09/30/12

Insects and other foods the trout should be eating:
Hatching:
1.    BWOs (Little and Eastern BWOs)
2.    Little Yellow Quills
3.    Little Yellow Stoneflies
4.    Slate Drakes
5.    Needle Stoneflies
6.    Mahogany Duns

Most available/ Other types of food:
7.    Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
8.    Craneflies
9.    Beetles
10.  Grasshoppers
11.  Ants

Current Weather/Stream Conditions Update:
At 4:30 AM, it looks like most of the park only received a sprinkle. According to the National
Weather Service precipitation map, from almost none to a 1/4 of an inch of rain fell. The forecast
looks good for today but that could depend on when it starts to rain. My guess is that won't happen
until later tonight. Today should be sunny and very nice. All the conditions are excellent.

There's now a 70 percent chance for tonight, 90 for tomorrow and a 100 percent chance of rain for
tomorrow night. That's good news because more water is needed to keep the stream levels up for
the coming days of Autumn.

Midges - Part 5
There's a difference in opinion among anglers as to the effectiveness of imitations of Midge larvae.
Imagine that! This is also true of those who have written about Midge fishing. Imagine that! Of
course, some of the guys write about fly fishing from thoughts that come deep from the lower areas
of their imagination and rarely visit a trout stream, and other writers spend a good amount of time
of the water. However, even those that should know what they are writing about disagree over the
effectiveness of the midge larva fly.
In trying to figure this out, it became very obvious to me
that it all depends on the type of stream and probably, the different species of midges.

For example, I know for a fact that in the San Juan River New Mexico, they are deadly. In the South
Holston and Clinch Rivers they are deadly. This is because there's a good amount of soft bottom in
these streams but also because they are tailwaters with discharges from dams that vary the
current from fast to slow. Strong current can put a lot of midge larvae from the bottom into the
water column. The midges don't build burrows a few inches deep. They are mostly less than an
inch deep and in most cases far less than that. The current stirs up the soft bottom and other
areas that hold midges such as piles of decaying leaves.

In freestone streams, I think it all depends on the bottom of the stream, meaning midge larvae
imitations are probably effective in areas of soft bottom and not in the others. The little larvae flies
are also effective wherever there's a good amount of vegetation. That's certainly not the case in
the Smokies. On the other hand, I think they would be effective in just about any Spring Creek. We
fish larva imitations in the pools of the streams of the Smokies, but that's about it. Except for
marginal, smaller size areas of stream bottom, that's were your going to find majority of the midge
population.

Midge larvae look like tiny worms. They range from various shades of browns, mostly light browns
like creams colors, with some grays and various shades of green. Some are red, the color of
blood. Those are not common in the Smokies. Our stream samples have shown that they vary
greatly in the various shades of those colors. If you tried to tie an imitation of all the exact midge
colors, you would end up with thousands of fly patterns. That written, our samples from various
streams from coast to coast showed us the great majority were in those three basic color ranges -
red, green and cream. Of course that's not a far cry from the complete color spectrum. That's also
why we have those three basic colors in our Perfect Fly selection of midges.

You have to keep in mind that colors of the midge larvae vary not only from stream to stream but
also as the trout see them at various depths of water (speed of light varies from air to water), as
well as with light conditions - cloudy, bright sun, early in the day, late in the day. Low light levels
during the Winter are different from light levels in the water during the Summer due to the
relationship of the sun to the horizon.

There's yet another big factor - water color or clarity. It not only changes the colors of the midges
as the fish see them due to sunlight penetration, over time it will actually change the color of the
midges. Those found in stained water are like the fish, usually drab in color. In very stained water
most of them are either the blood red color or very light shades of gray. A bass from a lake that
stays heavily stained will be almost white compared to much darker shades of color of those from
clear water lakes.

This probably reads like I'm saying color isn't important and if so, let me point out that's not at all
what I mean. I think the color of midge larvae, the pupae and the adults can be very important.

There's another big color problem with midges and it happens to be a problem, or I should say
challenge, we are working on with our line of Perfect Flies for the midges. Most larvae and many of
the pupae are multi-colors. In the book "
Midge Magic", Ed Koch, the author calls some of his fly
patterns "rainbow midges". Most of his patterns have alternating colors. This helps show the
segmentation of the larvae and pupae as well as the actually slightly different shades of color they
exist in. This is probably one reason the Brassie, a popular midge fly works well under some
conditions. It shows segmentation well. Continued
Copyright 2012 James Marsh