Thursday, August 12, 2010
Late summer trout and the power of the midge
Before we take that turn into the fall season that is filled with large lake run fish, we must finish out the summer by taking advantage of every opportunity we can. Most of us have resigned ourselves to fishing the morning trico hatch, or have switched completely to the pursuit of warm water fish on the fly. And for the most part, I have joined in on this with great enthusiasm. But there is still another option to be explored - Fishing midges during the early afternoon! This of course is done on streams that maintain a more agreeable water temperature. A certain stream that lies to the South of me and it's tributary provide just that - "An agreeable water temperature!" They both boast much cooler water temperatures than other inland streams, due to their many spring influences. And although one is purely a spring creek, and stays near 50 degrees all year round, the other's water temperature actually rises when we get a warm summer rain. It is in these waters that the trout thrive on tiny midge larvae. And during the ultra low late summer water conditions, you can often sight fish to trout that you can see feeding on small midge larvae.
The past few weeks have been filled with trips to this inland stream, where we found many willing trout, and even a few suckers too. My kids and I have been joined by my good friend Lucas Carroll and his daughter on several of those outings, and nearly missed by another good friend Bob Burrows, who had spent a good portion of one of those mornings fishing the trico hatch, and lastly "Mr." Rich, who joined us for a few minutes one morning.
Our technique was rather simple - Dead drifting small midge larvae that ranged in size #18-#26 on 6x tippet. Our execution, on the other hand, needed to be precise. We needed to get the fly in front of the fish and keep it there for as long as possible. This required many adjustments to the indicator, fly changes, and the addition of extra weight. Once those criteria were met, the fishing became catching and everyone enjoyed doing battle with some inland brown trout.
My oldest son, Jonathan, made history on the first morning on one of our outings by casting, hooking, and landing his very first brown trout on the fly rod. A wonderful moment for both father and son. His success didn't stop there either, as he proceeded to hook even more fish on his own the very next time we went.
These little fly fishing trips, have solidified the importance, and the power of the "midge." No other fly can claim such popularity when dealing with our local inland trout, by both fly fishermen or fish. Without the midge, our success would suffer, and we would most likely turn to other less lofty pursuits.....perhaps not, but it would most certainly narrow our choices.