10/05/12

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





Happy Days Ahead, I think:
I will be fishing for the next three or four days, that is, if I don't fall down and break my neck. Chris
will be here today and we will be checking out a lot of different water over the long weekend. The
last time he was here, I tried to catch a Little Yellow Quill flying by while holding my large TV
camera. I took a fast fall and stopped suddenly on a hard rock. I suffered for about a month
afterwards. About a week after that happened, I begin to think I may have broken my hip. It seemed
to get worse rather than better. As it turned out, the X rays showed I only cracked it.

For several days, my old hip burned like it was on fire, especially when I walked over a few hundred
yards. It's much better and I think I am much smarter. I won't be diving to try to catch any more
mayflies. My camera survived even though it was the first thing to hit the boulder. I'll take that bit of
luck as a strong warning.

I'm Worried about the young Chris:
Chris read so many fly fishing books while he was surviving his four overseas tours of duty, the
most recent one in Afghanistan,
he now thinks he's John Gierach. I think he may have gone
nuts during this last tour of duty. He returned carrying around a ten pound bamboo trout rod. It
gets worse.; He's even using another one for steelhead. I think he may even be bringing his
bamboo Spey rod.

It may not have been the four tours of overseas military duty. It could have been Gierach's writing
skills that caused the breakdown. I think he needs a Psychiatrists but not just any Psychiatrists. He
needs one that fly fishes or otherwise, except for my professional advise, he may just have to go
undiagnosed.

Midges - Part 7
Of the three stages of life of the midge that are important to anglers, I think the pupa is by far the
most important stage to imitate. Of course, if they are not hatching, the water wouldn't contain any
midges in that stage of their life and your imitations wouldn't be as of much interest to the trout as it
would during a hatch. In some spring creeks, I have seen what I think may be just the opposite of
that. When there's hundreds of these little insects hatching at the same time, the odds of a trout
selecting your imitation of the pupa over the real things may be very low.

I don't think it takes a big hatch of midges, or any other aquatic insect for that matter, for an
imitation of the emerging stage of the hatch to be effective. In fact, I think many, if not most
anglers, fail to understand this or many may disagree with this point about hatches. I'll put it this
way. The trout have a much better view of what's going on in this respect than us anglers above
the water's surface. They can see midges much better than we can. It doesn't take many insects to
interest a trout. They eat them one at a time. Don't be fooled into thinking it takes a large hatch of
anything to interest trout, especially if it's about the only thing immediately available to eat.

Chironomidae species are free swimming species but as mentioned before, there are other types
of aquatic insects called midges. Most of the species you find in tailwaters and spring creeks are
Chironomidae species. I think, but don't know for a fact, that most of the insects we call midges in
the freestone streams are Chironomidae species.

When midge larvae mature, they pupate. In most cases, the larvae begin this process on the
bottom. After changing from the worm like larva to a pupa, the insect usually remains on the bottom
for about a week. During this time, internal gases inflate the pupa to give it the buoyancy it needs
to reach the surface to emerge into a fly.

The midge pupae are shorter and not as skinny as the larvae. They also become a little more
segmented. A thorax develops that encloses the tiny wing pad, gills and legs of the about to
emerge adult. It's during this time that the pupae are completely exposed to the trout.

When they do reach the surface and begin to emerge into adults, they are sitting ducks, so to
speak. Trout can pick them out of the surface skim consistently at a fairly constant rate in most
cases. The tiny pupae may drift a long way before emerging into adults. They are completely
defenseless.

After reaching the surface, the midge pupae are suspended with the thorax hanging in the surface
skim. Emerging isn't exactly an easy process for the adult. At the point it first emerges, the midge is
about twice the length of the pupa because the sheath is still attached to the adult. When the
shuck breaks free, the adult has to try to break through the surface tension.

In some cases, the adults never make it and become what anglers call cripples. They end up dying
in the surface skim or being eaten by trout. Those that are successful, fly away as soon as their
wings are dry enough for them to do so.

The time this takes depends much on the water and the air temperature. In general, they depart
the water much faster during warm weather than they do in the colder part of the year.
Copyright 2012 James Marsh