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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Transitional Midge Emerger

Fripple Style

fripple midge emerger midge adult
Fripple Midge Emerger
One thing about a lot of different hatches -- midges included -- is that there tends to be a fairly distinct transition period as the fish start to focus on different phases of the hatch. Whether it's a larva-to-pupa or a pupa-to-adult or just plain adult phase, it's important to remember that the hatch will progress and that what a fish was focusing on 10 minutes ago, might not be what they're focusing on right now. It's during those transitional phases where it's a good idea to have a "cross-phase" pattern.

Cutthroat Trout who liked to eat midges
The Fripple pattern, as I've written about before, is a great pattern for mayflies because it can cross the emerger/adult/cripple phases and be a lot of things to a lot of fish. Think of it as more of a cross-dressing jack-of-all-trades. The Fripple Midge Emerger has that same idea in mind. I've found it to fish equally well during the beginning of a midge emergence all the way through to the adult phase. Also, I like this specific pattern because I've seen some of the bigger (#18 - #12) chironomids hatch in a more green/olive color than just plain black.

With the fish below, there was a pretty active midge hatch going on throughout the morning and the previous evening as well. The fish were really keyed in on the color and size of the naturals (about a #14 in green). They didn't take too kindly to adults and even pupa were getting snubbed. The first cast with this Fripple emerger variant scored a nice fish and even when the fish started looking to adults more, the Fripple still held its ground. Definitely a good pattern to have in the box!

Cutthroat taken during a midge hatch at high elevation (indicator post version)

Fripple Midge Emerger:


  1. Where do you get your peacock quill at?

    1. You can get it on eBay but also a handful of other resellers online. I got a batch of it from a guy in Scotland so I wouldn't have to order it for a while.

  2. Also with synthetic quill will be fine.

    Good pattern!

  3. Is zing wing material close to the medallion sheeting?

  4. I fished this and the foamerger on. The provo last month and did very well. There was a great midge hatch and the fish keyed on this hard core. Thanks for sharing this pattern

  5. Update. Strawberry river likes it too