2019’s Best Chironomid Pattern
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2019’s Best Chironomid Pattern

An experiment gone right!

Chironomid fishing is such an intricate, interesting and sometimes downright frustrating game. Why is it with the same pattern, the same colour, the same depth, with a slight variation in bead colour or thorax shade can perform so drastically differently?

I am a firm believer that the flies that work the best are the ones that spend the most time in the water. Rainbow trout, especially those that have been conditioned by heavy angling pressure, can become a finicky creature.

On the same note, human beings are wildly impatient, especially when their confidence is low. Therefore, a fly that you have utmost confidence in will spend an exponentially more amount of time in the “zone” (in front of the fish) than one that you aren’t quite sold on.

chironomid fly tying

How did this fly come to be?

While wandering a craft shop one afternoon, I stumbled upon a tinsel material that I was completely unfamiliar with. I couldn’t tell if it was black, bronze or gunmetal, but I knew I had to have it. It perfectly mimicked the body colour of a few pupa I had seen days prior, so a couple of prototypes were in order.

The following morning we were into fish immediately, the action lasted for a few hours and was followed by an abrupt halt as fishing slowed to a crawl. After a few fly changes, out came ‘Craft Store Suzie’ as it was aptly named by a guest of ours from the Pacific Northwest.

It was a matter of moments before the strike indicator dropped and line was pulling steadily off the reel. Upon making a quick throat sample, it was clear that the pupa in the vile were a dark, metallic shade with a brownish copper ribbing.

Back down she went, and back down went the indicator within a minute. I am a firm believer that one is a fluke, two is a theory and three is a pattern.

Well, on the fourth fish, the fly line was tightening with such force while the rod sat in the holder, the fish ended up breaking us off before we knew what was happening.

The lesson? No matter how tired you are the night before a trip, always tie more than one prototype!

One Minute Step-by-Step Tutorial

This fly became a must-have for the remainder of the 2019 season, producing well with a multitude of alterations. Red rib, white bead, black bead, copper bead, all of these variations did the trick.

What makes this fly special? Not much, other than the fact that it has a way of inducing high levels of confidence!

Learn how to tie Craft Store Suzie and over 20 other patterns in our upcoming online course, Chironomid Tying Mastery!


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