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The Dirty Dozen: Top Flies for Winter Fishing

01/05/17 at 02:13 AM by Vince Puzick



It’s five degrees out there.  Time to look at the Angler’s Covey "dirty dozen" flies for winter fly fishing. 


top secret1. Top Secret midge. Sizes 20-24. Black, brown, and olive.  The Top Secret Midge is a great small and simple midge pupa pattern, developed by Pat Dorsey. The Top Secret Midge is the perfect fly for picky trout on western tailwaters. The Top Secret Midge was developed for the finicky fish on the South Platte River.  Want to tie one up? See the Riffle video: 


2. Miracle midge. Sizes 20-26.  Check out the video: 


3. Black Beauty (no bead) and Mercury Black Bead. Sizes 20-26.  See the video:


4. Brassie. Sizes 20-26  Ready to spin one up? See the video: 


5. RS2. Sizes-20-26. Grey, black, brown, olive.  The RS2 pattern was developed more than 30 years ago by Colorado angler and tier Rim Chung. The name of the fly is short for “Rim’s Semblance 2,” and it fishes well as both a midge or a mayfly emerger.  See the video from Orvis: 


6. Juju midge/juju baetis. Sizes 22-24. Purple.  See the video: 


7. Blindside midge. Sizes 20-24. This fly, from Jon Easdon, has been money at Deckers and other tailwaters.  Available in the shop!


ice8. Hopper Juan’s Ice emerger. Sizes 20-24.  The tyer, Juan Ramirez, says “The Ice Emerger is one of my favorite flies to tie on once I see fish rising to emergers right below the surface. It borrows from the great RS2 pattern and the floating nymph, two of the best patterns out there. It is fairly easy to tie once you figure out what you are doing.” Check out Juan's tying video here: 


9. Rojo midge. Sizes 20-24.  “The Rojo Midge is often thought of as a river midge, but it makes a great stillwater midge as well. The Rojo Midge is a simple and very effective blood midge. But Rojo Midges are not always red. It can be tied in olive, purple, chartreuse and, of course, red.” See the In the Riffle video: 


wd4010. WD40. Sizes 20-26. Brown, olive, black.  First tied back in 1982 by guide Mark Engler as an emerging-midge imitation for use on Colorado’s Fryingpan River, the WD-40 was an instant hit. Anglers soon found out that it was deadly as a blue-winged olive emerger, as well, and the fly is very popular throughout the mountain West. You can fish it as a dropper behind a nymph to great effect. Adding a bead head helps the fly get down quicker, especially in fast water. Tie the pattern in black to imitate Tricos, or in any other color to match midges and mayflies in your

local waters. See the video: 


11. Poison tung. Sizes 20-24.  See the video: 


12. Mojo midge. Sizes 20-24. Jon Kleis says “The mojo midge is about as durable as a size 22-24 midge gets, and hammers fish on our local tailwaters.” Olive, brown.  Kleis walks you through the pattern in the video here: 


Come into the shop and check out our extensive fly bins!  


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  • Orvis 101 Events

    When: May 06, 17 8:00 AM Where: Anglers Covey

    Orvis 101 Introduction to Fly Fishing

  • Orvis 201 Streamside Events

    When: May 07, 17 9:00 AM Where: Deckers

    Orvis 201 Streamside

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