Fly Fishing Traditions

Fly Fishing Traditions Blog and Website
"It's about Life & Fly Fishing"

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Gidget

I've heard the fly "Gidget" mentioned many times by Keith Kaneko on his blog and alawys wondered, "What the heck is a Gidget"

For those aging baby boomers out there... From the popular sitcom "Gidget"

"...Wait'll you see my Gidget. You'll want her for your Valentine. You're gonna say she's all you adore..."

Well, it went something like that. This particular pattern is named appropriately, not to mention being about as cute and petite as Sally Field was in 1965/1966, This is one of Mike Mercer's tying creations.

What's A "Gidget?"

The television program Gidget was titled based on the primary character's nickname; a conjoined version of the words "girl" and "midget." Mike Mercer's "Gidget" may not be exclusively feminine, but it is on the small side. In fact, Mercer himself has said:

"The Mercer Midgeling, with its transparent glass bead head was such a success, I wanted to go down pretty much the same road - incorporate the best "triggers" of the Midgeling, but with a brass bead head that would sink the fly much more quickly."

On that basis, Mercer's Gidget can be used to imitate a midge (particularly a chironomid) or even a small mayfly; although Mercer also has another, similar pattern called the Micro Mayfly for that specific hatch. (You can read about the Micro Mayfly in Mercer's book Creative Fly Tying) With the copper/brass bead, it will sink faster than his Midgeling, making it more useful in "faster" currents and/or deeper waters. But, given the size, it's not going to sink "like a rock" by itself in faster/deeper water. Think split shot or as a dropper behind a heavier nymph in all but the most benign flows.
The Gidget can be used even in the largest rivers. As Mercer noted:

"Interestingly, the Gidget has become a more popular pattern, due no doubt to the metal bead, which made it an instant 'fan' favorite. Guides across the West have also warmed to it, which is most gratifying to me."

Some might be a fan of the 1959, Sandra Dee interpretation while others cite the 1965/1966 Sally Field portrayal of Gidget. The same holds true for Mike Mercer's Gidget Nymph. Some like the olive while others prefer the brown. Either way, you might give this pattern a try the next time you're looking for a small trailer fly or need a relatively quick sinking, albeit, "petite" midge pattern. Though your reasons may differ from Mercer's, you too just might find the Gidget most gratifying.

The Recipe

The Gidget differs in a couple of significant ways from the Mercer Midgeling. The Midgeling is tied on a TMC 2487, a curved shank hook, where the Gidget is tied on a straight shank TMC 3769. The Gidget incorporates a partridge fiber tail and "legs." Finally, as already noted, the Midgeling utilizes a glass bead and the Gidget has a brass bead. Thus, the recipe for the Gidget is as follows:

Hook: TMC 3769, sizes 16 - 20
Thread: UNI 8/0, brown or olive (I tend to use Gudebrod 10/0 for size 20's. It's no where near as strong as the UNI, but seems to lay flatter and, for me, slides "under" the bead a little better to help "hide" the head.)
Bead: Copper, to match hook size (Again, note that the Umpqua catalog listed it as being "gold." The copper version is what Mercer has specifically cited.)
Tail: brown, speckled Hungarian Partridge (I make the length about half the hook shank.)
Underbody: Pearl Krystal Flash
Overbody: Micro or Midge Tubing (The "official" recipe calls for olive or brown, but I've found that chartreuse and blood red also work; particularly when midge fishing.)
Legs: Same as tail
Wing Case: Loop of Pearl Krystal Flash, 3 - 5 strands (I have found, once again, for me that Pearl Midge Flash [a smaller diameter/length version of Krystal Flash] is much easier to work with; particularly on the 20's. However, you must make sure that the amount used is sufficient to create the "trigger" effect of the design. You know, trigger a strike...)
Head: Superfine dubbing, olive or brown (I tend to use olive with my chartreuse version and black or dark brown with the blood red variation.)

1 comment:

  1. lets see a pic of the fly!! for us visual learners/babyboomers


Have any Questions or Comments? Let me know, Clay.