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Book Review: Modern Midges by Rick Takahashi and Jerry Hubka

September 9th, 2009 · 2 Comments

The big brown truck brought a new fly tying book, Modern Midges: Tying & Fishing the World’s Most Effective Patterns by Rick Takahashi & Jerry Hubka.  Here are my first impressions.

The book has 3 main sections:

  • Appetizer: an introduction describing the importance of midges
  • Main course: very detailed tying instructions & tons of patterns.
  • Dessert: Advise for fishing midges/buzzers

The introduction is very brief, just 5 pages. It includes a 1 page “life-cycle of the midge”.  I had an incorrect assumption this book would be a companion to LaFontaine’s Caddisflies or Western Mayfly Hatches by Hafele and Hughes. There is little biological information, not there is anything wrong with that. This is a tying book. To be fair, the authors don’t mention this as a “part” of the book and the subtitle pretty clearly describes the contents. This was my problem.

The next sections are devoted to tying midges/buzzers and are organized by lifecycle: Larva, Pupa, Emerger, and Adult.  Flies for each stage are demonstrated with step-by-step sequences followed by a ton of patterns with photos.  Materials appropriate for the fly patterns is also discussed.  The book has a ring type binder, allowing it to stay open flat on your tying desk for easy reference.

The full color step-by-step sequences are very detailed with 20-30 steps per fly.  One unique thing about these sequences, they flow from the top of the page to the bottom, instead of left to right. But, they are clearly numbered so it doesn’t take too much to get used to.

The patterns come next, and there are many, many patterns for midges. There are 6 patterns per page, with a color photograph, materials list, and credits for the originator and tier. Here are rough estimates for the number of patterns (sorry, too many for me to count):

  • Larva – 110
  • Pupa – 500
  • Emerger – 270
  • Adult – 90

Now, that is a ton of patterns, but many are variations of the same pattern. For instance, there are about a dozen variations of Charlie Craven’s Jujubee Midge, presented in different colors.

The final section is about fishing the midge. This section has about 2 dozen articles, each written by different writers. Topics vary from rigging indicators & multi-fly rigs, still and moving water tactics, and matching the hatch.

The bottom line:

The book is well executed in terms of format, photography, and descriptions. Before reading this one, my midge pattern repertoire was defined by the Zebra Midge & Griffin’s Gnat. Now, I have a thousand more ways to wrap thread around a hook.

Tags: Fly Tying

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 John LeJeune // Sep 9, 2009 at 7:23 am

    I love Fly Box Porn. Page 6 is a killer.

  • 2 Anthony Naples // Sep 9, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Sounds like a good one – I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for the review!

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