Fly names are a unique addition to the fly fishing language. And it seems that over the past decade or so the names given to flies have broken out of their traditional constructs. And while no fly may ever match the Royal Coachman for both beauty and poetry, its nice to have a few names like the Shop Vac, the Butt Monkey, and the Circus Peanut.
I don't have any particular criteria for the fly names I most enjoy, but I know them when I hear them. One thing I do like is when the name of the fly seems to be a perfect match for the fly itself. I think the Zebra Midge is an excellent example. One look--especially at the original black version--and you would probably call it a Zebra even if its official name was something else.
Midge Man wrote about the history and tactics of this bug awhile back, and he's much better at that kind of thing than I am. But I will say that over the last five years or so this has become one of the patterns I always seem to run out of, which is generally a good sign. I like them in a variety of flavors, but dark brown, red, and purple are three of my favorites. For the batch pictured here, I tried a darker bead.