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The Bluegill Bug – Ice Cream Cones

The other day, I was asked by a fellow fly fisher if Midge patterns could catch Bluegill? I quickly responded that Bluegills will actively feed on sub-surface and surface Midge patterns when the time of the season calls for Midges to come to life.  They are small, easy to ingest for Bluegill, and, just as reliable as any other type nymph pattern if you give them a chance. 

While I tie, a few different Midge pupa and Larva patterns for my Bluegill box, one of my favorites is a pattern called the Ice Cream Cone.  In the ponds and stillwaters I fish, and for my occasional trip to the local river, this has proven to be as good as any other Midge pattern for me.  Simple to tie, fun to fish with, and productive! That is a win-win situation if you ask me.

Let’s tie an Ice Cream Cone Midge:

  • Hook – Scud style hook is what I prefer.  You can tie them from size 12 on down and be effective.  I prefer mine in a size #14.
  • Thread – Should match your body color for good effect
  • Bead – For the ones pictured here, I used a glass Pearl bead.  They can also be tied with Metal beads to fish even deeper water if you prefer.  I have some tied both ways just in case.
  • Body – I use Stretch Cord bought at Wal-Mart.  This is a fine oval, and, very stretchy material to make a segmented body.
  • Ribbing – Your color preference and material.  I like to use Krystal Flash for my ribs in color to match with the body material.

Ok, that is the material you will need, now the tying procedure:

  • Insert Glass or Metal bead on hook and slide up to the eye of the hook.
  • Start thread right behind the bead on the hook and build up a taper with the thread so that the hook is not easily able to slide back over your thread.  Bring the thread to the rear of the hook and slightly down over the bend in this case.  Bring thread back up, continuing to make a layered thread body and stop just behind your bead.  Now tie in just one strand of Krystal Flash behind the bead and wrap your thread back over it and back down the hook shank to where the thread originally started.
  • Return your thread back up the hook shank again layering your thread to a point just behind the bead.  Next, cut a piece of Stretch cord and tie it in just behind the bead.  Again, use your thread and bind down the stretch cord over the back of the hook and down to where the rest of the materials set at the rear of the hook.
  • Most importantly, We are now ready to make our body.  The Stretch Cord is very, very flexible and strong, too.  It is important to keep a very tight pressure consistent as you wrap the body.  Make each wrap side by side, do not overlap, and bring all the way up and tie off behind bead.  If you don’t think you were tight enough with the wraps as far as tension goes, you can always unwrap and try again!  Your body should be a small segmented shape as you come forward.
  • Next take your one wrap of Krystal Flash and wrap it forward laying it into the segmented area of the body as you come forward with it.  Brings a little flash and support to the body.  Tie off the Krystal Flash and complete a whip finish know and your almost done.
  • As an option, I then take Super Glue and lightly coat the entire body, top, bottom, and sides.  This makes your body stand out and show segmented body even more.  Carefully, remove from vise and set it up to dry.  They are now virtually, indestructible! 

Please enjoy tying up some Ice Cream Cones.  I tie them in Cherry Red, Black, and Blue. Or, as I often say, Cherry, Blackberry, and, Blueberry……………. Ice Cream anyone?

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9 thoughts on “The Bluegill Bug – Ice Cream Cones

  1. Well brother Mel, it looks like you got the bugs out that we talked about earlier. I’m sitting here watching the snow fall and thinking that if I was actually going to fish the Park this next week that some Ice Cream Cone midges might just pull in a few trout on the Big T. As it looks like right now, I’ll be sitting by a roaring fire watching the snow fly from inside our room in the Park.

    1. Howard, thank you my brother, for letting me know of a kink or two starting the new blog format. Happy to see everything is working like it is supposed too. Just have to get the word out and regain some of the views I lost with the transition.
      Can you believe this snow storm? Up to 5″ up here a little north of you. The Ice Cream Cone Midges do work on the Big T. for sure………. I have to lament with you on the weather for your stay at the lodge. It is a beautiful area and very comfortable. Who knows by that time it might be 80 degrees up that way and fish will be ready!

  2. Mel, well written and spot-on! Never met a bluegill that would refuse a nymph of any sort. Especially midges. I fish a particular stream inlet on a local lake where there is a very slow current. A midge 18″ under a #14 EHC drifted in that slow current is a fish per cast on many days.

    1. Thank you, Ralph! That is the way I see it, too. Midges are definitely overlooked when it comes to Panfish…….Bluegill in particular. I give up after size #18, I can’t see them to tie them let alone on the end of a piece of tippet……….

  3. Mel
    Midges and bluegill, got to try this using my new 2 weight fly rod– great job at the vice!! Thanks for sharing

    P.S. Don’t know if it is Internet Explorer I am using, but only your text is showing on my browser???

    1. Good morning, Bill. First things first, your flies are being mailed to you today. Have fun and let me know how you do with them. If you need more, I am here…..
      I would think your two weight would be an ideal rod for fishing small Midges like the Ice Cream Cones for Bluegill. Thanks for the kind words on my flies. I checked the blog from Internet Explorer from my end and everything looked just fine, so, am not sure what is going on. Let me know if the problem continues……………….

  4. Mel
    Thank much for the flies will be going before the week is out—–I can see all your images and links, but as for the theme layout nothing is showing—in other words your background is all white—have you changed you theme look?

    1. Hopefully, Bill, the flies will arrive before your trip out. I am hoping for Thursday, but, it depends on the USPS! Also, yes, I have changed my background to all white, so you should be seeing all that I have including my Sidebar I just put up last night. I read somewhere that black on white is the easiest for users to see and better for the eyes. I will take all the help I can get………….. Have a good day!

  5. Mel
    Glad to know there is nothing going on as far as the browser I am using—–headed to the Sipsey tomorrow will be using the your bugs next week on a new lake I have found. Thanks Bill

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