Tying two-tone chironomid bodies is not a new practice by any means, but it’s one that is a lot easier than it may look at first glance. I’m sure there are many ways to do it, but this is the method I taught myself at a younger age and have not found reason to change yet.
Chironomid pupa will retain residual hemoglobin when transforming from their larval stage, often you will see dark bodied chironomids with a very prominent red butt or segmentation. Of course there are many variations of this, but for this tutorial I’ve chosen red and dark brown UTC thread for the body, tied on a size 16 Dai-Riki #285.
Step 1: Tie in UNI-Stretch gill, whip finish & cut thread
Step 2: Slide bead over gill, tie in underbody colour. For this fly I have chosen UTC 70 in red.
Step 3: Tie in rib material. For this pattern I chose X-small Copper wire.
Step 4: Use underbody colour to form gradual taper. Whip finish & cut thread.
Step 5: Start the thread of the second colour you want, wrap backwards while beginning to gradually space your wraps to allow the underbody to show.
Note how the UTC 70 lays perfectly flat, this is done by counter-spinning your bobbin until you see the thread flatten itself out. This two-tone effect is not achievable on the same level with other threads.
Step 6: Make wraps closer together as you move back towards the eye of the fly, This will great a gradual “bleeding” of the colours once the fly is glued.
Step 7: Wrap your ribbing forward and tie off
Step 8: Whip finish, coat with brushable glue or resin of your choice, repeat!
Thanks for tuning in, if you have any questions feel free to drop me an email or message. We just filled two great weeks for the upcoming stillwater season, if you’re looking to book guided days now is the time!