Northwest Fly Tyer

The fly tying pages of Monte Smith

Tying Buzzers

Posted by nwflytyer on March 7, 2009

Fishing chironomids is near-religious stuff for many of the anglers I know.  I have  a wide variety of patterns stuffed in my boxes, and have a fair amount of experience fishing them.  But for a bit of a change,  I began to explore the patterns and writings of those who have midge/chironomid fishing down pat:  the anglers of the UK.  Of course, these insects are referred to as “Buzzers” there.  Many, many buzzer patterns appear in the UK fly shops and in their angling press.

My good friend Andrew – as he does quite often – spurred me in this endeavor, first by cutting me in on an order placed directly with a seasoned fly shop proprietor in England where we could obtain Kamasan Buzzer hooks and the proper material for wing buds (Glo-Brite fluorescent floss). He then provided me with a list of recipes to whet my appetite while awaiting the arrival of said materials.


The Glo-Brite material is interesting.  It is in spool form, as you can see from the photo.  It is in multi-strands and feels like a type of poly material, but that’s just a guess.  The closest thing I’ve found in the States is probably the Danville Day-Glo material.  Pretty close to the same stuff.

The idea is to use a few strands of this floss like material as wing buds alongside the thorax.  The bodies are very slim – often just a layer or two of tying thread and varnished.  The thorax is peacock herl or dubbing, and there may be a small hackle at the head.

If there is a wingcase, a few pheasant tail fibers seem to be the material of choice.  That’s it.  The patterns are pretty simple – slim bodies, sparse thorax, a bit of color at the thorax, and maybe a small hackle.

Here are a couple of the patterns I tied using my new Kamasan B100 Shrimp/Buzzer hooks and Glo-Brite floss!

Blushing Buzzer

Blushing Buzzer

Body:  Two layers of tying thread, coated with head cement
Wingbuds:  A few strands of light orange Glo-Brite (#8), pulled alongside the thorax
Thorax:  Peacock herl or synthetic dubbing substitute
Hackle:  Two turns short black hen hackle

Fluorescent Green Midge

Fluorescent Green Midge

Body: Two layers bright green Glo-Brite (#12)
Wingbuds and Breather : White Glo-Brite (#16)
Thorax: Peacock herl
Hackle:  One turn of honey dun hackle

There are countless variations to the basic Buzzer design: vary the body colors, but keep it slim.  Rib materials.  Change color of wingbuds – hot or subtle.  The design remains, the colors are up to you.  Sizes generally range from #10 – 18, but your mileage may vary.  Here’s a bonus buzzer pattern.

I now have some new easy-to-tie patterns for my midge boxes.  Spring creeks or stillwaters, I look forward to putting these new Buzzers to the test.


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