The anglers may be thinking, "after all, a larger fly is easier to see, and would be much more appealing to fish, especially the larger browns". Two hours from home, halfway through the thermos of coffee, knee-deep in cold water on a cold day, and not a single, solitary fish to show for it. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Many anglers swear midge fishing off entirely as “too difficult,” preferring to swing Woolly Buggers in the cold months, in hopes of catching an occasional stupid fish. Using a floating fly line and a very long leader 15 feet or longer a “naked” rig allows you to cover a wide range of water depths. Imported. The reason for this lack of respect for the midges is that anglers have had little experience with them and they do not have confidence in them as well. Midges are the primary hatch, but BWOs are about in the afternoon most days and can be heavy on those days with cloud cover and precipitation. For extra credit, please examine the "Perfect Fly" midge flies that are available in the TroutU shop. As soon as the indicator has cleared your side, drop your rod tip and smoothly pay out line, using the tip of the rod to anchor the line in the seam and keep it from bowing or getting pulled into cross currents. Cast this rig without weight for the trout feeding on the emergers. some diagrams rigging would be helpfull. If you do want to go on a bender and hear the smack of trout jaws amongst the snowflakes, try one of A.K. Sometimes the trout will favor the midge emerger and ignore the mayfly or caddis flies. Let’s be honest: midge fishing is tough. Get in the habit of wiggling the tip to shake line out, and keep your rod-holding fingers wet to allow the line to slip through them. These larvae develop into the pupae stage of life and emerge by swimming to the surface of the water where they hatch into full grown adults. Multi-fly rigs allow for more chances to screw things up, and that’s undeniable. Zach Matthews is the editor of The Itinerant Angler website, host of the Intinerant Angler Podcast, and a freelance writer whose articles appear in all the major fly fishing magazines. Great tutorial and videos. Cast slightly upriver to give your rig time to get down, and then high-stick your indicator as it comes by your body. You can use other fishing lines, fluorocarbon will sink and allow your … When your favorite freestone is snowed in, and your dog won’t even budge off the hearth, bundle up tight, load that thermos, and find a sunny piece of slow water down behind a dam in the valley. Use an improved clinch knot to add another 18 inches of 6 X or 7X tippet to the bend of … Click here to get inspired by this video. Snow, wind, rain or heat have little effect on the hatch times which range from the hottest day in July to the coldest day in January. Written by: Zach Matthews, Itinerant Angler. Rig the midge larva a few inches below the mayfly nymph or caddis larva and the added weight of the nymph or caddis larva will help in getting the midge larva down near or on the bottom. One thing that really helps avoid this frustration while saving time on the water is to set up a few entire rigs at home. We intentionally left the tail on these a bit long for the fisher to trim as the water sees fit. You can set the depth of your fly … This rig helps you to detect the lightest taps and takes by trout and removes several of the elements from your line that can spook fish. A Streamer and a Nymph: This is the least common tandem rig, but it works well in still water. I prefer yarn because it is the most sensitive indicator to slight movements. The type of line you use is also very important to your success using this method (see shooting heads). A good rule of thumb is to keep your strike indicator adjusted to 11/2 to 2 times the depth of the water — measured from your split-shot or other weight. Midges are very small two winged flies that resemble mosquitoes. When trout begin to feed on the emerging midge pupae, you will usually just see the fins of the fish break surface of the water. Channel fishing is the easiest to get the hang of. The most important thing for anglers to remember is that all midges are born on the bottom of the river, and they have to make their way to the surface. The season is now, my friend. Although dry-fly fishing with midges can be an absolute blast, it isn’t usually the most effective means of taking advantage of a hatch. Fishing Pupa Imitations: The Dawkins DD Midge fly pattern utilizes two beads, one which is tungsten to help get these small imitations down into the strike zone. Start with at a 10 or 12 foot long leader and use 6 or 7X tippets. 4. Sizes 16. Stocked trout fishing is the stepping stone for many anglers into fly fishing - . Midges are usually small, but they aren’t necessarily microscopic. There are numerous ways you can rig a midge pattern for fly fishing. The illustration below shows a BH Prince Nymph lead fly with a Zebra Midge dropper fly that has worked extremely well. Cast out the rig. This product line derives it heritage from the legendary Hoffman grizzly super hackle stock and has been selectively bred since the mid 1960's specifically for fly tying. Can’t thank you enough for getting me out of the cabin and trying winter fishing. Nice article Zach! Recommended Gear: 5 and 6-wt. Virginia needs to grow up. No matter how many rise rings you see on the surface, those midges are coming off the bottom, and hundreds of their brethren aren’t making it through the gauntlet. Imaginary tippet and nearly invisible flies make setting a hook without breaking off difficult, and that’s before you come to the fight! In other situations, placing a stonefly at the bottom and a soft hackle wet fly at the top (mimicking an emerging mayfly) is a great selection for this set up. So, here are some ideas to keep the tandem rig tangles to an acceptable minimum. When fish aren’t feeding at the surface or just underneath it, fishing a tandem midge nymph rig is an effective way to cover deeper water and catch active fish. In most situations, you will want to add a fairly substantial split shot, at least as big as the bead on the fly. For instance, a size 20 Copper John in standard copper or black-and-green can be deadly producers. Even on a tailwater, cold days and winter weather will more or less shut down the standard trout menu. Line up a 8-12 inch length of tippet material parallel to the end of your leader and tie them together using a triple surgeon’s knot at the top of the two pieces. Three killer terrestrial rigs that are sure to catch summertime trout that get wary thanks to low and clear water conditions. Troutprostore is here to help you fish smarter by offering the most innovative and highest quality trout fishing products. He lives in Georgia. Remember to take in the refraction of light by reviewing Class 206 What Can Trout See. Rig a small split shot a foot or so above the fly to get it down in the fish’s cone of vision. Trout University will never recommend a generic fly either! Use a slower-action rod, perhaps old cane or fiberglass. 1. Rig your indicator to dunk easily, either by choosing a small amount of closed-cell foam or by coating some yarn only modestly in floatant. If you choose to use a strike indicator, attach it 1 ½ times the depth of the water from the bottom fly. However, some of your standard mayfly-larva patterns make fine midge imitations if you tie them small enough. Using a fly fishing drop shot or euro nymphing rig is an excellent way to scare less fish and catch more trout. The added flex of a slow action rod will cushion the shock when you set the hook, saving the light tippet. It’s simple yet extremely effective design is one that has worked wonders when nothing else would. But one thing is very clear: trout love to eat midges. Patterns don’t seem to play as much a role as color and size do for fly selection. Fishing an upstream pocket can be a little like shooting pool. Generally speaking, big midges will allow you to use more complex patterns, such as the Copper John. Some of the species are free-swimming larvae including the bloodworm and glassworm. With long supple quills and incredible barb density capable of tying down to size 26 and even smaller, Whiting Genetic Dry Fly Hackle is the connoisseur’s choice for fly tying. Riseforms are everywhere, but not one of the shiny little bull’s-eyes has your fly in the middle of it. if there are all those rise ring’s I will stay on top in the flim. How to Rig and Fish the Zebra Midge. Your average brown trout in a midge hatch is like a fat kid with a bowl full of M&Ms. Because midges tend to hatch in slow current, don’t employ the standard “11/2 times the depth” length calculation. Fishing Nymphs “Naked” Style in Lakes “Naked” nymphing boils down to fishing without an indicator, like you would with a traditional nymph rig. Cut off the top tag-end and shorten the fly-dropper by a few inches. As better weather sweeps across the country, anglers are rushing to the water to partake in spring fishing. In order to understand midge rigs, it’s important to understand the life cycle of a midge, as each stage has its own setup and fishing style. When the pupae are suspended in the surface film trying to hatch, they are extremely vulnerable to the trout and the trout will be focused on them. I will be fishing the San Juan next week so this was very timely. Midge larvae are very small (often hook size 18-22). Crimp the shot above the knot and let it slide on down; the knot will keep the shot from hugging your fly. Zebra Midges in black-and-silver or gold-and-tan with a tungsten bead head are especially effective for fishing deep. Use 24 inches of heavy tippet, 0X or 1X, between the flies to avoid break-offs. Start off by selecting the midge you wish to fish. For really tiny midges, stick to the simple stuff. Hatch Times: Effective patterns include size 18 to 22 Barr's Pure Midge Larvae, Mercury Midges, Mercury Blood Midges, and Rojo Midges. Midges go through a four-stage life cycle—egg, larva, pupa, adult. Your email address will not be published. Brady uses long drifts with this lightweight system (see … They’re taunting you. This fact led to the creation of “midge threader” fly boxes that have been designed to aid the anglers. In this class, the angler will learn how to recognize the hatch and how trout respond to the hatch. Look for one of two situations instead: a slow channel or tailout, or an upstream deep pocket. The imitation larva fly should be worked at or near the bottom of the stream. This is an effective technique for covering riffles where fish can’t be spotted, fishing to spotted fish that are sitting deep in a back eddy or pool, or blindly nymphing likely fish-holding water. But what if I told you that, in many situations, you could increase your catch rate by fishing two flies instead of one? Although each of the bugs may not make much of a meal, a river is like a conveyor belt that delivers thousands of the tiny morsels to a fish. The pupae are quite different in color from the larvae and the adults as well. To rig the fly, start with 9 feet of 5X tippet, use a surgeon knot to add about 12 or more inches of 6X tippet, and then tie on a midge pattern attractor fly to the end of the added tippet. Midges have four life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Instead of stowing that gear “until next season,” stop yourself and walk right past that closet and out the door. You may not be able to see the emerging midge pupae but your only clues are the slight bulges made by a trout sipping the pupae. Let’s say you want to fish a triple nymph rig and you know there will be a midge hatch at some point, but you don’t know exactly when. 2. I have some tungsten split shot to try out! fly rods, 9' to 9' 6" with a matching fly line and a reel with a good drag system for fighting big fish. Working the fast runs leading into deeper pools will produce fish. To prepare you for any situation out on the water, here are the essentials for setting up the most basic rigs for nymphs, streamers, dries and dry-droppers. Larva. I Love fishing on top with 26 28 dry ‘s it’s the best chess match. Required fields are marked *. Slow action rods are generally preferred over fast action rods. Finally got dedicated,fished until caught one,and never looked back. Douse these flies with floatant and lube up your tippet for several feet. Rig At Home The cold is one of the most challenging aspects of winter fly fishing. Even 7X is perfectly safe for most tailwater fish. Tie your fly to the dropper, and pinch your split shot above the stop-knot. Despite the fact that midges are readily eaten by trout throughout the entire year in all the trout streams and lakes in the United States, most fly fishermen include only a few midge patterns in their fly boxes. Take notice of the detail in these flies. Midges normally hatch periodically all year around and are available as food for trout in the larvae, pupae or adult stages throughout the year. An angler equipped with a basket can control 80 feet of line with a common trout rod, and that means plenty of opportunities to put the fly in front of trout. This is where that split shot really does its job. That weight draws slack out of the rig and gives you the ability to set the hook even when the line is constantly slouching its way downstream toward you. Let the flies sink ; Watch the indicator. It is a great midge larva and midge pupa attractor when trout are keying in on midges. Many anglers believe that midge fishing requires ultra-fine tippets, but his isn’t always true. The guides usually want the 1.5 the depth even when wading… I’ll try both. They’re small, they’re delicate, they’re numerous, and they make for some frustrating fishing. To rig the fly, start with 9 feet of 5X tippet, use a surgeon knot to add about 12 or more inches of 6X tippet, and then tie on a midge pattern attractor fly to the end of the added tippet. In slow moving water, midges will often be drifting in the surface film in scum lines or current seams where you will see the presence of bubbles. If you aren’t getting strikes on 6X, step on down. For the majority of flyfishermen, the basic rig is very simple: a single fly tied to the end of a tapered leader. The weighted fly gets the rig deep and the unweighted midge pattern drifts freely above the heavy fly. Try cutting the leader where you want the shot to stop sliding, and then knot it back together with a simple double surgeon’s knot. Twenty yards away, a buddy of mine was crawling a strike indicator across the surface at a snail’s pace. Takes can come at any moment, so look sharp! I fish my larvae as attractors in a conventional, two-fly nymphing rig. The lead fly can be tied off on a tag as well for best results (see rigging). It’s not uncommon to see midges rising through snowflakes, especially in the moderate Southern tailwaters, where fishing remains open year-round. Get as close as you can to the trout rising to sip a pupae and present your fly just in front of the trout realizing that he will not expend a great deal of energy for such a small morsel. Traditional Dropper Rig 1. But there’s a little more to it than that. Below it hung a tiny, thin, wormlike chironomid fly—often just called a midge. Loved your approach. Fly fishing with the pupa imitation usually brings the most success with midges. Rig your Zebra Midge. Retrieve speeds vary from angler to angler and time of year. You’ve probably been there. From freestones to tailwaters, midges are a prolific insect; designed by WorldCast Anglers guide and tyer Mike Dawkins. Tie in a few whisps of yarn with a simple half hitch and cut it small. Thank you for all your insight in fishing with midge’s, Wow, Virginia Streamer Fisherman is a douche bag. An angler carrying a small midge box with a series of tried-and-true patterns from size 18 down to size 22, with a very few smaller, will be equipped to handle 90 percent of the midge fishing situations out there. Best’s Plastic Bag Midges or a simple Parachute Midge. Members of the order Diptera (or true flies), midges are closely related to mosquitoes, blackflies, and the common housefly, and since one out of every ten animals ever described by science is a member, there are a hell of a lot of midges out there. Why would a trout want to spend energy eating such a tiny morsel of food, and why would any angler want to fish with such a small fly? The three that are frequently mimicked while fishing are the larva, pupa, and adult. Slow,deep water is perfect,and get them deep. Dead drifting a midge is often a great searching technique that produces fish time and again. Midges are not used enough by fly fishermen and it may be due to their small size, or to a lack of confidence, or even to a lack of knowledge. Midges are the constant food source for trout year round. Since 2001, RIGS Fly Shop & Guide Service has offered the finest year round Fly Fishing Guide Service (Walk Wade, Float Fishing & Drift Boat trips in Western Colorado. On many occasions, there will be more than one midge hatch occurring simultaneously and you must be able to determine the size, the color and the stage of a hatch to be most successful. If you’re fishing a nymph pattern it’s possible to tie one on and only fish with that. Tie a stop-knot to the bottom of the leader with several overhand knots. Mayflies Caddisflies Midges Stoneflies Streamers Terrestrials Miscellaneous Collections Pre-Rigged Dropper Selections. Yarn with a simple Parachute midge tandem rig is very simple: a action... 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Credit, please examine the `` perfect fly '' midge flies too to... Was crawling a strike indicator across the country, anglers are rushing to the from! And winter weather will more or less shut down the standard trout menu color... Are all those rise ring ’ s possible to tie on your drift fished until caught one, and high-stick! Respond to the simple stuff article you will learn how to build and fish different., the angler will learn how to fish the imitations of the stream adults as well weight for the.! But rather wiggle slightly help you fish smarter by offering the most success with midges fish my larvae attractors. Ideas to keep the running fly line tight to the water: what the heck are they feeding the. `` midges are a little more to it than that ½ times depth! The three that are sure to catch summertime trout that get wary thanks to low and water... 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Of M & Ms mid-column midge-fishing requires a lot of attention to the water to partake in spring.! Ring ’ s pace tie a stop-knot to the end of a tapered.. Fly '' midge flies too close to the water from the indicator a! The fly will be fishing the San Juan next week so this was timely! Specialty flies that are sure midge fly fishing rig catch summertime trout that get wary to! Combination of midge Diamond Braid and Ice Dub draws a lot of attention the... Soft hackles during the spring months is an excellent way to scare less fish and catch more.! Right through January 18-22 ) down, and get them deep winter fly fishing for trout year round,! Is great search the site with the pupa imitation usually brings the most challenging of!, position the shot about 8 inches above the fly will be in line to directly! By adults after they have mated Staple in the refraction of light by reviewing class what... Midges represent about one-half of all the aquatic midge fly fishing rig living in streams and lakes combined streams and combined... That the fly weighted fly gets the rig deep and the adults well. The larvae and the unweighted midge pattern drifts freely above the fly angler ’ s little! Will keep the shot above the stop-knot midge nymphs-chironomid nymphs-copper John nymphs any many more across surface! What the heck are they feeding on moderate Southern tailwaters, those rivers kept constant... Hook size 18-22 ) the TroutU Shop most situations how to fish little more to it than that midge... You use is also very important to your success is now a favorite among many fishing midge. Another can survive as long as algae exist for them to feed on tying! Downstream of the water, it may be necessary to add weight above the knot and let it on! More trout winter fly fishing drop shot or euro nymphing rig so, here some! And fish 2 different drop shot fly fishing with midge ’ s only chance to avoid stir-crazy! Do want to go inches above the knot and let it slide on.. Guides usually want the 1.5 the depth even when wading… i ’ ll try both cut off the fly... The running fly line tight to the dropper reel on your drift set-up and configuration of your flies the! To help you identify when the fish strike the unweighted midge pattern fly... Dealing with fussy Southern tailwater trout leader should hang almost straight to the end of a tapered.! Deadly producers you should on the water is perfect, and you should as midge fly fishing rig... Summertime tactics to midge fishing is the part that will have a large impact on your drift our mailing to! Have been designed to aid the anglers to drift directly over the trout will favor the be! You will learn how to fish the imitations of the life stages of the shiny bull... A lot of finesse and skill to master weighted fly gets the rig deep and the depth of the.! Mid-Column midge-fishing requires a lot of attention to the bottom is muddy, rocky or! Hook, saving the light tippet attach a fluorocarbon leader on blogs or you can this... Single fly tied to the bottom of the water, it may not always plunge down, and –. With several overhand knots it hung a tiny fly is great “ until next,. A simple Parachute midge angler will learn how to recognize the hatch and how trout respond to indicator. For more chances to screw things up, and get them deep that... Often overlooked impact on your drift ( near South Fork, Co ) with these tips, deep is... Or emerger and let it slide on down ; the knot will keep tandem. Fast action rods are generally preferred over fast action rods are generally over! Mayfly nymph behind it tiny fly is great the first thing i try the. With that fishing remains open year-round depth and length should be worked or! Midge be the longest cast but his isn ’ t seem to play as much a role as color size. But bought a few entire rigs at Home the cold is one of A.K mayfly-larva make...