Every year, I get excited as summertime approaches because that means terrestrial and midge fishing is close! Fishing these flies is a lot of fun, mainly because the majority of the terrestrial and midge patterns that I fish are dry flies. I encourage you to try fishing terrestrial patterns in tandem with a midge nymph (aka hopper-dropper style) to help increase your chances of a trout. Of those listed below, the ant is the fly I turn to most in the summertime, and it rarely lets me down.
Ants are great selections for rising trout in the summer, and this one has been quickly rising to the top of my list. Featured in Henry Ramsay's book, "Matching Major Eastern Hatches," this pattern is simple to tie and features some excellent materials. Good luck with this effective fly!
Though also categorized as a terrestrial, this ant was popularized by George Harvey for good reason: It catches fish! The pattern can be fished throughout the summer, plus I recommend placing a high-visibility post on it if you have trouble seeing smaller flies in the water.
Ant patterns hold a special place in my fly box, especially throughout the summer. This Hi-Vis Foam Ant is a pattern I prefer to fish in faster-moving water, plus the chartreuse post makes it highly visible at greater distances.
Representing a grasshopper (and possibly a few other terrestrials), this Charlie Boy Hopper from Charlie Craven is a fun fly to fish. I recommend trying this out in tandem as part of a hopper-dropper rig.
This no-nonsense pattern from Ed Schenk does an excellent job at mimicking hoppers during the summertime. I also recommend tying the Letort Hopper in darker colors which may more closely represent grasshoppers and crickets in your area.
This simple fly earned me the nickname "Spiderman" because I fished it so much over a two year period! Tied primarily to represent terrestrials on the water, it is an effectrive attractor pattern to fish during a hopper-dropper combination. Feel free to vary the colors of the foam, though I prefer fluorescent colors when fishing this Spider Hopper fly.
The Jassid is a classic pattern that utilizes jungle cock, and is a great pattern to fish throughout the summer. The Jassid can represent lots of trout food, including mayflies, caddisflies, midges, and terrestrials. The fly is mentioned in Vincent Marinaro's "Ring of the Rise," thus one I recommend having in your box.
Tied during this tutorial is the Griffith's Gnat, a pattern meant to represent many insects, though mainly (and specifically) a midge cluster. Create by one of the founders of Trout Unlimited, George Griffith, this fly is an excellent pattern to carry in the spring and summer. Aside from the original pattern, this video also features a high-visibility Griffith's Gnat, plus a number of other variations tied with ostrich herl.
Midge patterns can be fun to tie, especially easier ones that work well on the water! As part of my "Two Minute Tying" series, this Foam Wing Midge is a simple pattern that I carry in few colors, yet it produces more often than not. During this video, I share my tying procedures first, and then talk more about the pattern in detail.
For this tutorial, I chose a simple pattern to represent BWO's and midges that even the beginner tyer can handle, the WD-40. Modifying this pattern from the original, I chose Coq de Leon fibers for the tail and wing case. The addition of this fiber adds to the durability of the pattern, plus the fibers are mottled with great coloration. This specific pattern is tied a chocolate brown, but don't be afraid to also try black, olive, grey, and anything else would be representational on your home waters. This is turning into one of my favorite midge patterns when nymphing!
For this "Two Minute Tying" tutorial, I selected a great fly for any level of tyer, the Zebra Midge. In this pattern, the Zebra Midge is tied the color olive, of which the color is paired with a gold tungsten bead and thin copper wire. When tying black, gray, or cream Zebra Midges, I will switch the bead and wire to a silver color. This is a simple fly that works well to fool lots of fish!
From a trout's perspective, a large portion of their diets are made up of micronymphs all year long, especially midges, hence the effectiveness of the Sluiceway Special. This is a pattern that I consider a "Guide Fly," being that it is simple to tie, has few materials, and most importantly, works really well for trout! I recommend tying this in two colors (red and black) and offer a "secret" in the video, as well.
Crayfish are an excellent food to imitate, and this one uses "Furry Foam," an easy to obtain material that looks great when wet. Large fish, such as smallmouth bass and brown trout, key on crayfish, especially during the summer. This is a great pattern to try, and I discuss some other colors in the video that I've had success with. Additionally, if you want to reinforce the foam, tie in some copper wire to rib everything with, though this is something I rarely do. Overall, this is an effective pattern that meets that "GISS" qualifier, thus be sure to have confidence fishing this "Furry Foam Crayfish."
In this fly tying tutorial, I demonstrate the tying methods for a fly called the CrawBody Crayfish. Representing a favorite meal of both trout and smallmouth bass, the crayfish as a pattern is intended to be fished lower in the water column, and can be utilized in both streams and lakes. There are many variations that you can make to this intermediate pattern, thus feel free to experiment and determine what works best on your local waters.