Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Way Back...

It's over, the shortest day of the year for us living above the Equator. We are on the way back, the days are getting longer. Spring is not that far off, all we have to do is survive January. If there was one month I could have a vacation, go some place warm, it would be in January. After that, the days are noticeably longer, fish are once again enticed to feed on the surface,. On the Missouri river , that means Midges, I look forward to some great midge fishing, usually beginning mid February, and continuing through April. In May, the Baetis and Caddis begin, and the focus is toward the larger bugs. Also, in May we start with the March Browns, one of our larger Mayflies. Most fishermen will be concentrating on the larger three flies, but, the trout do feed on midges year round.
In the late 1980's while fishing on the Malleo River, in Patagonia Argentina, I noticed that the fish were keying in on the "balls " of midges , rather, than the individual midge. This is when I started fishing with large Griffiths Nats in sizes up to #14, aka midge cluster( shown above). With these larger flies, midge fishing became much more visible. The trout on the Malleo would "bust" a midge cluster, and ,it did not matter if the fly was floating with a perfect drift. Midges form balls on the surface ,climbing on top of each other to stay warm, and to mate. Most "balls" are about the size of Ping pong balls, but, I have seen some the size of a Tangerine, floating and bouncing along the surface of the river.
These larger flies "show" quite nice , and are very easy to see. I usually will fish this "cluster" with a either a zebra midge # 18, or a cripple midge #18 , on a very short dropper, usually around 4 - 8 inch's below the larger fly. The idea being that a trout will move to investigate a "cluster fly", once there, will either take it , or take the smaller imitation which might appear safer.
February is not that far off, you have plenty of time to get tying and be prepared for great midge fishing.
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