View Full Version : Midge Patterns?
11-25-2009, 07:08 AM
I am hoping folks might share some productive midge patterns. The kettle ponds on the Cape are teaming with trout now, and although I am catching fish - I continue to feel like my patterns are not quite there...
I've been fishing something very similar to the midge pattern in Fly Rod & Ree,l this month, some success, but I know it's not "the fly". It's basically a black midge emerger (18, 20 & 22), wth a lighter tail to mimic a shuck. I've also had some with nymphs, but ironically the zebra nymphs have not been as productive as PT or straight grey nymphs. Some luck with tan winter caddis, too - but the big feed is on midges. Standard flies on the water - black, grey wings, look like stingerless mosquitos - Chironomids for sure.
Any thoughts? I know if I can get the pattern right, there is a 20 fish day waiting for me down there. I love this time of year, you really see just how mnay fish are in those ponds - its stunning.
Oh, one other tip for those who venture to Mass. They just dumped over 30 broodstock salmon into Sheep's Pond in Brewster - minimum weight was 15 pounds - a few in the 18-20 pound class went in...
Keep it simple with midges... it is usually a size and color game.
I like biot bodies (turkey in all the colors of the rainbow), peacock thorax, with a CDC loop help it stay within 6" of the surface.
Experiment with size and color.
One thing to note, if it's a pond, it might be more of a chromadid (?) situation. In which case, they are typically large, and you can get away with a #16, thread and rib situation.
11-26-2009, 10:39 AM
Winter Midge Hatch
I have a hard time with these, maybe next year
11-26-2009, 11:12 AM
I would try the smallest Griffiths Gnat you can get. I have had some success using that pattern.
Great videos posted by Lowwall.
11-26-2009, 12:28 PM
I do a lot of midge fishing here on the Swift, and my go to pattern is the Griffith's Gnat in sizes #20 to #30. The midges seem to get smaller as the season progresses from late summer into winter, and the imitations follow.
Another, even simpler pattern is the Ostrich Herl midge, which is simply ostrich herl wrapped around a size #24 to #30 hook. You will need a Frog's fanny type of floatant to keep these on the surface. They also make excellent emergers when fished wet.
11-26-2009, 03:43 PM
Easy One, Griffith Gnat, Thanks guys
11-26-2009, 09:30 PM
Nice video, but tie it much, much smaller than that. Someone (Steve H maybe?) posted a great link at one point to a site with some fantastic Midge patterns that I used last spring. This is not the website I am talking about, but I have tied this pattern with a white bead:
It works well, but it is hard to fish with stuff that small.
11-30-2009, 07:25 AM
Yeah, I've been using griffiths gnats down to 24 and emergers similar to the one described.
I tie them with white cylindrical posts, floss bodies w/ribs, peacock thorax, and hackle.
Again, all these flies are working - they just aren't on fire.
I haven't gotten to look at the Youtube stuff yet, but I will.
The hatches are slowing down a bit now, too.
I appreciate the ideas and responses - all good stuff.
11-30-2009, 08:20 AM
I fish the cape quite a bit, and don't know anything you don't, but I've been having some luck lately with # 20 emergers tied with amber and olive vinyl d-rib, with an SLF dubbing thorax and white z-lon.
Like you said, productive but not real hot. I think the fish are cruising, and it's just a matter of keeping the fly in front of them. Hard to do when they're moving so quickly. Hatches are slowing, and sporadic. I don't think any particular fly will make the day that much more productive.
As a tangent, have you fished beaver dam brook in Plymouth ? I'm planning to head there this Wed.
11-30-2009, 10:01 AM
Sounds to me like you are making these emergers more complex than you have to. Perhaps you need more detail for stillwaters than for rivers, but I like to keep mine as simple as possible. Here's a generic emerger pattern.
Hook: Tiemco 2488 sizes #20 to #30
Body: Thread, color to suit
Rib: Fine silver tinsel - rib body only.
Thorax: Fine dubbing, color to suit
Wing: CDC, tied tilting slightly forward.
This pattern will hang in the surface film with the body hanging down, identical to the naturals. In order to fish it properly, you would need Frog's Fanny floatant to dress the CDC wing. The bodies on midges are so thin, I like to keep them as sparse as possible. The exception is the Griffith's Gnat, which can represent a mating cluster, a struggling emerger, or some other small insects that are not true midges.
11-30-2009, 11:41 AM
The emergers I tie are pretty simple the cylindrical foam post is the only real difference from what you're suggesting and that just provides the float that you are getting from CDC. Also, it mimics the external lung structure on the midges, which is white.
We're on the same page.
I was just wondering if the magic fly was out there and I was missing it. From what I read here, it sounds like we're all in the same boat.
11-30-2009, 11:56 AM
Thanks & no, I've never been to that brook. I'm intrigued, but working on Wed.
Send me a PM with results if you feel like it.
I tend to fish rivers in NH, more than Mass.
12-01-2009, 12:02 AM
The past few years, I have been trying to imitate a small worm I have found crawling on my wading shoes when I leave the river. It isn't real tiny, averaging in length, about the size of a size #18 Mustad 3906B, but the body is very thin, thinner than the hook wire. I tied some with a body of 8/0 tan thread ribbed with brown, and had fair success, but the fish wised up after a while. I wound up with a hook with just a rib of 8/0 black thread and a single turn of brown ostrich herl at the head to imitate legs. Almost a bare hook, and it worked like a charm until October.
If I had one Magic Midge, it would be the Griffith's Gnat, starting at #20 9590 Mustad hook in early summer, and progressing down to a Tiemco #2488 2X short in sizes #28 and #30. These little hooks have a 3X wide gap, and I absolutely love them for flies under #24. They are fairly easy to tie on, and my catch rate went up dramatically when I started using them. They are a bit pricey at $19.00/hundred, but well worth it, IMO.
A trick for a thin bodied fly on the surface. On the Swift in late fall, we have a hatch of black midges that look extremely small in the air, but if you grab one, they are actually about a size #24 in length, but have very thin body. I tie an imitation on the size #28 and #30 Tiemco hooks. I tie on a tail of three or four black hackle barbules out to the length of a #24. I then add a tiny bit of fine black dubbing on the hook, and add a couple of turns of grizzly or light dun hackle, and clip it on the bottom. The dubbing represents the thorax, and the tail imitates the thin body. Works like a charm.
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