Chironomid Bombers were designed by Brian Chan, a fishery biologist out of Kamloops, B.C. Brian designed this pattern in response to the large size of chironomids that occur within some British Columbian lakes during mid-Summer. These patterns are tied on sizes 10-12 of a 2XL curved dry fly hook, such as a TMC 2302, and utilize a white metal bead for the head. The white bead imitates the white gills of the chironomid but also helps to get the pattern deep within the water column. During times of algae, use of a white bead can be a great advantage over white fiber materials from keeping the pattern clean of algae. The thread wraps that anchor the bead are usually a dark contrast to the bead and will represent the thorax of the chironomid. Another tyer, British Columbian Fly Fishing Guide Kelly Davison, actually came up with the idea of using white beads on an earlier pattern known as the Ice Cream Cone midge. Chan's Chironomid Bombers utilize a flexible vinyl material for the body. This can be marketed under a number of names such as Stretch Flex, Midgeflex, and Scudback. It is spirolly-wrapped around the shank with a wire rib. There are three colorations that Chan prefers:
- Black/Red - Black body with red rib is perhaps the most common pupal colour combination found in stillwaters.
- Black/Silver - The silver rib helps give the impression of trapped gases beneath the pupal shuck.
- Brown/Red - Brown chironomid pupa are common in slightly tannic or algal stained waters. The Flashabou body and bright red wire rib make this fly stand out in such waters.
Within Sierra waters, we don't see Chironomids as large as those in British Columbia but we do have some areas in which sizes 14 to 16 work well in mid-summer such as Crowley Lake, Bridgeport Reservoir, Truckee River, and EF Walker. Pyramid Lake, outside of Reno, NV, will have some huge chironomids and patterns in size 8 to 12 are recommended. Once you get into the smaller sizes, you can use some smaller width body material such as Life Flex or Flex Floss.