a case in point
Often, less proves to be more in a fly pattern, and I think that this one is a case in point. Utilising little material, it is still a visually exciting fly and one which contains a bit of silver sparkle, some strong colour and some subtle contrast.
I came across this soft hackle midge pattern in George Barron’s excellent book A Fine Line and tied the Orange Pupa using the materials I had to hand. In the book George lists the pattern as having jungle cock cheeks, which I had to omit due to the materials available to me, but I think the pattern should still prove effective (although perhaps less effective with the cheeks omitted).
The orange thread body may look a bit bright when initially added to the pattern but once wet, the layers of thread should darken somewhat, giving a dark orange appearance. The silver tag and wire rib give the Orange Pupa bit of sparkle, similar to the trapped air and internal gases of the natural pupa as it hatches. The badger hen hackle provides a nice contrast to the orange thread body and will nicely represent the hatching insect’s legs or wings.
For me, this is a pattern of the upper layers, fished just subsurface. Windless, overcast days should suit this pattern well when the trout are taking hatching chironomids. With that in mind I plan to fish the pattern high in the water and slowly. Very slowly. Perhaps just imparting the occasional ‘twitch’ to the pattern as it drifts on the current or to break up a very, very slow figure of eight retrieve. I have found that orange can be a very good colour when fish are taking hatching flies from the surface, in the surface film or just below the surface, and the silver tag and rib of the pattern, should help with the overall effect of attempting to imitate a hatching chironomid pupa.