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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Strategies - Make it a Meal for Midges

Make it a Meal

I came across this tip in the newsletter of Deniki Outdoors. It's about fishing when the midge hatch is on. It was a tip from Dan Stein, and fishing with midges on the Bighorn River in Montana. We have midge hatches and the Lower Yuba trout will key on them sometimes in the winter. Although it is not a blanket hatch like the get in Montana this tip may just help to get a fish on your fly.

The scene is Dan Stein and a friend are fishing and swarms of tiny insects are littering the river’s surface. Every trout in the Bighorn seems to be eating dry flies.

I reach into my fly box and poke around for a size 24 black midge pattern.

“That’s no good,” Dan said. “You won’t see it and the fish won’t eat it.”

Instead of that tiny fly, Dan dipped into his fly box for a size 14 Blue Dun, a fly that looked absolutely nothing like the naturals on the water.

I wondered what in the world he was thinking, and he knew it.

“Just watch,” he said. “Throw that fly upstream from the fish you just saw rising by the bank, and let it drift down.”

I made the cast, and within a split second natural midges started landing on my fly. By the time it floated into the fish’s feeding zone, it was a meatball of swarming insects. Sure enough, the brown trout rose to inhale the meatball fly, and I set the hook.

“You have to make it a meal,” Dan said, smiling. “Why would a fish waste time and energy to suck down one little bitty bug? When the midges are hatching thick, always fish a midge cluster, or use a fly the bugs can cluster on. The more protein a fish sees, the more likely it is to eat.”

If you want more tips like this you can pick up The Little Red Book of Fly Fishing – a new collection of 250 nuggets of fly fishing wisdom from Kirk Deeter and the late, great Charlie Meyers by clicking on the link.

Photo from Deneki Outdoors

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