01/15/12

Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Midges
2.    Little Winter Stoneflies
3.    Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)

Midges - Part Four
I think most anglers use two flies when fishing midge patterns, or at least that's what I've observed
on the water. I think part of the reason for this is just more evidence that many anglers have a
problem believing the flies are effective but by the same token, there are some circumstances
where I think two flies may be a good choice. You can't always figure out what the stage of a
hatch is. With the large number of different species, at any one time and place, there could be
fish eating midges from three of the four stages of their life - larvae, pupae and adults. Fishing
multiple flies does allow you to fish two depths and/or imitations of two stages of life at once.

Here are some situations I think tandem flies may offer an advantage. One is when your fishing a
pool or an eddy, and the trout are fairly active and feeding near the surface. In this case, fishing
a tandem rig with an adult imitation on top and a pupa imitation dropped down below it may be an
effective setup. In this case the adult pattern can not only serve as an imitation of an adult about
to depart the water, it can also serve as a strike indicator for the pupa pattern. This type of
tandem rig should be fished dead drift in slow current. I have caught trout on the pupa fly when
the rig was sitting dead still. The park fishing regulations only permit the use of up to two flies on
a leader. They don't have a restriction on the length of the dropper.

To rig it, just tie on the dry fly adult imitation on the end of your tippet which should be no larger
than a 5X. I normally use 5X tippet provided it will go through the eye of the hook. It depends on
the fly and the actual diameter of the tippet. Both our Perfect Fly hook sizes 20 and 22 adult
patterns will work on most 5X tippets. They work on our own Perfect Fly 5X tippet for certain but
not all 5X tippet is as small as it's suppose to be. Some manufacturers want the tippet to be
stronger than it should test. This type of gimmick marketing makes some anglers think the tippet
is better than other tippet of the same designation.

Next, tie on a length of 6X tippet to the bend in the dry fly adult imitation hook. I normally would
use anywhere from 12 inches to 24 inches depending on the circumstances. A improved clinch
knot works fine for this. Tie on the emerger fly pattern to the tag end of the 6X dropper. Make
sure you don't catch yourself in the ear when you cast the rig.

Another tandem rig I use every once in a while, consist of a stonefly nymph with a larvae imitation
fished behind it. The reason I don't frequently use this type of rigging when fishing larvae
imitations is because its advantage is more helpful in getting the fly down deep where there's
current, or when you need to fish slow moving water that's below faster current. If the water I'm
fishing is slow moving and not beneath faster water, I much prefer to use the larva imitation by
itself with enough weight added a few inches above the fly to keep in near or on the bottom. The
reason for this is simple. I can both control and determine what's going on better with the single
fly. If the water temperature is in the high forties or low fifties, and the fish are feeding in water
with some current, you may want to fish the larvae imitation in tandem with a nymph.

You should rig the dropper fly, using a hook size 20 or 22 midge larvae imitation, the same way
as I described above for the dry fly dropper rig. The only difference is I usually use a 5X tippet for
the dropper and a much shorter dropper tippet length. Since I'm writing about fishing midge
imitations during the winter months when the water is cold, I would normally use a hook size 18
Little Winter Stonefly nymph for the top fly. The other stoneflies would be hidden beneath the
rocks on the bottom of the stream. Using the smaller stonefly nymph that's more available for the
trout to eat versus a large one, definitely increases your odds of success under these
circumstances.  
Copyright 2012 James Marsh
Perfect Fly Cream Midge Larva
All AreThumbnail Images
Perfect Fly Little Winter Stonefly Nymph
Top Fly
Bottom Fly
Top Fly
Bottom Fly
Perfect Fly Black Adult Midge
Perfect Fly Cream Midge Pupa
Dry Fly Midge Dropper Rig
Stonefly Nymph / Midge Larva
Dropper Rig