Midges are the ultimate Fast Food for any fish that eats bugs. I have caught Bass, perch, gills, carp, trout, and most species on this tiny fly.
Midges are Diptera, 2 winged flies. They go through a cycle of life that begins under a rock and eventually emerge. You can see Midges hatching throughout the year. At times, these sturdy flies can be seen hatching during snowstorms.
On an ice fishing day in Hegben late, I was disappointed to discover access to the ice was gone. An open area of 10 feet was between the shore and the ice shelf. I almost left until I noticed a flash just under the open water. Trout were feeding on midges along the ice edge. I ditched my ice fishing gear for a fly rod.
Midging is best when you have an indicator top fly. On this day I used a size 12 Adams. My size 18 midge was secured on with a thin fluorocarbon tippet that was just 6 inches below. The midges that I observed were ascending pupa /larva. Every cast produced a fish!
Credit for inventing the Zebra Midge is given to Ted Wellings, a guide from the Colorado River, at Lees Ferry, in 1996. Many anglers often used midge like patterns long before. As a kid, I noticed small white, black, and tan midges in the stomach contents of fish that I cleaned. Tying them was easy and I just wrapped white dental floss, reinforced with wire, finished with a peacock herl head. This was in the 1970’s. Honestly I was just matching what was in the trout’s stomach. It worked great. I called it a Maggot Fly.
Midges are generally tied in sizes 16 and smaller. They can be in a variety of colors. Using a small scud hooks works well. Less is more when tying a midge. When dropping a midge off an indicator fly, the longer the drop the more strikes you will miss. If fish are boiling just under your dry fly, 6 inches can be perfect. 24 inches may be needed if you are drifting through grass channels or see the fish feeding deeper. Longer droppers are most effective in lakes.
Midge Magic should be in every Fly Guys arsenal.
For more Montana Grant, catch him at www.montangrantfishing.com.