Hatches Made Easy:

Midges
1/23/08

Midges are members of the Chironomidae family of insects. I am listing the
species that exist in the Smoky Mountains National Park. This is strictly for
one
purpose
. It is for those anglers who may think midges are not important
in the park.
Now of course, this doesn't indicate the quantity of midges, but it
should make the only point I want to make - midges can be an important source
of food for trout.

Boreochlus persimilis (Johannsen)
Paraboreochlus cf. stahli (Coffman)
Subfamily Tanypodinae
Ablabesmyia mallochi (Walley)
Apsectrotanypus johnsoni (Coquillett)
Brundiniella eumorpha (Sublette)
Coelotanypus concinnus (Coquillett)
Conchapelopia aleta (Roback)
C. pallens (Coquillett)
Hudsonimyia karelena (Roback)
Krenopelopia hudsoni (Roback)
Larsia sp.
Macropelopia decedens (Walker)
Meropelopia americana (Fittkau)
Natarsia baltimorea (Macquart)
Nilotanypus fimbriatus (Walker)
Nilotanypus sp.
Procladius bellus (Loew)
P. sublettei (Roback)
Psectrotanypus sp. A (Epler)
Rheopelopia acra (Roback)
Rh. sp. 3 (Roback)
Tanypus stellatus (Coquillett)
Trissopelopia sp.
Zavrelimyia sinuosa (Coquillett) complex
A. thryptica (Sublette) complex
Subfamily Diamesinae
Diamesa sp.
Pagastia orthogonia (Oliver)
Potthastia gaedii (Meigen)
P. longimana (Kieffer)
Subfamily Prodiamesinae
Prodiamesa olivacea (Meigen)
Subfamily Orthocladiinae
Antillocladius pluspilalus (Sæther)
Brillia flavifrons (Johannsen)
B. parva (Johannsen)
Bryophaenocladius flavoscutellatus (Malloch)
B. nr. fumosinus (Curran)
B. sp. 1 (Epler)
B. sp. 2 (Epler)
B. sp. 4 (Epler)
Cardiocladius obscurus (Johannsen)
Chaetocladius ligni (Cranston & Oliver)
Ch. piger (Goetghebuer)
Ch. sp. A (Epler)
Chasmatonotus bimaculatus (Osten Sacken)
Ch. unimaculatus (Loew)
Corynoneura lobata (Edwards)
C. "scutellata Winnertz group" sp.
Cricotopus absurdus (Johannsen)
C. annulator (Goetghebuer) complex
C. bicinctus (Meigen)
C. fuscus (Kieffer)
C. politus (Coquillett)


Now I realize that many of you can't see the small names but I seriously doubt
that any of you are going to want to remember them by name. I also know that
many of you will read this and still never fish midge imitations in the park
because many anglers simply don't like fishing tiny flies. I am not real fond of
them but I will usually use what I have to use to catch fish.
Many of you
probably fish the local tailwaters and I hope if nothing else, this may
help you with them.
Certainly, midges are a major insect of most tailwaters.
Midges are small, usually very small - so small that most of us have a very
difficult time tying our imitations on our tippets. It is such a problem that it led to
the development of “midge threaders”, very handy devices I might add. Midge
flies can be very effective on all the trout streams in the park and yes, they will
catch large trout.
Although streams with soft bottoms and weed beds usually have more than other
types of water,
if the water has trout it has midges. This the includes fast
flowing freestone mountain streams of the Smoky Mountains. It does not matter
whether the bottom is rocky, silty or sandy, these tiny aquatic insects will be
present. Midge species of one type or another can survive as long as any algae
exist. Of course, algae is not present in the Smoky streams to any appreciable
extent due to the low
PH of the water, but there is enough for midges to survive
on. The exceptions to this is Abrams Creeks and a few other streams where
there is a lot of algae. Probably, quite a few of the above species were found in
backwater areas of the Smokies. I am not certain all of those species exist in the
streams.
The important point is that
midges normally hatch periodically just about
year round and are available as food for trout in the larvae, pupae or
adult stages throughout the year.
Adult midges are small two winged flies that resemble mosquitoes. They begin
life from an egg deposited by swarming adults. The adults mate and skim over
the surface of the water. Some of the species are free-swimming larvae. Others
live in tubes they construct from the bottom materials.
The bloodworm and glassworm species are both free- swimming larvae. These
larvae develop into the pupae stage of life and emerge by assenting to the
surface of the water. This emerging process usually takes anywhere from a few
short seconds to as long as a minute or two. The adults live anywhere from an
hour or two, up to a couple of months depending on the species.
It is commonly known that midges can provide fishing action during the cold,
winter months when nothing else is hatching.
From late Fall until early Spring,
on many days they may be the only thing hatching.
This is certainly one
reason to fish midge flies but it may also tends to cause some anglers to think
that the only time they are effective for trout is during the cold months of the
year when nothing else works well. This is a false belief. Don’t make the mistake
of assuming that if the weather is nice and warm, you don’t need your midge
box. That could be a mistake.  
It is not easy to detect trout that are feeding on midges.  You may spot midges
on the water and simply not be able to see trout taking them. It is even more
difficult to spot trout taking the emerging midges and almost impossible to see
them taking the larvae.    
Trout feeding on adult midges tend to hold just beneath the surface where they
can easily sip the emerging midges. They make almost unnoticeable rise forms.
They are usually easily spooked since they are usually holding so shallow water.
Bad presentations can easily spook them and well as the motions that are made
casting. Wakes made from wading will also spook trout holding very shallow.

Coming Up Next:
Midge Larvae

Copyright 2008 James Marsh


D. villosa (Sæther & Sublette)
Epoicocladius sp. #3 (Jacobsen)
Eukiefferiella brevicalcar (Kieffer) group
E. cf. brevinervis (Malloch)
E. claripennis (Lundbeck) group sp.
E. cf. devonica (Edwards)
E. gracei (Edwards) group sp.
Euryhapsis sp. 1 (Epler)
Georthocladius fimbriosus (Sæther & Sublette)
Gymnometriocnemus brumalis (Edwards)
G. subnudus (Edwards)
G. sp. 1 (Epler)
G. sp. nov. (Caldwell)
Heleniella hirta (Sæther)
H. parva (Sæther)
Heterotrissocladius marcidus (Walker)
Krenosmittia sp.
Limnophyes carolinensis (Sæther)
L. minimus (Meigen)
L. natalensis (Kieffer)
L. cf. pilicistulus (Sæther)
L. sp. 1 (Epler)
Lipurometriocnemus vixlobatus (Sæther)
Mesosmittia sp.
Metriocnemus eurynotus (Holmgren)
Nanocladius branchicolus (Sæther)
N. distinctus (Malloch)
N. cf. rectinervis (Kieffer)
N. cf. spiniplenus (Sæther)
Orthocladius (Eudactylocladius) dubitatus (Johannsen)
Orthocladius (Euorthocladius) luteipes (Goetghebuer)
Orthocladius (Orthocladius) dentifer (Brundin)
O. (O.) hellenthali (Soponis)
Th. similis (Malloch)
Th. xena (Roback)
Th. sp. 3 (Epler)
Th. sp. 4 (Epler)
Tvetenia vitracies (Sæther)
Xylotopus par (Coquillett)
Subfamily Chironominae
Tribe Chironomini
Apedilum subcinctum (Townes)
Chironomus decorus (Johannsen)
Cryptochironomus fulvus (Johannsen)
C. slossonae (Malloch)
C. sylvestris (Fabricius) group
C. tremulus (Linnaeus)
C. triannulatus (Macquart)
C. trifascia (Edwards)
C. varipes (Coquillett)
C. vierriensis (Goetghebuer)
C. sp. 2 (Epler)
Doithrix parcivillosa (Sæther & Sublette)

C. cf. scimitarus (Townes)
Demicryptochironomus sp.
Einfeldia natchitocheae (Sublette)
Microtendipes caelum (Townes)
M. sp. 1 (Epler)
Paracladopelma prob. nereis (Townes)
Paratendipes albimanus (Meigen)
Phaenopsectra obediens (Johannsen)
Polypedilum albicorne (Meigen)
P. albinodus (Townes)
P. angulum (Maschwitz)
P. artifer (Curran)
P. aviceps (Townes)
P. fallax (Johannsen)
P. halterale (Coquillett)
P. illinoense (Malloch)
P. scalaenum (Schrank)
P. simulans (Townes)
P. trigonus (Townes)
P. tritum (Walker)
P. sp. NC-1 (Epler)
Pseudochironomus articaudus (Sæther)
Ps. fulviventris (Johannsen)
Stenochironomus poecilopterus (Mitchell)
S. woodi (Borkent)
Tribelos jucundum (Walker)
Xestochironomus ? sp.
Tribe Tanytarsini
Constempellina sp.
Micropsectra dives (Johannsen)
M. geminata (Oliver & Dillon)
M. polita (Malloch)
M. sp. 1 (Epler)
M. sp. 5 (Epler)
M. sp. 6 (Epler)
Parapsectra sp. 1 (Epler)
Rheotanytarsus exiguus (Johannsen)
Rh. sp. 4 (Epler)
Rh. sp. 5 (Epler)
Rh. sp. 6 (Epler)
Rh. sp. 7 (Epler)
Skutzia sp. 1 (Epler)
Stempellinella cf. leptocelloides (Webb)
Tanytarsus cf. brundini (Lindeberg)
T. buckleyi (Sublette)
T. neoflavellus (Malloch)
T. sp. 17 (Epler)
Zavrelia sp. 1 (Epler)