Posts Tagged ‘midges


Birds & Trout Feeding…

An evening hatch of midges (chironomids) excited the feeding birds and trout (and the fly fishers)…

birds feeding-hatch-lake-Oregon-SwittersB

Sipping trout take suspended pupa and emerger patterns right below the surface…




 All trout caught/released…


Blizzard Hatch

The hatch of chironomids (midges), Blue Winged Olives and a few Caddis was so pronounced, I never managed to focus this shot, either manually or with the auto focus mode. The pesky insects were in my ears, eyes, nose, mouth and everywhere in between. I good thing for a healthy river system.

blizzard hatch-midges-bwo-photography-Oregon-SwittersB-outdoors-nature



Pupalicious: Chironomids Always There

chironomid pupa Rise Form FF

Photo via Rise Form Fly Fishing

A year around staple in nature…the midge, the buzzer, the chironomid, the gnat (a pupa here). An excellent pattern for trout in rivers and lakes. Pupa patterns are simple to tie, the sleeker the better. Generally fished vertically, either drifting or still fishing.

-Midge Head SB


Pile of Midges

Pile of Midges SBThe Midge (Chironomid)…A Small Staple in Lakes and Rivers


Fly Tying: Down Sizing Fly Selection

“The average fly fisherman can have a bug in his hand and 90% of the time the will think that a size 18 is a size 14.  This is particularly true when the bug has taken flight and they are observed in the air.  A little caddis flutters by and Billy Bob reaches for his size 14 Elk Hair Caddis when in all reality he’s been fooled by the flapping wings and should be pulling a size 18.  Nymphs are very much the same.  An angler seines up a glob of crap off the bottom and all this bugs are crawling around in it.  His eye will be drawn to the largest bug first and in a lot of cases, all brain function ceases at that point.  He ties on a size 14 Pheasant Tail Nymph despite the fact that the rest of that glob of goop is crawling with size 20 Baetis nymphs.  We have a tendency to fall into the “Big Mac” syndrome and think that the fish are going to eat the biggest meal available when in reality they are going to eat whatever they have to expend the least energy to take.” Poudre Canyon Chronicles

BH Midge Pupa, Size 20 (SwittersB)

This is so true. We tie many patterns too large because it is easier and rationalized. We don’t recognize bug size and consequently reduce our odds of contact with fish during certain hatches/drifts. The size 14 is easier to see than the size 18. The hook up seems more likely with the bigger fly. Of late, I know that my larger ties are primarily an issue of eye sight and tying station backdrop. I will say that I tied 4 of these pupa’s before I got the wire wraps worthy of a photograph and only knew that after the photo was taken. Definitely need smaller beads. Midge patterns, small midge patterns, do not have to have obsessive attention to detail (wire body above). Simple thread bodies in different colors, ribbed with ultra fine wire, or contrasting thread or fine tinsels will do.


Biting Midges? (Blood Sucking Looking for a Host?)

Interesting post re turtles and female ‘midges’ that require blood supplying host for reproduction.

“Female midges need blood for protein to produce eggs; males eat flower nectar. To our knowledge, we do not have any biting midges at Hilton Pond that attack humans (or mammals in general?), so the insects on the turtles may be a large midge species that specifically needs reptiles as blood hosts.”  Yellowbelly Slider Turtles and Midges

Yellow Belly Slider (


Buzzer-Midge Pupa Construction (wing buds)

Typical Midge Pupa's by SwittersB

Typical Midge Pupa's by SwittersB



Midlander's Bubble Gray Boy Pupa (wing buds)

Midlander's Bubble Gray Boy Pupa (wing buds)


I have noticed a decided difference in UK chironomid pupa construction from the West. UK patterns are sleeker, seldom bead headed and often possess the addition of a ‘wing bud’; almost its own attractor it would seem. I have experimented with this a bit. A couple good midge sites (buzzer, chironomids, gnats)

 “Slim buzzers are really important: the creatures you are imitating are not bulky at any point of their anatomy – so why should your artificial one be so? Secondly, pick a target feature to incorporate in your dressing. In most buzzers the wing bud is quite a distinct feature in the natural, so many fly-tiers emphasise this element. I believe I told readers about this a few weeks ago when I was going through some early season patterns. I use “Tulip T-shirt” paint to get my buzzers with a target spot, but there are many other bits and pieces used. One of the most common materials to get this wing bud effect is a slither cut from a “Walkers” chicken flavoured crisps packet, whilst other tyers use a couple of turns of fluorescent floss silk.”

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