Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives
2. Little Yellow Quills (Heptagenia Group)
3. Needle Stoneflies
4 Slate Drakes
5 Great Brown Autumn Sedge
7. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
Midge larvae look similar to tiny worms or grubs. They are shaped long and skinny
and have segmented bodies. There are normally eight to ten segments. They tend to
be cream colored or light green although there are exceptions to this. For example,
the free-swimming bloodworm stores oxygen in its blood and has a bright red color.
The larvae of the free-swimming glassworm is almost clear or transparent.
Keep in mind, that although I'm showing a picture of this midge larva, it isn't at all
typical of the many different ones found in the streams of the Smokies. It is just one of
many different ones. The only thing similar is that they are all long shaped and
segmented. The majority of them seem to be a cream or beige color.
The majority of midge larvae found in most streams including freestones, tailwaters
and spring creeks built mud tubes and stay put in them on the bottom. They don't
leave these mud tubes until they develop into pupae and assent to the surface to
hatch into an adult. These are not that plentiful in the streams of the Smokies
because except for a few places in the lower elevations, there's not that much mud
The free-swimming species are the ones in the larvae stages that are important to
anglers. The species that build mud tubes are not. Some species construct small
cases or tubes in which they live. These larval cases stand upright on the bottom.
The free-swimming larvae tend to hide and stay put under rocks, logs and other
similar type cover. The can swim by wiggling, which help propel them and by just
floating along. They can also crawl. These are the ones that are most plentiful in the
streams of the Smokies.
Sometimes Helpful Way To Fish Midge Larvae Imitations:
One thing you may want to try when fishing the midge larva is to fish it in conjunction
with a mayfly nymph or caddis larva. Usually the fish will ignore the nymph or caddis
larva and take the midge larva. I'm not at all sure why but they seem to take the small
midge fly far more often than the nymph or caddis larva.
Rig the midge larva a few inches below the mayfly nymph or caddis larva. The added
weight also helps get the midge larva down near or on the bottom. You can also, and
probably will need to, depending on the water, add weight above the top fly
This is our Perfect Fly Cream Midge Larva imitation that I most often fish in the
Smokies. You can trim the head down a little if you prefer. Keep in mind this is a size
20 or 22 fly and the image is much larger than the actual size of the fly.
Our New DVD Release "Stalking Appalachian Trout".
Copyright 2011 James Marsh
This one was shot with a macro lens in a white pan
of samples of aquatic insects in Little River. It is
many times the actual size of the larva. It's
transparent and shows the darker shaded insides of
the larva. You can barely see the segments of the
transparent part of the larva in this image. I'm not at
all certain it's a glassworm but it looks like the ones I
have seen pictures of. They are usually longer and
slimmer than most other midge larvae.