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Thread: Help with Tiny Midges

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Ft. Carson Co.
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    Default Help with Tiny Midges

    I fished a pretty technical tailwater in Indiana this weekend. I caught fish but could have caught more had I been armed with ultra small midges. A gentlemen just up from me was wearing them out on size #28 and #30 midges. Never saw the actual pattern. I have also run into this on the Cumberland as well.

    Does anyone have any patterns or info on tying these no-see-ums?

    Thanks,
    bones

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Crossville, TN
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    Stripper midge is deadly in those situations assuming you are talking about a subsurface pattern... Simple thread midges are fine too and I'm a big fan of microtubing midges...
    "Then He said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.'" Matthew 4:19

    Guided Fly Fishing with David Knapp
    The Trout Zone Blog
    contact: TroutZoneAnglers at gmail dot com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Kannapolis, NC
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    255

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    Like David mentioned, try a thread midge. Thread midges are easy to tie and are very effective. Take either 6/0 or 8/0 thread on your desired hook and size and make a smooth but slender body. Then wrap towards the back and spin the thread enough to create a segmented body. Wrap forward, whip finish and cement...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Hillbilly Hollow, NC
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    There's not much I can do on that size hook other than a few simple patterns. I can tie a few simple larva and pupa patterns like WD-40s, Disco midges, Yong Specials, and Zebra midges. You need good light and something behind your vice will help you see better. I like hooks like the tmc 2488. The straight eye and wide gap will help increase hookups. I use 10/0 or 12/0 thread and try to make every wrap count. The new ex-small ultra wire also helps if you want to add a wire rib. Most of mine are just thread patterns. Use 2 different colors, I think segmentaion is important. Here are a few sz 28's tied on tmc 2488 hooks. You can add a small twist of dubbing or some KF for a wing, but it's hard to do much more. Most of the time a size 22-24 will work just as well. If you have never tied small flies before buy some small hooks and work your way down. It's hard to go straight from tying size 16's to 26-28's.
    Last edited by flyman; 07-12-2009 at 10:16 PM. Reason: 42
    "Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it."
    Salvador Dali

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ft. Carson Co.
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    122

    Default

    Thanks for the replies. I have the larval stages down pretty much from the Cumberland. I was speaking more to the dries. Watching 30 or 40 fish rise all around you can be frustrating, espeacially when the fish are coming up and giving some of the best refusals I have seen. I had a pair of #26 ICSI midges that did fine until the 7X ran out. Threaded some #22 on and the nose snubbing began.

    Thanks,
    bones

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
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    2488 hook, thread body, whatever color you like, tie in a CDC oiler puff a little ways behind the eye down-wing style (like an EHC) trim the wing up and whip finish over the butt ends behind the eye (optional). make sense?

    dust the fly w/ some frogs fanny and fish it dry, OR you can even fish it just below the surface on the swing.


    here's an example, I'll typically make the wing a little fuller....

    Trevor

  7. #7
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    I think it can be difficult some times to tell what stage of the insect the fish is actually taking. Fish taking pupa out of the film can look a lot like they are taking the adults. The imitation Trevor showed you will work well for fish taking pupa out of the film. The wing is just going to suspend the body in the film, not float it on the top. Try using your imitation behind a larger dry fly, small indicator, or a leader dressed with floatant down to the last foot or so. Don't put the floatant on the last foot or so of the leader, it makes it more visible. Your comment about running out of 7X makes me suspect that you may have been getting the refusals more because of micro drag that refusal of the imitation. You can have the right fly, but if it has drag, well schooled fish will refuse it. Try lengthening your tippet, that will help with micro drag sometimes. Most midges are being taken as the pupa is trying to break thru the surface film. I rarely see fish keyed in on the adult stage

    Try one with a small piece of razor foam, or one of the parasol type. Patterns like Trevor's, RS2, and WD50 are good ones to.
    Last edited by flyman; 07-13-2009 at 02:45 PM. Reason: 42
    "Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it."
    Salvador Dali

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Mid Tennessee
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    Good advice flyman. My observation is the trout key in on the vulnerable emerger. Once that midge hatches and gets on the water, the trout is not as interested in chasing a meal that may get airborne before he can catch it. I seldom see them taking a fully hatched midge.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    I fished the Jackson river in Virginia many years ago on a weekly basis. At the time I fished it, the river was a midge dry fly fishing machine. One could stand in one location all day long and catch 30-40 trout. The fishing sounds much like you described where the fish would come up below the fly (less than an inch) and drift with it for many feet. The best I can remember I had a fish drift back maybe 10 feet under the fly.

    The greatest accomplishment on that river for me was not the size of the fish, but getting a long inspection from a fish with a take.

    One thing I took away from that experience was that a lighter fly served me well for seeing it. You had to run a long drag free drift and being able to see a size 24-26 fly was hard to do even at 20 years old. I would tie lots of size #26-30 flies on the 24 and 26 hooks sometimes size 22 also. I mostly used 24s at the time as #26s were almost impossible to find before the internet took off.

    I seldom had issues from the fish if the body of the fly was close to the size of the insects hatching. I would tie with a cream or light dun hackle, matching thread, and a tail from the fibers off a larger feather. Mind you I tied adams back them by mixing grizzly and brown hackles on a #24 hook downsized to a 28. I found the cream and dun worked best and that if the fish got picky towards a certain color a brown or black sharpie generally ended my concerns.

    I have a lot of fond memories of cream sized 22 and 24 midges being eaten by highly suspicious browns after long drifts back under the fly. The fish were often no more than 20 feet away in gin clear water. It was tons of fun. Hope this helps.

    GS

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    West Knox County
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    54

    Default

    While fishing the Clinch the past few weeks, the really small tan midges were coming off in clouds, but I was catching fish on #16 & #18 Zebras. Go figure.
    Try fluoro tippet for greater stealth. Watch out for drag. It spooks them.

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