P.O. Box 1181, Dubuque, Iowa 52004-1181

Dubuque Fly Fishers

Fly

Pumpkin Head Midge

Tyer: Mike Stallsmith

Type: Nymph

Hook: Standard nymph hook (here a Dai-Riki #060) sie 18

Bead: Fluorescent orange, 2mm

Thread: Olive, 6/0

Rib: Copper Ultra Wire, small

Tail and body: Pheasant-tail fibers

Wing: White Z-lon or White or clean Antron

Collar: Peacock herl

Notes: Matt Grobert calls this fly the "Pumpkin Head". It's a midge pattern that has proven effective here in the Northeast, particularly during the winter months. Here's how he tied it.

Matt starts with a Dai-Riki #060 size 18 nymph hook. He feeds a 2 millimeter fluorescent orange bead onto the hook before mashing the barb and then securing the hook firmly in his vice.

As is often the case, he uses 6/0 olive Danville for this tying thread. Start the thread immediately behind the bead and take wraps back toward the bend. Copper Ultra Wire in the small size is used for the rib. Secure the wire to the hook, leaving your thread at about the halfway point on the shank.

Alight the tips of 3 or 4 pheasant tail fibers and strip them from the stem. This particular feather has been dyed brown but natural will work just fine. Secure the fibers to the hook. Try to have the fibers sit on top of the shank for the final wraps. Wind your tying thread forward to in front of the fibers and then begin wrapping the fibers rearward. This technique is a little different than most tiers are accustomed to but it works extremely well.

Once you reach the tail, get hold of the copper wire and begin wrapping to forward in an open spiral to secure the pheasant tail and create segmentation. Secure the wire to the shank with a few good wraps of tying thread and helicopter to break it off. With that done, carefully snip the pheasant tail butts off close to the base of the tail.

Fold a small hank of Zelon around your tying thread and bring it up to on top of the hook shank and tie it down with a few wraps. Fold the remainder back and secure that with a few more wraps. Clear or white Antron will work just fine her if you have trouble finding Zelon. Snip the fibers off straight to create a small wing bud.

Select a peacock herl from the first two inches or so below the eye and snip it free from the stem. Tie in the herl behind the bead and begin taking wraps forward to form a nice bushy collar. Anchor the peacock herl with a few good wraps before snipping the remainder off close. You can then whip finish the fly just behind the bead and snip or cut your tying thread free. And that's the Pumpkin Head. Give it a try.