Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
2. Little Winter Stoneflies
3. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
Midges - Part Three
I have written numerous articles on fishing imitations of midges. In fact, I've written so many I'm
not sure what I have covered and what I have overlooked. Writing that just reminded me that
there's probably not a good answer to that. Where does such a subject end? As with most any
subject about fishing, I guess it can easily go on and on. As my dad used to say, "that's like
asking - how long is a row of cotton?" Anyway, here's some more info about fishing the little
aggravating flies that will catch more trout (even in the Smokies) than most anglers think..
As I have written often, during the winter trout congregate in areas where they can minimize
expended energy, hide from predators and still feed. When the water temperature is very low, lets
say below 45 degrees, two places that meet these requirements are pools and slow eddies.
When the water temperature is higher than that, slow to moderate moving riffles will often hold
trout. The broken water surface give the trout some protection and the current brings food to the
trout. With both types of water, the lower flows minimizes the energy the trout need to expend to
The slow, deeper water of pools keeps the trout safe and permits them an opportunity to eat
without expending much energy. A slight current through the pool brings them food like a
conveyor belt style dinner buffet. They can remain on the bottom and pick off larvae and pupae
that are about to emerge from the drift.
When pupae emerge from the deeper water of the pool, the trout can feed at just about any level
they choose; however, depending on the configuration of the pool, most of the pupae usually drift
towards the tailends of the pools in shallower water where trout can feed on both the emerging
midge pupae and adults. In this scenario, they can and sometimes will hold very close to the
surface. They will occasionally do this under bright light conditions but much more often during
low light conditions. While this makes it easier to spot feeding trout, it also makes it easy to spook
them Unless your able to have some cover such as a tree or boulder to hide behind, you have to
slip up on the trout staying below their line of vision above the surface of the water to do this. You
also need to use long leaders and make accurate presentations to prevent spooking the trout.
Back eddies are places along the banks of the stream and behind boulders and rocks where the
current flows back upstream along the bank or behind the obstruction. In this case, trout will sit
close to the bank, or behind the rock or boulder, and actually face downstream into the current.
The eddy will collect both adult midges and emerging midges on the surface. The trout will sip
these with ease from the surface and/or swim slowly from side to side eating the emerging midge
pupae in the water column below the surface. You will find that If the eddy is fairly shallow,and not
connected to deeper water where the trout can easily escape from a predator, it probably won't
hold trout. Tomorrow I'll cover how I fish midge imitations in these two types of water.
Copyright 2012 James Marsh
Perfect Fly Green Adult Midge