Hatches Made Easy:

Great Smoky Mountains - Midge Pupae and Adults

The midge pupa stage of life is the most important stage for anglers. When
the pupae ascend to the surface to hatch, they are most susceptible to being
eaten by trout. It is thought that air sacks provides the buoyancy necessary for
them ascend to the surface. The hatching process usually takes some time.  
The pupa looks similar to the larva but it has a thick thorax area that contains
the wings. During the time they are emerging, the wing pads will open and the
wings will begin to show.
Some species crawl out of their pupa cases on the bottom and swim to the
surface as adults. I do not know if these species are common in the park or not. I
do know that in general, this type is much less common than the ones that
emerge on the surface.
Where the water is calm, midges can have a very difficult time penetrating the
surface film. Many of them die trying to break the surface skim. This makes the
pupae the prime target for the trout.

When the pupae hatch into adults, the trout have a much more difficult time
catching and eating them. Most of the midges, as we just said, are eaten by the
trout in their pupa stage of life and therefore, you are usually far better off
fishing pupae imitations during this part of a hatch.
The adults become important to anglers during the time they are mating
and during the time the females are depositing their eggs
. Most midge
adults skim the surface of the water to deposit their eggs.
Most of you have probably heard of midge clusters. These occur during the time
the midges are mating and after they have deposited their eggs. Currents can
collect them along the banks. They may be caught in the current seams in
clusters. We just have not seen very many clusters of midges in the streams of
the Smokies. When we have, they have been small numbers of midges that
collected together. We would appreciate any information you may provide in this
regard. If you have seen midge clusters, let us hear from you.

Coming Up Next:
Fishing Adult Midge Imitations

Copyright 2008 James Marsh