A midge from the “Tying Small Flies” book by Ed Engle: two strands of krystal flash and some dubbing. It doesn’t get more basic than this.
The TMC 2488 is a great hook to tie these small emergers on: they are 3X wide – much easier to tie in on and will hook better than other hooks in this size. The Fly-Rite Extra fine dubbing again shows how good it is for creating a slim thorax on sub-20 hooks: it is my go-to dubbing that I should keep some more colors of available.
Hook: TMC 100 #24
Thread: Sheer 14/0 Brown
Tail: Whiting Bronce Dry Fly Hackle
Body: Fly-Rite Extra Fine Poly: rust
Tying in on tiny hooks makes for good practice on handling threads and material that you can transfer to larger hooks once you are done: these sub-20 hooks makes you think twice on what you put on them. This particularly fly will be for my #1 rod in small rivers targeting trout
I follow a lot of blogs and read my own planet.dryfly.me daily to get inspiration and ideas on new patterns to try out, the other day smallflyfunk had a #20 deer hair caddis that I reallly liked the look of. I got two new strips of deer hair not long ago: the Wapsi Premo Deer Hair, which I really enjoy working with on slightly larger patterns, but on smaller patterns I have never used much deer hair since the previous strips I’ve tried just wasn’t good enough for tying in on such a small hook. So: this #20 pattern was a just the test I needed to see how it holds up.
The quality of the hair is great, the #20 caddis was a breeze to do, the limiting factor is actually getting the wing small enough when you hold it to tie it in! If you are tying caddis or other patterns that require deer hair: go into a shop and really get a feel for how it is, and spend that extra money on a good strip of hair, it will help you a lot in the future ( or you will end up, like me, with lots of bad pieces of hair in a box ). Read this article on choosing hair on globalflyfisher.com
The caddis on my thumb for size: