Updated: Jan 24
The "Tony Stark" Chironomid Pupa pattern is something I have been in the works of developing for a couple of years now. I have been very eager to share it for sometime but it also took a lot of trial and error until I felt truly satisfied with the results. I spent a couple of years experimenting with different threads and wraps until I finally settled on what I think is a good match at replicating these rather color complicated naturals. Essentially, it is the early pupal stage of the "Ironman" fly I started tying 4-5 years ago and released on flyguys.net which you can read about here https://flyguys.net/fly-patterns/chironomids/iron-man-chromie-chironomid-fly-pattern. You may notice from the images of the naturals that the wing case still appears to be partially undeveloped, the colors are quite vibrant and hemoglobin still deeply present from it's larval state. The tying instructions are nearly identical to the "Ironman" with the exception of replacing window tint or mylar with light brown midge flex scud back material (green flex is also a very nice color to try as well!). Though naturally, it is basically the same fly, this version imitates the stage in which the Chironomid has not yet taken trapped gases in to begin it's ascension to the top of the water surface to hatch into it's adult terrestrial state. It is these gases that give off that shiny "metal" - "armor-plated" look. Though I did grow up enjoying comic books I must admit the Marvel “Ironman” character was never one of my favorites, however being that the this fly is basically the "Ironman" fly minus the metallic armor I seen no better name to give it than the "Tony Stark", which if you know anything about the comic superhero, Tony Stark is Ironman without the armour. This is very good all around fly and would recommend to try when you may not see any visible evidence of a chironomid hatch. Reason being is, chironomids will sometimes stage on the lake bottom for quite some time making many false attempts at emerging before they "gas up" and begin their ascent. In fact the pupa as shown in the photo shown here was taken at a local lake in a throat sample taken from a trout very early after ice off, in fact there was still ice present. This is a great example of a very common color combination you may encounter on the lakes in our BC interior still waters. I posted this fly up on my Instagram account and though the IG account is only a couple of weeks old at this point and my following is still quite miniscule, I was shocked at the great response it received. So big thanks to everyone for that, and all those who have supported me in the past on my youtube channel, this recipe and instructional video is for you! I hope you like it, and even more-so I hope it will get you into some come ice off, which can't come soon enough! Cheers and TightLines Everyone! Recipe and Instructional Video Link just below!
Hook: Scud, Reverse Bend
Bead: High Gloss Black
Body Thread: UTC 70, Red, Fl. Yellow, Fl. Green
Thorax/Wing Case: UTC 70 Rusty Brown, Goose Biots
Segmentation: Light Brown Midge Stretch Flex, Scud back material
Gills: White Cotton Yarn
One Thing I don't do in the instructional vid but would recommend is putting just 2-3 wraps of red thread behind the midge flex to ensure a smaller tip at the very rear of the butt of fly. Top Photo for reference. And while I considered adding an orange thread in between the red and yellow to go even further, I think 4 threads was enough (and I was short one bobbin ; ) lol.
Here's the vid! Enjoy!