Orange Asher: Midge of Mystery

But it just works

Orange Asher Midge Pattern
The Orange Asher with Holo-Tinsel and CCG

For me, the Green River in Utah holds many o' tale of stumbling onto cool, new and yes, even mysterious fly patterns. Which reminds me of a couple more patterns I need to tell you about later...but I digress. The Orange Asher is one of these odd flies with an interesting history behind it.

Our tale starts off many years ago as a friend of mine was hiking back to the boat ramp below the dam on the "A" section of the Green. At a distance, as he approached a big back eddy, he noticed the guy fishing there had a fish on the line. As he got closer, the fellow was into yet another fish. And another. My buddy, not having had a super stellar day, was obviously curious and stopped to watch this fisherman land several more fish. Before too long, the mystery fisherman packed up and got ready to leave but voluntarily and graciously offered the fly to my friend as he left. He explained it was a fly pattern he knew little about, but it had done well for him. Attached now to a new tippet and line, the fly continued its success for the last hour or so of the day.

Upon his return, my buddy called and told me the story of the mystery fly and described the pattern to me. This was in the early days of the internet and not much was found on the pattern. However, after asking around and checking different sources, I was able to identify the pattern as an Orange Asher. As far as I understand, it was originated by a gentleman named Jack Howarth of Colorado Springs, Colorado and was primarily used for high mountain lakes to imitate adult midges.

Arctic grayling orange asher midge pattern
A high mountain Arctic Grayling takes the Orange Asher
So with enough information to tie the fly, I hit the vise and whipped up a few samples. Easy enough to tie and, as it turns out, very effective to boot. Long story short, I've used this pattern now on rivers, lakes and everywhere in between and can honestly say I'm not quite sure why it works so well overall. I've had times where, fishing for very finicky midging fish that won't touch a #26 spot-on natural imitation, fish have come from several feet away and nailed the Asher. Go figure.

In fact, the two photos shown here with the Grayling were the result of an initially frustrating day on a high mountain lake with fish rising all over the place. I had tried a few calliabaetis (which were hatching) and some midge emergers, but it wasn't until I slapped on Ol' Reliable that the fishing turned for the better.

>>> And if you don't tie your own, we sell them on the store here. <<<

Arctic grayling orange asher midge pattern
Large Arctic Grayling taken on an Orange Asher

Material List

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Hook: Fulling Mill 35050 Ultimate Dry Fly Hook, Barbless - 16     
Thread: Danville Flat Waxed Nylon Thread - 70 Denier - Fl. Orange     
Underbody: Veevus Holographic Tinsel - Orange - Medium     
Hackle: Whiting Hebert Miner 1/2 Saddle - Bronze - Grizzly     

Other tools from the tutorial:
Tiemco Razor Scissors     
Tiemco Midge Whip Finisher     
C&F Design Hackle Pliers     

NOTE: This is an old school video and uses pearl tinsel instead of the holo-tinsel we use today.