All right so day two of Winter Confidence flies brings a fly that is very subtle, but is very effective for representing various chironomids and bloodworms. The Tube Midge and its variation the Tungsten Tube Midge was created by Landon Mayer who is an Umpqua Feather Merchants signature fly designer and well established author on catching large fish on small flies.
There are so many midge designs available, and while the Zebra Midge is probably the most well known, the Tube Midge is far superior in my opinion. It uses two additional materials but it's worth it. If you ever get to examine midges they are very clear, well segmented, and all have some inner color. This is a simple, brilliant fly dressing and offers superior durability over thread midges.
I went ahead and actually tied two variations here. This fly is traditionally tied on a curved shank hook, but I like the profile of a straight shank hook such as the Tiemco 100.
Hook: Tiemco 100 size 18
Bead: 2mm tungsten bead black
Thread:** UTC 70
Body: UTC Small Black Wire inserted into Hareline Midge Micro Tubing Clear
Gills: Antron Yarn or Dental Floss
If I want a slightly larger version, I will use a curved style hook and prefer the Ahrex FW520 for a few reasons.
Below is the fly as tied:
Hook: Ahrex FW520 Size 18
Bead: 2mm black tungsten
Tubing: Hareline Midge Micro Tubing
Wire: UTC Black Small Wire
Thread**- UTC 70 Black
Gill Tuff: White Antron Yarn Optional
Glue: Brushable Super Glue
Tying Notes: Insert the black wire into the micro tubing, leaving at least 2" of wire extending on both ends of the micro tubing. To start the fly, brush the hook shank lightly with the super glue, starting deep into the hook shank bend. Grab both ends of the wire, and start wrapping the wire deep into the bend, making sure to get 2 wraps of just wire onto the hook. At this point, push the tubing to where it touches the hook shank, and while still grasping both ends, wrap the tubing up to the bead. While holding the tubing, attach your tying thread, and tie off the tubing and wire. Build a small thorax, and whip finish.
The key to this flies effectiveness is applying the body on bare hook shank. If you were to apply a thread base, the effect would be nullified. It should also be noted, that if you choose to use a different color wire, such as copper or red, I would choose a brass colored hook shank to magnify the transparency of the tubing. This allows for an easy, durable, very lifelike fly pattern. If you are tying this without a bead, you can add gill tufts, and leave them longer than you would normally do so. This gives you the versatility to apply floatant to fish it higher in the film, a deadly technique during winter when you have rising temperatures.