Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Magic Of The Midge On Blue River

Each season, I tend to take a family, or classification of aquatic life, and work that pattern all season long in an attempt to learn as much as I can about this particular category. 

This year I'm exploring the midge.  Midge is a general term for many small flies.  At Blue, we are looking at the family of chironomidae mainly in the pupae or larva stage. 

The midge or chironomid are an important food source for fish and in this case the trout.  The chironomid also serve as good indicators as to the health of a waterway.  Their presence, or lack of, respectfully speak to the health or whether possible pollutants are present.

For me there is something magical fishing midge patterns.  The selection of midge patterns we have to choose from is wide and varied and trying to tie new patterns is fascinating also. 

Generally, I always trail the midge pattern I'm using below a nymph, streamer and in some cases another midge pattern.  So far the best colors I've found have been black, followed by gray, and red comes in a close third.  However, it is early in the season and the few outings I've had so far may very well not be indicative of what the colors have shown thus far. 
So far, I've concentrated on midges size 20 with a few 18 patterns thrown in.  Now, it's time to go down in size and explore the 22, 24, and maybe even try to thread a 26. 
One thing I believe, particularly when it comes to my tying of the midge, is that I often tie too thick or large even though my finished products are quite scant.  Most aquatic insect life is much smaller than we imagine when at the vise. 


Robin said...

Good stuff Barry. I think that midges are about the only flies that I can tie down in the twenties hook sizes. I have actually seen parachute patterns tied in #22!

Barry said...

Yeah, I need to get a midge tying vise. My Griffin is getting a little worn and will barely hold sizes like we're talking about.

Gregg said...


My HMH Spartan is a great value bought by my wife bless her. With midge jaws I can't recommend it too highly.