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Thread: How to fish midges

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2008


    Great advice. One personal difference for me. I fish midges in faster and shallower water (<4 feet) generally speaking. I find the fish respond better to it in these depths. Deeper water to 15 feet or so shows better results with pheasant tail nymphs, scuds, sowbugs, or other patterns.


    I think the midges are in the faster water and there is larger aquatic life in the slower water. The big bugs work in deeper water and I vary their size depending upon clarity, speed, and fish response, make them obvious for cruising fish. I will fish the largest pattern they will eat as it holds the fish better and may also allow for a larger class tippet. I have fished scuds up to #8 hooks and broken off fish on 10lb tippet...

    Use a very long leader >15 feet at least, I can stand the fish seeing me more than they will stand the fly line going over their heads.

    I fish the largest indicator I can get away with but I fish a very small one in water less than 4 feet and I try to use browns, greens, and blues, in the shallow water. Over 6 feet I use bright orange or reds to help me with long drifts over the length of my entire fly line plus some backing. I only fish one fly at a time. You lose less flys that way and end up catching more fish. Learn to fish one fly well, don't hope two poorly fished might improve your chances.

    #1 drag free drift. If you can't do it, you are wasting your time until you learn how to make it happen. You can stand in good water and catch fish at your feet. They don't care. Let the line drift down below you until you learn how to make perfect drag free drifts the length of your fly line. Then learn to cast and make them drag free.

    I caught over thirty trout one day within five feet of a buddy's feet. He was standing in waist deep current. Those fish saw him. I watched them eat the fly. Now big fish require much more stealth, but those are fish over 20".

    Food for thought.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2008


    Fishing midges is no different then fishing any other nymph on the Clinch. Use one fly under an indicator at whichever depth desired. It is really very simple and also effective.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Norris, TN

    Lightbulb Madison-Clinch Midge [Link]

    Quote Originally Posted by troutslayer3393 View Post
    WOW! Shawn......That looks like the real thing. Is that finger nail polish over it? and/or what is the best stuff to use to get that look?
    I posted the instructional for this pattern in the fly tying section.
    “Every human has four endowments- self awareness, conscience, independent will, & creative imagination.
    These give us the ultimate human freedom... The
    to choose, to respond, to change.”

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2008


    Very nicely done.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by waterwolf View Post
    Fishing midges is no different then fishing any other nymph on the Clinch. Use one fly under an indicator at whichever depth desired. It is really very simple and also effective.
    How do you know? You don't fish anymore.


  6. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2007



    That is one great looking bug. I have been experimenting some more with glass beads. I love those things! The color combinations are infinite and versatility covers butt,body thorax and head. I tied some yesterday using an opaque white/silver bead that was tied on top of the hook shank (somewhere around the thorax) to simulate the gas bubble of an emerging pupa. A little light dubbing to hide the tie thread and man do I like it. It just adds a different dimension to the fly. I would love to take credit for the fly idea but its not mine. I will say that tying that bead to the top of the shank is HARD!!! I made up a few cuss words during the learning process.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Hillbilly Hollow, NC


    I know some of you have seen this, but I still think it's one of the best introductory articles on midges I've ever seen.

    I also recently found this guys blog while searching for midge patterns, he ties some great ones and has some great advice on fishing them.


    Midge fishing has some special flies, knots, and techniques. I suggest you hire a guide that fishes tail waters or pair up with some of these guys that fish tail waters regularly. A day spent with a good midge fisherman can steepen the learning curve considerably.
    "Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it."
    Salvador Dali

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2011



  9. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by ChemEAngler View Post
    Personally I fish them in tandem with multiple midges. Probably 95% of the time my midge fishing is in slow deep pools. By slow and deep I mean my indicator is usually set at least 4' above the bottom fly, and the current is so slow you can take a break and eat a sandwich before you have to cast again. Ok, so maybe that last analogy was a bit extreme, but you get the point. Midges are most common in the slower moving water, but this also requires lighter tippet. So, I typically use a 9' 5X leader with a 3' 6X fluoro tippet attached to the end. Then any additional flies are dropped about 12" below that fly. Nothing will help more than getting out there and making an obvious attempt at learning how to midge fish. I did this 3 years ago, and I have reaped the benefits from it 10-fold. It is amazing how often the lessons I have learned from those painful days of midge fishing have helped me on all the area tailwaters, and even occasionally in the Smokies.

    Hope this helps.
    By "Learn to fish Midges" do you mean without an indicator or dry?

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