One of the things that makes a body material great for imitating chironomid pupa is translucency, being able to change the underbody material to give off different effects opens up a world of options. Anti-static bags used to package computer parts have long been one of the most popular materials for imitating the dull silver sheen that the natural pupa themselves take on as they ascend the water column, but what you put underneath this material can change the whole fly itself.
Materials like anti-static bag or window tinting film are much more diverse than flat silver tinsel, as the underbody colour on tinsel does not come through in any way. Below is a list of photo examples of how you can achieve a totally different fly just by changing the underbody colour. All flies shown are tied using the exact same body material.
*if you are viewing on laptop/computer, you can scroll overtop of the photos to magnify
Underbody: Chartreuse UTC 70 Thread
Underbody: UNI 8/0 Gray
Underbody: UTC 70 Rusty Brown
Underbody: UTC 70 Light Olive
Underbody: UTC 70 Black (excuse the tiny little piece of thread behind the bead…)
There we have it. Once you find body materials that you like, never stop experimenting with ways that you can adjust the undertone to give off a completely different effect. I did an article recently on combining bronze window tint with black UTC underneath that somehow equated into (in my opinion) the perfect gunmetal chromie body.
If you have any colour combos you never leave home without, or have any questions regarding this topic fill out the form below and I’ll be happy to reply! Also do not forget about upcoming chironomid courses at both Trout Waters Fly and Tackle (Kelowna, BC) and Michael and Young Fly Shop (both Surrey and Vancouver locations) this month.