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Home->Articles->Fly Patterns->Archives->Frostbite Bloodworm   
Fly Patterns
Frostbite Bloodworm

Hook:    Daiichi 1710 #12-#16
Thread: MFC 8/0 or UTC 70, Red, Green or Maroon/Burgundy
Tail:      1 Strand of Stretch Floss, Split, Color to Match Body
Rib:       Fine Gold, Copper, Silver or Red Wire
Body:    Frostbite (Red, Green or Maroon)

Chironomid larva patterns do not inspire angler confidence. To most, patterns appear nothing more than a small red stick. The Frostbite Bloodworm is no exception to this slender trend.

Larval or bloodworm patterns are an important stillwater staple and tend to be ignored by many fly fishers who prefer the more familiar scuds, dragon nymphs, leeches and damsel nymphs. With over 2500 species in western North America alone chironomids especially their larval form are one staple that should not be over looked. Larval patterns are ideal the low light conditions of morning and early evening, after a strong wind storm, and when diving birds such as Coots are ferreting through the near shore weed beds. Hanging a larval pattern such as the Frostbite Bloodworm below a strike indicator amongst foraging birds can be deadly as the trout patrol amongst debris-ridden smorgasbord.

Tying Instructions

1) Stab a 1-inch length of Stretch Floss approximately -inch from the end using a dubbing needle or Xacto Knife.  With the Stretch Floss still impaled pull on the remaining length to create a distinct split.

2) Cover the front quarter of the hook shank with tying thread.  Return the tying thread so it hangs just back from the hook eye. Using firm wraps tie in the prepared Stretch Floss at the hook eye so the split end trails past the bend. With the Stretch Floss secure pull apart the split end creating two narrow lengths of Stretch Floss. Wind the tying thread back to the bend of the hook securing the split lengths along each side of the hook.  Pull on the tail material to reduce bulk as you secure it down the sides of the hook. Trim the Stretch Floss even with the hook bend creating a short V tail suggesting the pro-legs of the natural larva.

3) Tie in length of silver wire just back from the hook eye and secure along the near side of the shank down to the base of the tail.  Return the tying thread to the hook eye. Take a 1-inch length of Frostbite body material and pull on both ends to unravel.  The Frostbite typically unravels into two strands held together at one end by a knot.  Using 2-3 wraps tie in the unknotted end of the prepared Frostbite just back from the hook eye at any point along its length.  Moistening the two strands help keep them together for added control.  Please visit my Fly Tying Tips section for additional information on how to work with Frostbite.

4) Gently pull on the Frostbite  until the open ends almost pull out from underneath the securing thread wraps.  Add additional wraps of thread to further secure the body material.

5) Wind the Frostbite forward to the hook eye. Fill in any gaps from the initial wraps down the tail.  Try to form as even and slender a body as possible. Tie off the remaining body material and trim the excess.

6) Counter wind the silver wire in open even turns forward to the hook eye.  Tie off and using a pulling and twisting motion break away the excess. 

7) Build up a slightly oversized round head.  Whip finish and remove the tying thread.  Cover the body and head with brushable super glue or high gloss cement for added durability and shine.

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