Spanflex Buzzer

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Black/Gray Spanflex EmergerBlack/Cream Spanflex Emerger
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Actual Chironomid Emerger
Actual Chironomid

Chironomids are one of the most important food sources in stillwaters. They can represent 25-50% of the food source for trout, depending upon season. There are three stages to consider, the larvae, pupa, and emergers. Colors range in frequency from Black, Brown, Red, Tan, Green, and Cream. Many of the larvae will have a reddish appearance as they retain hemoglobin within the oxygen-poor depths. These larvae are often called bloodworms. The larvae are also quite larger than the pupa or emergers, sometimes up to two hook sizes. Generally, the largest chironomids will be during the Spring and will decrease in size through the Summer and Fall.

The Spanflex Buzzer pattern is a popular pattern within England, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada. Spanflex is a very tough, stretchable material made by Wapsi in Arkansas. There are similar products such as Flex Floss and Midge Stretch Floss that can be substituted. It is often used for legs, tails, and ribbing on larger flies. It makes great bodies on smaller midge flies. By applying somewhat little stretch to the material you can get a pronounced and broad segmentation. By applying considerable stretch, the segments will become quite small and flat. Two different colors of the Spanflex will add a mottled effect to the body. Also try spacing the Spanflex wraps over the thread body, this allows the thread color to show through and provides another mottling efect. The material is semi-translucent, so that the underbody of thread color will greatly affect the body coloration. For instance, the bloodworm Spanflex Buzzer uses a Ginger colored Spanflex which comes across quite red due to the red thread underbody. Also, note how the cream spanflex comes across as a mottled gray over the black thread body of the Black/Cream Spanflex larvae when it is stretched tight. A covering of an Acrylic such as Sally's Hard as Nails (Clear) will provide a tougher surface and protect the thread wraps around the bead.

Although we don't see many of these Spanflex buzzer patterns within Sierran waters, they hold a great potential. I hope by introducing these, you might try them out. Let me know how they do.


Black/Gray Spanflex Pupa
Black/Cream Spanflex Pupa


Black/Gray Spanflex Larvae
Black/Cream Spanflex Larvae


Bloodworm Spanflex Buzzer
Bloodworm Spanflex Buzzer


Gray/Gray Spanflex Emerger
Cream/Gray Spanflex Emerger


Orange/Gray Spanflex Emerger
Ginger/Gray Spanflex Emerger


Brown/Black Spanflex Pupa
Brown/Black Spanflex Pupa


Orange/Brown Spanflex Emerger
Ginger/Brown Spanflex Emerger


Orange/Olive Spanflex Emerger
Ginger/Olive Spanflex Emerger


Olive/Olive Spanflex Emerger
Olive Spanflex Emerger


Olive/Olive Spanflex Pupa
Olive Spanflex Pupa

© 2013 Steve Schalla
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