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little flies and big fish


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#1 Big Daddy Hubbard

Big Daddy Hubbard

    President of the North Alabama Steelhead Assoc., Hogswaller, KY

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Posted 24 November 2003 - 03:03 PM

I had spent the biggest part of Sunday night preparing and tying flies for my annual Thanksgiving holiday trip to a mountain stream not far from my mother's house. I took a little break and went to retrieve the mail. In my box was the latest issue of F&S, which has a short article on midge tying and fishing for winter trout. WELL...that is just what I was working on, midges.....coincidence?maybe, but it compelled me to offer up some info that just might improve your days on your home waters this winter.

As you know, winter weather patterns really have a dramatic effect on feeding habits of trout. As less and less food sources become available, the trout become more and more dependent on food sources that they may have overlooked in recent months. Midges become a staple in the trout's diet during the late autumn and throughout the winter simply because they are the most abundant food at the time.

Midges are a family of true flies in the order of Diptera. They are easy to identify cause of thier single pair of wings. They are found everywhere, from raging torrents to stagnant lakes and ponds. The larvae are somewhat wormlike with a small head and very short legs. They will vary in color from red to green to brown, and many variations in between. Midges hatch in the morning or late evening, except during the winter, when they hatch during the warmest part of the day. Midges are tiny insects, even in adult form and sometimes have a very difficult time even breaking the surface film. They mate on shore, then the female deposits her eggs onto the film and it all starts all over again. Most midge hatches will occur in slower moving pols and around the edges of moving water. These are the areas you want to concentrate on when hitting your favorite streams this winter. Midges are an almost fool proof way to catch fish when nothing else will produce. I have witnessed midge hatches in the dead of winter with the temp hovering around a balmy 17 degrees. The sun was high that day and warmed them just enough to stimulate a hatch. When I got to the truck, which was streamside, it was covered, literally covered in midges. Simply amazed me!

Great midge imitations include:Griffith's Gnat, Copper Johns, Brassies, and any other tiny, tiny fly. I tie these patterns from a 14 to an 18, but know that they are effective imitations up to a 30. I tie the several of the same pattern in different colors and figure out which is best by stream observations and trial and error. Tricos are another great adult imitation...be prepared for winter trout this year with a series of midge flies from larvae to adult, and you shouldn't have a single fishless day!!!!


Bundle up and keep your feet dry!

Big Daddy smoke.gif

#2 MSUICEMAN

MSUICEMAN

    When this baby hits 88mph...your gonna see some serious sh*t!

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Posted 24 November 2003 - 07:42 PM

I'd like to get into midge fishin more and more, but I just don't seem to be able to shake my steelheading in the winter time. I'll tie down to about a size 24, then I just can't see it anymore and then i'm cross-eyed for a week.

steve
He told us about Christ's disciples being fishermen, and we were left to assume, as my brother and I did, that all first-class fishermen on the Sea of Galilee were fly fishermen and that John, the favorite, was a dry-fly fisherman.

#3 Big Daddy Hubbard

Big Daddy Hubbard

    President of the North Alabama Steelhead Assoc., Hogswaller, KY

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Posted 24 November 2003 - 07:45 PM

yea, I know the feeling!! BLind in one eye from a freak stroke and the little bitsy boogers make my head hurt, literally!!! blink.gif

#4 Philly

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 12:05 PM

When you're tying midges rather than using a standard dry fly hook for your top water or emerger patterns use a shrimp/caddis pupae hook, I like the Tiemco 2488. Three reasons to tie them this way. You can tie a size 24 fly using a size 20 hook. You have a wider gape on the hook for better hook ups. The wire is heavier so there less chance of the hook straightening on smaller flies 26 and down.

"All things considered, I'd rather be in Philadelphia."

#5 Big Daddy Hubbard

Big Daddy Hubbard

    President of the North Alabama Steelhead Assoc., Hogswaller, KY

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 03:10 PM

excellent follow up, Philly!