Midges and Chironomids are mosquito-like insects that inhabit every watershed that will support trout. They belong to the order of Diptera which means two winged. Other orders of insects have four wings. They are the most widely dispersed aquatic insect genera. In many lakes and slower streams huge populations of these insects make them the most prolific food source for trout, bass and pan fish.
This is especially true of juvenile fish. In many alkaline lakes, double digit trout and larger than average bass and blue gills will selectively feed on midge pupae because of their easy availability. This activity can be very prominent during cool months, but can happen during all times of the year.
Unlike most aquatic insects, which adopt a horizontal attitude when
about their normal business, chironomid pupae are suspended vertically in
the water column. This is
an important key to fish. A fly that rides horizontally can't look or act
like a chironomid pupa.
Midges hatch year round and are most important to the trout fisherman during periods when hatches of other aquatic insects are light, such as late fall, winter and early spring. Midges can be active during all parts of the day, but by and large they like the warmer periods of the day during the cold months and the cooler parts of the day during the warm months.
Trout also feed on midges as they are hatching and after they have hatched into winged adults. Alkaline rivers such a s the lower Deschutes have huge populations of midges. If you look along the edges of the river you will see a stringy yellow green substance ringing many rocks in the splash zone. To the inexperienced observer this substance could look like a form of aquatic pants or algae. Actually it is the egg strings from millions of midges. Watch the rivers edge during mid morning and you will see a multitude of midges laying their eggs.
|The foam at the head keeps the fly suspended in a vertical attitude near the surface of the water. The Antron tail is like tail gills hanging from a clear shuck. As the adult insect starts to emerge from the pupa shuck, clear reflective bands form at the body segments and the back of the insect starts to split, hence the reflective rib and Antron back on the thorax.|
Got an idea for the
"Insider", or a subject you would like to have discussed?
Could these flies mimic an Ocean food?
Could these flies mimic an Ocean food?
Oregon’s Marine Science Center, believe that steelhead may retain the
“search image” of nourishing marine organisms even after they have
returned to fresh water. According
to Dr. W.G. Pearcy, steelhead range far out to sea, dining mostly on
squid, amphipods and euphausiids. Squid
make up 90% of their high seas diet, but many food organisms are pink or
orangish in nature.
Ghost Shrimp or
Sand Shrimp are very popular bait with the monofilament crowd.
If you don’t believe it, just count the empty bait cartons along
your favorite stretch of water. Early
run summer steelhead are especially susceptible to these critters.
Several years ago, Rod Robinson, who was then working for Paulson
Flies in Portland, Oregon, developed a very respectable imitation of the
sand shrimp using chenille covered with a shellback of polyethylene.
Further refinements were added by the then teen age Dean Finnerty.
What evolved is a fly pattern that is so life-like that it is
easily recognized by fish and angler alike; the Finnerty Shrimp.
enter fresh water sexually immature.
Unlike their winter run cousins who move up the rivers more quickly
to spawn, summer runs tend to dawdle.
They may not spawn for several months after leaving the ocean and
may school at various points along their journey.
One of the places they congregate is in the estuaries just before
leaving the ocean. This is
prime habitat for ghost shrimp. Steelhead
like all trout, are ever the opportunist.
They will feed on what is easily available.
One of the foods most exposed to them just prior to leaving the
salt is ghost shrimp. Winter
fish pass through the sand shrimp zone more quickly, having less time to
key on them.
Each river spawns
it’s own race of steelhead, which may spread to different parts of the
ocean. If one examines the
ocean and compares it to a giant lake or river, it stands to reason that
not all food organisms will be found at all locations in the same
population densities. As
changing currents, temperatures, and depths create different environments,
the species living within each location will vary with their own living
requirements. Each steelhead
probably eats from a slightly different menu.
This could explain why fly patterns vary from river to river and
why such a profusion of successful patterns exist.
The angler who could match what the steelhead were feeding on in
the ocean could probably catch more steelhead.
The problem is how to observe the steelhead while out to sea.
|The #15FF Flip-Focal Magnifier|
Tired of not being able to see small objects such as flies and knots? The Flip-Focal gives you perfect short range vision for tying on flies, etc.
|Flip-Focal is an Acrylic optical aid that is designed to clip to the bill of your hat. It flips down when you need it of flips up out of the way when you don't.|
Sun Set Super Patch
A revolutionary product that cures with UV light/sunlight. You'll never again have to end your day of fishing just because there's a rip in your waders. Simply apply Sun Set Super Patch to the leak or tear, expose to sun, allow 5-20 seconds for curing, and get back in the water. This product will work on hiking boots as well. Neoprene, Gortex and other breathables. Do not expose open tube to sun, once product exposed to sun, it immediately cures. Excellent product for guides to keep handy for clients. Alternative products do not cure in the sun, and also have harmful solvents (toulene). 1/4-ounce tube
|SUNPAT||Loon Sun Set Super Patch.||$5.95|
Aqua Seal & Cotol 240
This kit contains a 1 ounce tube of Aqua Seal and a 1/2 ounce bottle of Cotol 240. This kit saves you money over the same items purchased separately.
|AQUASET||Aqua Seal & Cotol 240 - complete set||$8.95|
W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., the inventor of GORE-TEX fabric, has introduced Revivex Water and Stain Repellent. Most outerwear is treated with an ultrathin coating called durable water repellent (DWR). This coating causes water to bead up and roll off the fabric instead of being absorbed. Eventually, the DWR coating can be worn off by normal use. Revivex restores outerwear water repellency. Revivex Water and Stain Repellent is water based, nontoxic, and nonflammable.
Size: 5oz. bottle, enough for 2 normal garments.
|REVIVEX||Revivex Water Repellent Spray||$12.00|
Simms Replacement Wading
Wading shoe laces are subjected to extreme punishment from water and abrasive materials while you are wading. They usually wear out before your wading shoes do. You need to carry an extra pair. These are the best we have found.
|BOOTLA||Simms replacement boot laces.||$2.00|
Wader Maintenance Kit Special
|WADERK||Wader Maintenance Kit, includes shipping in USA.||$26.95|
Record Runs of Steelhead, Chinook
and Coho are expected in 2001.
|If you would like to read past "Insiders", click Archives|
The Fly Fishing Shop, Welches, OR
long & prosper,
Mark Bachmann, Patty Barnes