On the fifth day of Winter Confidence flies, I bring you Pat Dorsey's Mercury Midge. I have seen Pat's fly boxes, and they are filled with thousands of flies and he is never shy of a few dozen Mercury Midges, as featured in his book Tying & Fishing Tailwater Flies. Pat is an Umpqua Feather Merchants signature fly designer, distinguished author, and a well known guide in Colorado and is probably most well known for unlocking the secrets of the South Platte river.
The Mercury Midge is another classic thread midge, but with a twist. Pat found a material to perfectly imitate a midge gas bubble, which fish key in on. It is cheap to buy, easy to work with, and is more realistic than some other alternatives. The Mercury Midge can be tied in any thread/wire color combinations, but White (thread), Copper (wire), Black/Copper, Olive/Brown, Pale Olive/Copper, and Cream/Copper are all great additions. I would tie this from size 18 down to size 26, especially if fishing pressured waters like the South Platte, the Arkansas River, the Frying Pan etc. That said, these flies will do damage at any of your local rivers.
Recipe as tied:
Hook: Tiemco 2499spbl size 18
Bead: Miyuki Delica 11/0 Glass Bead OR Killer Caddis Glass Bead, midge size, Silver Gray
Thread: UTC 70 Cream
Body: UTC 70 Cream
Ribbing: UTC Xsmall Copper Wire
Thorax: 2-3 whip finishes behind the bead
Tying Notes: This is a straight forward tie and the key is to keep the thread as flat as possible. Turn your bobbin counter clockwise to lay down the body and to tie in the wire starting behind the bead, wrapping back into the bend. Turn your bobbin again, returning to the bead. Finish by turning your bobbin again, and leaving your thread down in the bend by your wire. Wrap the wire up to behind the bead. Take your thread, and place wraps inbetween the wire wraps and return to the bead. This adds durability. Finish the fly by performing 3-4 whip finishes to build a slight thorax behind the bead.
If you would like to read about more of Pat Dorsey's flies, or to buy his books click the link below to visit his website.
Pat Dorsey Fly Fishing