vertically in the surface film as they struggle to emerge from their pupal stage to an adult. With this in mind, I sat down at the vise to figure out a pattern that fit the bill. The palomino was ok, but when I tried to get it to float vertically, it didn't look much like the pictures of real insects I was looking at. After a bit of trial and error using different materials and patterns, I found one that floated vertically and resembled the bugs. I tied up a few more and set out for the Green the following week.


The fish gods were smiling on me that day as my new little midge invention did the trick. I fished the same hole and came up with much different results as I lost track of the number of fish I hooked that day. My friend fishing across the way, ended up with 1 fish as he refused to change from his good ol' Griffith's gnat. Anyhoo...the fly was dubbed the "Foamerger" and earned a permanent spot in my midge boxes from then on.



Foamerger in the surface film
As it also turns out, this pattern has far outpaced any of my tried-and-true Baetis patterns during the early stages of the Baetis hatch in the Spring. I can't remember why, exactly, I tied it on one day in early Spring as the Baetis turned on, but it turned a so-so day fishing into a great day of dry fly fishing for nice Brown Trout. So I made a point to keep it in the mix even when the Baetis hatch grew stronger and the midges less important. Time after time, this little stupid looking fly kicked the snot out of my Baetis patterns. I'm guessing it's the way it hangs in the surface film or maybe just the overall general impresssion of an emerging bug, but either way, it's been good to me.

UPDATE:
I realize this video needed an update and figured it was a good time to add a variation on this original pattern. I would use the old "dressed down" style on anything smaller than a #24 and the new style with its wing buds and brushed body on larger patterns. The one in the new video here is an #18


Hook: #18 and larger: Partridge Czech Emerger #18 (+)  For smaller sizes: Daiichi 1130 #18 - #32 (+)
Thread: Danville 70 Denier Black (+)
Shuck: EZ Magic Dub, Black (+)
Thorax: Gray or Black Ice Dub dubbing to match natural (optional) (+)
Wing Buds: Red Holographic Tinsel, Medium (+)
Head: Gray or Black Evazote 3/16" foam (+)



Size #26 Foamerger (original style)




22 comments:

  1. I'm excited to try this one out! Have you guys ever found a need for this pattern in colors other than black?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've tied it in an olive as well as a gray color and did ok. I've actually found black does best even with other midge colors around. Not sure why, but maybe they mistake it for a shuck (or what I call a cluster-shuck where it's an indefinable blackish mess of bug coming out of the shuck on the surface).

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    2. Awesome! I'm thinking of trying to fish a triple threat. Orange Asher - Bunny Midge - Foamerger... Just gotta save enough to pick up all the supplies for tying them. :)

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  2. I've tied similar patterns, with the foam float head and just a dangly hackle/floss/Antron bodybuilder
    It didn't mimic anything in particular, and I used it to catch "Dixie Trout," aka BLUEGILL, because I dont actually know any of the rules.
    But I like your dangly tail

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  3. Curtis, are you saying that EZ magic dub will work on midges as small as a size 24? I usually tie my midges down to size 28 so that would speed the process.
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We've realized that the material Hareline uses for the EZ Magic dub is slightly thicker now, so for smaller flies, just singe the material a bit more to get it downsized, but yeah, I fish these in #24's and #26's a lot.

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  4. curtis, you have used red tinsel for wing buds. Do you use red all of the time?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On the smaller than #22 or so, I would omit the red tinsel wing buds

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  5. P.S. You forgot to add the tinsel in your "add all to cart" link.

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  6. Hi Curtis, I was going to order the "Go To Midge Pattern" materials and you're out of some stuff. Are you going to post a notice when they are back in stock? I can improvise on everything except for the midge magic dub. Go figure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. New stock arrives tomorrow, but inventory is updated to show on hand today if you'd like to order.

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  7. Hey Curtis
    It doesn't show red holographic tinsel yet. Should I wait until tomorrow to order?

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  8. Hi, love the pattern and I tied up one in 22 and also in size 26. I tried them out and the problem is it's nearly invisible in all black! What about some neon nail polish on the top of the foam, have you ever tried anything to help with visibility? I'm thinking this could be a good pattern next time I hear yo the San Juan river.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So I've done a couple of things. I'll usually tie a few that have a small clump of para post wing material on top of the foam. It will give more visibility. I've also used fabric paint on the tip of the foam as well. Both work ok, but I like au-naturale. I can't see it, but I usually fish it in tandem with something I can actually see, so that problem goes away.

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  9. This is such a cool idea! putting functionality first. Definitely going to tie a few of these up.

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  10. This pattern in #22 wailed on the fish during a midge hatch this weekend, then continued to clean up in #18 when the Baetis showed. Thanks for it!

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  11. Hi Curtis,
    I tied black ones down to size 26. Does EZ Magic Dub sell a cream color? There are two places I fish where the midges are mostly black and cream.
    Bruce

    ReplyDelete
  12. Do you tie this for baetis with all materials in an olive color? Could you post your baetis version?
    Thanks,
    Bruce

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They don't sell cream and for Baetis, I actually have just as good luck with the standard pattern above ^^^^

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