Which Chironomid Proved Most Effective in 2018?
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Which Chironomid Proved Most Effective in 2018?

Each season there is a chironomid pattern that seems to produce every time you send it down.  Just cinching the knot tight, you know that this fly can be fished with the utmost level of confidence.  In turn, this allows you to fish it harder and fish it longer, which is often why it will get deemed “most productive pattern of the year.”

How much confidence you have in a fly plays a large part in how successful it will be.  Have you ever found yourself in desperation mode, half-heartedly tying on a fly you think maybe just might work if all the stars align?  What happens next is you regret your decision as soon as it hits the water, and the fly is exchanged for another within a few minutes of low-confidence fishing.

So, what was the “most productive chironomid of 2018?” The Zucchini!  I couldn’t count the amount of days that it was seemingly the only fly they would eat.  From size 20’s in the early spring to size 10 bombers, sometimes with a white painted bead-head, sometimes with a more natural pairing of a black bead with yarn gills.  I can recall fishing with two guests on Stump Lake, we cycled through a variety of patterns with sporadic success before putting on a #18 Zucchini.  The next 3 hours were a flurry of action with one fish taping out just under eight pounds.

chironomid fly tying
#18 2xl Zucchini

The attractive properties of the black holographic tinsel, coupled with a segmentation of either red or silver wire makes this such a universal chironomid pattern.  If I’m seeing sparse numbers of hatching bugs, the Zucchini is often the guinea pig that gets sent down too see if fish will take a chironomid pupa.

A healthy victim of the Zucchini

Fly Tying Recipe

  • Hook – Curved Nymph or Scud Hook
  • Thread – UTC 70 Black or Rusty Brown
  • Bead – White or Black/Black Nickel (sized to hook)
  • Body – Flashabou or Tinsel (Black Holographic)
  • Rib – Red or Silver Wire or Tinsel (thread doesn’t stand out overly well against the holographic tinsel)

The Zucchini is a simple chironomid to tie, and a very effective one to hang under the bobber!  If you have any questions feel free to drop us an email!

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