.......................  ......Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park


Catching Yellowstone Trout in Cold Water - Part 12
It is usually very difficult to actually see or determine if a midge hatch is
underway. The light has to be just right for you to see them. I cannot see much
of anything within three feet of me, but I have good vision at a distance. Even
so, I still have a difficult time determining if a midge hatch is occurring. When
everything is right from a lighting standpoint, you may see a midge hatch going
on right where you had been looking at the water under different lighting
conditions without seeing anything hatching. Sometimes there's just not enough
light to determine what is going on with midges.

There are other reasons for the difficulty in this. One is the ultra small size of the
midges. Anglers commonly tie midges down to a hook size 32. A size 32 hook is
so small there is hardly room for the gap in the hook. You would think that is
small enough, but the facts are midges exist in even smaller sizes. There are
over a thousand (1000) species of them that are found in streams that trout can
exist in. Entomologist have found over a hundred species of Chironomid midges
on trout streams. Some slower moving, fertile trout streams have even more
species and there are plenty of those in Yellowstone National Park.

We have observed midges from the streams in Yellowstone many times, some
times deliberately, and other times because it was almost impossible to collect
nymphs and larvae in a kick net without getting midge larvae in it. We normally
place the mayfly and stonefly nymphs and caddisfly larvae, one at a time, into a
white dish to separate and identify them. When we do, we always find some
midge larvae and pupae in the dish. They are so tiny it's almost impossible not
to get any of them into the dish.

As I have said in a previous article, almost all of the midge larvae and pupae are
areas but other than that, they all look about the same. Some are segmented,
but as I previously said, it is very subdued shades of those same colors. The
point that I am getting too is that I don't think it is necessary to have a lot of
different colors of midge patterns and I am certain it is a disadvantage to have
those with bead heads, especially if they are bright or flashy. I think it is a
disadvantage to have any that are bright like some tied with wire, tinsel, etc. So
my suggestion is a midge larva or pupa imitation should be tied in shades of
light green, cream or red. The red ones exist more where there is soft soil on
the bottom and around the banks.
Copyright 2009 James Marsh