Ice Cream Cone


The Ice Cream Cone is meant to represent deep lying chironomid pupae. It is primarily a stillwater pattern that is especially effective when the naturals are staging. The pattern sinks quickly to depth where its white bead head, thought to indicate the gills of the natural, acts as a trigger point.

How to fish:

Fish the Ice Cream Cone using either a static presentation or a quick strip, both methods work especially well in conjunction with a high floating strike indicator. You can also fish this pattern employing a traditional nymphing setup with a floating line, long leader and a figure-eight or hand twist retrieve. To fish deep using a retrieve, try a sink tip or intermediate slow sinker to keep the fly at the right depth.

For more details on fishing chironomids read Brian Chan’s article »

Tying instructions:

Left-handed sequence | Right-handed sequence
1. Place a white glass or painted metal bead on the hook, then place the hook in the vice as shown. This hook hold reduces the incidence of thread wraps slipping at either end of the dressing.
2. Start the thread immediately behind the bead.
3. Catch in the pearl ribbing the butt end of which should reach to immediately behind the bead.
4. Catch in the silver wire as you continue wrapping the thread toward the rear of the body. As with the pearl ribbing, the tethered end of the wire should extend to immediately behind the bead – this helps maintain an even profile when you build up the body later.
5. Hold the rib materials slightly apart as you wrap the thread to the rear of the body, keeping them inline with the shank and bend. As in the previous stage, this technique helps maintain a clean body profile.
6. Run the thread to the point indicated. You may wish to dress a shorter or longer body.
7. Build a tapered body with the tying thread (a job made quicker using heavy gauge thread). Allowing the thread fibers to flatten and spread slightly can help produce a nice smooth result.
8. With the thread hanging at the head, wind the Flashabou rib forward in firm even wraps. Secure with thread making two or three tight wraps and a half hitch.
9. Wrap the silver wire following the leading edge of the Flashabou rib.
10. Cut away the waste rib material. Build the thread up into a cone taking the body profile smoothly onto the back of the bead. Make a whip finish.
11. Apply a good coat of Hard As Nails. Spread the varnish evenly and avoid overloading the fly.
12. After a single layer of varnish you should have something like this. If you prefer a heavier varnish layer, let the first coat dry completely before adding another.
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4 thoughts on “Ice Cream Cone

    • Hi Rene, Thanks for you question. It made me realise I hadn’t posted the recipe. I’ve corrected that now. In the sequence I’m using a Partridge 15BN size 12. You might also try hooks without a curved shank, like in some of Brian Chan’s Bomber patterns. Size of hook depends on local conditions. Cheers, Raif

  1. Do all chironmids have gills and ribbing? Also, are all Midges Black/dark olive bodies? Ar are they color of the chironomid? Tks

    • Hi Rene, Can I direct you to Brian’s Chrionomid Tactics, and to my article, Chironomids. In brief, all chironomid pupae have gills, but their size and visibility varies. This is one reason for carrying a variety of patterns including ones like the Chromie. Ribbing on the patterns is intended to suggest the body segmentation which is present in all chironomid pupae. The combination of primary ribbing, secondary ribbing, and exposed thread or floss body is designed to emulate the colour banding and sometimes trapped gas in the ascending natural. Anyway, please follow the links above for detail and context. Good luck, Raif