Quill Body Midge Pupa

Downsized buzzer style

A pile of Quill Body Pupae

There are likely only a few fly fishers who have not, at some point or another, had to fish a midge/chironomid/buzzer pattern. Many freshwater trout spend a good portion of their lives picking up these little (and sometimes pretty big) bugs for lunch. In stillwater (i.e. lake and reservoir) fishing circles, the ubiquitous buzzer or chironomid patterns are a staple of the fly box and come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. However, as I've looked over my boxes from the past few years, I realize my flies and corresponding insect samples from stillwater outings land a bit on the larger size, running anywhere from #14's up to #8's on average. This doesn't usually translate over to rivers and streams as well, plus the bigger flies tend to be loaded with more realistic features.

So, as I looked at my river midge boxes with zebra midges, thread midges, WD40's and a number of others, I realized I really needed to shrink some of my bigger more effective buzzer patterns to get some more realistic imitations of our smaller diptera specimens. 

The quill body midge pupa was one of the first ones to get really downsized. There's nothing inherently original about this pattern. I'm pretty sure this style pattern is taught in all elementary schools in the U.K., so it's a common one. I've just put it to use on hooks down to #22 in order to better imitate river midges.

Purdy Cutthroat who was eating small midges
I usually fish this pattern as a dropper from either a midge dry fly or emerger like the Bunny Midge or the Foamerger. The cutthroat shown here was taken on the quill body pupa in a #20 that was dropped from a bigger attractor pattern.

Also it's important to note that you might be faced with a situation where you're fishing to some obese trout eating these small bugs. If you want to beef up the hook, go with the Daiichi 1120 below instead of the lighter wire 1130.

Hook: Daiichi 1130 #18 - #22 (+)  For bigger fish, go with Daiichi 1120 #18 (+)
Thread: Danville 70 Denier Black (+)
Body: Stripped Peacock Quill, Natural (+)
Wing Buds: Goose Biots, Orange (+)
Coating: Loon Fluorescing UV Clear Fly Finish (+)