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


Catching Yellowstone Trout in Cold Water - Part 13
Continued from yesterday's article.......
Since there is little difference in the pupae and larvae, I don't think it is critical
which imitation you try first, or maybe even which one you use. My guess is that
it has more to do with where you place the fly, meaning up in the water column
like the pupae would be found, or on the bottom like the larvae would be found
when they change to a pupae. Midge pupae have a difficult time getting through
the surface skim in the calm to slow moving water they hatch in. They suspend
just below the surface skim where they are easily picked off by trout and other

If you do happen to see them hatching, fish the pupae imitations. If you don't, I
would still suggest that you try a pupa imitation but only after you had failed with
a larva imitation fished on the bottom. Fish the larva imitation the same way you
fish a nymph. Use non-toxic split shot above the fly about eight inches or more
and get the fly on the bottom.

When you fish imitations of the pupae, you have several options, but I suggest
fishing it from the bottom all the way to the surface. One method is to fish
without anything but the fly tied on. Grease the leader and tippet and watch your
leader and line for takes.

Another method is to add a small strike indicator above the fly and fish it on the
dead drift. I don't particularly care for this method but many anglers use it

Yet another method is to fish it the same way you would a caddisfly pupa pattern
or down and across, allowing it to rise back to the surface at the end of the drift.
Another way is to fish it behind a larger dry fly. This works great if the trout are
feeding on the pupae high in the water column or just under the surface. Most of
the time, I fish them without anything attached - weight or indicator. I allow the fly
to sink, helping it do so by mending the line. Most of the strikes occur as the
current brings the fly back to the surface.

Of course I have omitted discussing the dry fly or adult midge imitation. I am
certain the trout eat them, but I would want to observe the trout rising to them
before I wasted any time fishing an adult imitation. I would guess that we have
caught about sixty percent of the trout we have caught on pupae imitations. I
would guess maybe thirty percent came on larvae imitations. Probably less than
ten percent were caught on adult imitations. That may have more to do with
which fly we fished than what they would have eaten, so I wouldn't place a lot of
importance of that. .

Copyright 2009 James Marsh