Chironomids are at the forefront of our spring and early summer stillwater hatches. Trout eat them, lots of them, as they're numerous, readily available and pretty vulnerable to predation throughout their slow emergence. There are literally thousands of different species in different colors and sizes. While many common chironomid fly patterns can cover multiple species of bugs at any given time, it would behoove the stillwater angler to have a hearty selection of colors and sizes when venturing out on the lake. Even the same species can appear completely different in the trout's eyes at different stages of emergence and at different water depths.
Generally, as chironomids rise through the water column, they become more and more shiny, almost metallic looking due to the trapped gases in their exoskeleton that help buoy them to the surface. Popular patterns like Phil Rowley's Chromie effectively capture this quality, as do many patterns incorporating Anti Static Bag in the slender body of the fly. The Grey and Black Chironomid is basically a Whiskey Dick, a popular Tunkwa Lake BC pattern developed by Dick Bartlett. The Blue Dun thread body hints at this "emergent sheen" we see in most chironomids, but with much more subtlety and less flash. I also like to put a collar of rusty brown or burnt orange Ultra Thread on many chironomid patterns to mimic the wing pads that are a prominent feature on a lot of pupae.
Whatever the reason, this fly works well throughout the chironomid season on lakes throughout the northwest and BC. Give it a tie and don't be afraid to vary the size. I'll tie this bug in #12-16 most commonly.
Grey & Black Chironomid
Hook: #12 Daiichi 1760
Bead: 3/32" Black Nickel Tungsten
Gill: White Uni Stretch
Body: Blue Dun 70 Denier Ultra Thread
Rib: Small Black Ultra Wire
Collar: Rusty Brown 70 Denier Ultra Thread
Coating: Solarez Bone Dry UV Resin
Confluence Beer Pairing: As the cherry blossoms paint the landscape in their immaculate pinkness, I find myself enjoying Kulshan's latest seasonal release, their Cherry Gose. Now available in cans at your favorite North Sound beer vendor, the Cherry Gose is both sweet and tart, light and refreshing, a most perfect companion while tying chironomids or staring at your bobber on the lake, awaiting the next eat.