My problem with Chironmid/ the problem with Chironmids

South Sound

I understand your predicament. You should know that not all chironomid fishing is done in deep water with long leaders. A few days ago there was a fresh water thread that started with a film of live chironomids. (You really need to look up that thread.) The thread evolved into several members showing flies they tied to immitate what was shown in the film. The point is that those flies were floating flies.

When they begin to hatch and rise to the surface they have a hard time breaking through the tension of the water surface, that takes a while and they are vulnerable to the trout. Then they sit on top of the spent shell, dry their wings, and fly off. When the hatch is on you can see the trout porposing and hear them slurping. It will not look like a round rise ring. This will happen most often in shallow water. When wading in Nunally I have had fish feeding in front of me and behind me. So, a floating line with ten feet of greased leader is the set-up. Dry fly fishing at it's best. It is a little slower than fishing dry in a river, but it can be pretty fast. That is the sine qua non of chironomid fishing, as they say over in Smyrna.

Good luck.

I know some people are going to answer this question that it is not boring catching fish, but I will ask the question anyway. HOW DO YOU KEEP FROM GETTING BORED. WHEN YOU ARE CHIRONOMID FISHING.... I mean no disrespect by any means, I just have a very hard time sitting and staring at an indicator. I think this is one of the many reasons I fly fish rather than sit and stare at a bobber or watch my line when the fish takes the power bait off the bottom and starts to swim away. Both of which I have done as a child, but now I just have a hard time. I would love to fish Chironmids, I just need help with the best way to go about it and not want to stab myself in the eye of out of being bored.
Please help.
I also get bored with that type of fishing. However, very slowly retrieving the line will sometimes increase the take and relieve the boredom. But bobber (indicator) fishing is my last choice when fly fishing, though I have caught my share fishing with a chironomids.



New Member
I searched through a bunch of old chironomid threads and didn't find anything about this question; Has anyone using a sinking line found it critical the depth that your retrieve changes from horizontal to vertical?

Last weekend I was fishing buzzers and found that if I let my flies an line sink too long I would not get a touch on the vertical retrieve. I can understand not getting action if I am above. But it seemed the fish wanted to see the flies change from a horizontal retrieve to a vertical retrieve at the proper depth.
It is a very Zen thing. Watch the green dot Grasshopper, do not take your eyes of the little green dot...

Like anything, you get better at it over time. I seem to have programmed my brain to respond to funny actions of the little green dot even while daydreaming. I do cut down on distractions by dropping the brim of my hat if I have missed a few takes.

Just remember, every time that bobber takes a dunk, a fish has had its lips on your fly and it happens pretty often. That is the good news, converting it to fish to hand is not all that easy. Practice, practice, practice Grasshopper.

I sometimes think the fish team up. One is named Vern, the other Frank. Frank watches you and Vern bites the fly. "Now, Vern, now. He is scratching his nose."

If I had to choose between the proper depth and an exact imitation, I'd choose depth over pattern every time. If fish are feeding on chironomids, and the fact is 80% of the time they are, then the challenge is not just catching them, but catching a LOT of them. If the hatch is on and the conditions are right, its tough to beat the numbers you can post if you know how to fish chrionomids. And I don't care what anyone says, its always more fun to catch more fish than fewer fish. There is a lot to figure out to fish midges successfully, depth being the most critical. And there's a lot more to it than just fishing under an indicator. That is just one method. Dry line short greased leader, dry line with an indicator, dry line with a long leader and no indicator; multiple flies, larvae vs. pupa, emerger vs. pupa, hi-D wet line, camo line, multiple fly, wind drift, dead drift, slow retrieve, no retrieve. And the takes can vary from a slight twitch of an indicator to a full blown explosion on either a wet or dry line. And yes, you have to pay attention. In Canada you can fish two rods from one boat. If you want some chaos, try to land two 5 lb. Kamloops at the same time and not spill your beer! I grant you, when fish are not eating chironomids, it can test your patience. But then, any time they aren't biting anything, its not near as much fun.

Leroy Laviolet

Aint no nookie like chinookie
Sunflower seeds, a good buddy to bullshixx with , and learn to love the chrony... It'll treat you well... If I sould only have one pattern on the lake day on and day out it would be a chironimid, not doubt. Streamer, close second, but that's another story...
I would agree with Mark on this one. Depth is critical. If you watch your finder, you will see the feeding fish move in the water column over the course of the day. Ensuring that your fly is at or slightly above these fish will greatly increase your chances of a hook up. Cheers
I'm totally new to fishing with chironomids and for the life of me can't catch a damn thing using one. The lake I'm targeting has all-day non-stop hatches, at least the last 3 weeks that I've been there, but I can't seem to key in on them using a chironomid. On average it's 3-7 feet deep and then a mat of milfoil and I've tried every depth, suspending from an indicator, and a slooooowww strip with and without an indicator to no avail.

Suggestions?? I think the short anwser is "Just keep trying until you figure it out" but it's frustrating.

When you fish chironomid emergers do you target fish or is it a waiting game also?


Leroy Laviolet

Aint no nookie like chinookie
try this...

Things to try if the traditional stuff is failing....

First, go down in fly size- Size 18-20 can be very efective in stillwaters.

Second, SLOW DOWN THE RETRIEVE... Catch a chrony and put him in a glass of water, watch him motate...Get the idea? I'm convinced the best retrieve for a chrony set up at times is little or no retieve. a little breeze to bounce and indi rig or move the fly off the end of a floating line is often all that's needed... The glass trick will bring this into focus.
Lastly , go down in tippet size to the smallest you can still use without exausting a fish, sometimes as low as 6x if it's not to weedy. A longer rod with a soft tip will make a difference here... Definately go with flouro if the fish are educated....
Colors...Whatever you like as long as it's black or red or olive!!! Actually , remember it's all about presentation, fly selection's generally not near as important, though fly size can be...
Check out Phill Rowleys stuff and Brian Chan's ... Do what they say!:thumb: '

Now go stick some!!:cool: