HiVis CDC Midge

Published May 1st 2007

A high visible small dry


The finished fly - The HiVis Midge in all its might
The finished fly
The fish are rising all around you to midges. You open your flybox and search for your tiniest midge pattern. You finally manage to tie one onto the 7x tippet and cast it out. With so many rises, it's very difficult to see when the fish has taken your fly, especially if like me your eye sight is not that great to begin with.

This is the problem I have faced for the last couple of years on the Cape streams, especially with Net-winged midge hatches on the Elandspad. While small midge imitations like the Griffiths Gnat are very effective, when tied on size 18 and smaller they are not the easiest flies to see.

A year or so ago, I started tying a midge pattern using a dubbing loop and a couple of CDC feathers. The pattern was very effective but when tied in black (which I have found to be the best colour) it was very difficult to see.

One evening after tying up a couple of Parachute Adams, it suddenly hit me that if I added a parachute post to the pattern it would make it far more visible. I tied up a couple using a bright orange post and tried them out on my next outing. They could now be seen at a distance and took fish just as well as the non-parachute version. When tied in sizes 14 - 16, the pattern works well as a crippled mayfly imitation. You can also try skating the pattern to imitate emerging caddis.

HookGrip 11011BL Size 18 or Grip 14723BL Size 20 or equivalent
ThreadGordon Griffiths Sheer Thread 14/0 – black or colour to match CDC
PostAntron or Poly Yarn – fl orange or colour of choice
BodyCDC Feather – black or colour of choice

Tying instructions
  1. Start at the hook eye and run the thread about a third of the way down the shank.
  2. Tie in your post at this point – no need to wrap up the post as you would for a normal parachute fly, although I find that a slight wrap up the post makes it easier to palmer the CDC without catching the post fibres.
  3. Run the thread down to the end of the shank.
  4. Take a CDC feather and stroke the fibres so that they are at a 90 degree angle to the stalk. Do the same with a second feather and then place them one on top of the other.
  5. Clamp the one side of the two feathers using a bulldog clip, leaving about 5mm between the feather stalk and the edge of the clip.
  6. Using a sharp pair of scissors, cut the barbs off the feather as close to the stalk as possible.
  7. Spin the bobbin in an anti-clockwise direction until the thread starts to flatten. You can also pinch the thread between your thumb nail and index finger and run your nail over the thread a couple of times to help flatten it.
  8. Split the thread in half using a dubbing needle (I use a large embroidery needle) and hold the dubbing loop open using your finger.
  9. Place the end of the feather barbs into the dubbing loop and then pull down gently on the bobbin to lock the feathers in place.
  10. Gently spin your bobbin in a clockwise direction until the CDC fibres are well trapped and splayed in all directions.
  11. Now palmer the CDC forward and around the parachute post to the eye of the fly and tie off.
  12. The finished fly should look very rough and buggy.
  13. For faster/rougher water, use more CDC to create a bulkier fly, which will float better.

Tying sequence

Step 1 -
Step 1
Step 2 -
Step 2

Step 3 -
Step 3
Step 4 -
Step 4

Step 5 -
Step 5
Step 6 -
Step 6

Step 7 -
Step 7
Step 8 -
Step 8

Step 9 -
Step 9
Step 10 -
Step 10

Step 11 -
Step 11
The finished fly - The HiVis Midge in all its might
The finished fly

User comments
From: Kevin Thompson · kevinjthompson·at·  Link
Submitted December 5th 2010

This is one of the simplest explanations of the Petitjean tool I have seen. As good as a video! Great description coupled with the great photos. Keep up the good work!

From: Korrie Broos · korrie·at·  Link
Submitted May 13th 2009

The feather clip is a Marc Petitjean Tool.
Most fly shops will have it or will be able to get it, You can also order it on the web.

From: Nancy · nancysavidge·at·  Link
Submitted May 12th 2009

Hi Darryl, thanks for the great pictures, now can you tell me where I can get a feather clip like that?

From: Darryl Lampert · darryl.lampert·at·  Link
Submitted November 7th 2008

Hi Richard,

Glad your son got his first trout on the midge. Don't be scared to tie them larger and fish them during mayfly hatches. I recently caught some mullet using a white version of the pattern with the hivis post.


From: Richard B. · richard.bylund·at·  Link
Submitted April 8th 2008

Hi Darryl,
This fly helped my son land his first trout. Thank you so very much for the good memories and excitement this fly brings.

Richard B.

From: Anonymous  Link
Submitted May 5th 2007

Thanks Darryl!
For years I have fished a #19-21 black parachute w. yellow wing a no tail for midges, but this is about 18537 times easier and quicker to tie!
Will keep you informed :-)


From: Darryl Lampert · darryl.lampert·at·  Link
Submitted May 2nd 2007

Hi Lars,
I have not had a problem with the fly landing on it's side. With this fly you can cut the post very short and it will still be highly visible on the water. Good luck and let me know how it goes.


From: Lars · lars·at·  Link
Submitted May 1st 2007

Hi Darryl!
This is a nice fly that I want to try for my local streams here in Denmark!
Does it always land with the orange wing upwards?


Comment to an image
From: Vic Novis · vbnovis·at·  Link
Submitted April 11th 2008

Good self-explanatory photography.

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