Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by Drifter, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. I thought i would start a chironomid thread and discussion on fishing them . and also post some of our tied mids .

    I fish a central oregon lake where the mids are huge - the large mids are tied on streamer hooks in size 10 2x long and size 12 3x long for fishing large trout . it seems to me that when you go east the hatches get larger then they are in western area lakes .

    When i go small i use scud hooks from size 14 to 18 . I also tie them with alot more dubbing and hair or wing . for some reason the western fish seem to like this FUZZY look while the eastern fish seem to like the long sleek look , I think this is because the western fish have to move alot more to find food . Most times the eastern fish have such numbers in the hatch they just swim around opening they're mouth and sucking flies in - not having to move to different levels in the water to find food . when going with the smaller hooks the scud hooks are much stronger and have a bigger gap to grab more of the fish's mouth to be able to land large fish on a small presentation.

    sorry for the pics but i'm no pro !

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    I also tie tan chironomids for matching the traveling caddis when i see the hatch start. these tan mids work in every lake i have fished and have seen the traveling caddis in all the lakes i have fished in the east and west side .

    I also added the channel markers we use to mark drop offs and river beds under the surface . we find these areas and sometimes use these markers by dropping them right on the edges of weeds and drop offs or anywhere in the lake that would concentrate fish movement . this way we are not guessing where these edges are and know exactly where to have the indicator for the flies to be right where we want them.

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  2. Good thread.

    Looks like some nice ties there. I'm finding that I'm having trouble finding a good selection of chironomids available for purchase. It is seriously making me think about getting a basic set of tying tools and materials for these things. It seems like you can find a lot of specialty patterns available for other types of fishing, but finding a good selection fo stillwater specific flies is tough.

    I'm really just learning chironomids. I fished them off and on in BC when I first learned to fly fish, but never stuck with them long enough to learn. I fished next to Brian Chan one day on lake Tunkwa and was amazed. He must have caught 10 fish to my 1. He put on quite a clinic.

    Lately I'm very focused on learning chironomids and the entire vertical presentation technique as a whole. I don't care what anyone says... Watching that indicator take a dive toward the bottom is super exciting.
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    well nick I started this because i read the main board thread and it was going into a chiro discussion ! LOL

    I would love to see other peoples patterns and techniques. I only started fishing and tying them 2 years ago and i have hundreds tied - it gets addicting ! I would mostly like to fish sippers on a dry line with soft hackles any day , but sometimes chiro's will out fish any other way of fishing for trophy fish . at crane prairie the large fish seldom rise and most fishing is done with chiro's for truly trophy rainbows.

    Cranebows like the one above cruise the channel edges sucking in mids (mostly red) almost all day long ! no waiting for hatches - they feed on them all the time . keeping line away from these spooky brutes is alot of the success i believe , being able to have a straight line from above and nothing under the water but your fly and the leader above it at the right level is one great way to fool large spooky fish !
  4. hey Nick i saw in another thread that you like fishing pass on your way their not to far from it next to harolds market there and behind the shrimp shack is Fidalgo Bait and Tackle stop by there i dont buy flies because i usually ty them myself but they probably have a good selection of mids so you might want to check that out before you go to pass
  5. I don't have any pics of my ties handy but I'll be using Ira's this spring anyway :beer1:

    These are a few fish that ate a chironomid and/or were taken on a vertical presentation. I often fish my 'mids under a bobber but not always. I often fish leeches and aquatic insect patterns off sinking lines but not always. . .which is why I prefer to think about a vertical versus horizontal presentation. If you are going to commit some time to fishing stillwaters for trout, learn to love the bobber!
  6. I really need to download my power point of the clinic I put on last year and do a write up on it so evereyone can go there for basic to some advanced chironomid info.

    I tie several patterns because sometimes the fish get keyed in. Must haves though are the Black and Red, and the Chromie. I take about 75% of my fish chironomid fishing on one of these two patterns in sizes 18 to 12, but mostly on size 12. After that I tie some blood worm patterns that I believe are killer but they are not traditional.

    More later.

  7. thanks for the info guys keep it comin, ive been tyin just since christmas and have been wanting to start tyin up some chironomids but more than that learn to actually fish them, this has been a big help!
  8. Ira, you have no idea how happy I am that you mentioned that you take most of your trout on the #12 rather than the #18. I think my fingers are size 2/0 or bigger.
  9. iagree

    Stout hooks are a must for bigger trout. My pet peeve used to be breaking off fish. I now typically fish 3x fluoro tippet on my chironomid rigs (2x if warranted) and rarely break 'em off. Now my peeve is bent hooks! Light wire scud hooks and TMC 200R's in sizes smaller than 8's are no-no's for me through painful experience. My two favorite chironomid hooks are TMC 2457 and 2302, depending on the profile I'm going for.
  10. I 'd go to another of your clinics, I haven't had a beer & pizza night in a while
  11. Chironomid fishing is a blast!!! I've been known to watch an indicator go down on occasion! I'd say between Ira and I, we can cover most chironomid Ira?
  12. Steve has some mean ties and I stole one of his bead patterns and fish it with some success now. I need to show you this new blood worm pattern.

  13. Hi Mark,
    How do you know that most of the chironomids at Crane are red?. Do you pump fish regularly? I you don't, you should as that is the best way to 'know." Regularly pumping fish is basic to any good chironomid fisherman's bag-o-tricks..... One can also use an aquarium net and scoop ascending pupae and examine the color and size.... but freshly ingested pupae taken by a throat pump is very, very helpful......In BC where I have seen the best and most diverse chironomid hatches, it is not unusual to suction 50 or more pupae in a single sample..... and most would alive and wriggling .... some may even be hatching......usually in BC anyway we will find a variety of sizes and colors......I would never assume big fly = big fish...Fishing vertically, I have often seen that the most confident, aggressive, rod jerking takes are had while using #14s....
    Regards.... Pond Monkey
  14. Yes i have both aquarium net and pump . most times you can see the shucks on top of the water when you are in an area of a good hatch. thousands of spent shucks floating on the surface. And yes sometimes black and or tan can catch a lot of fish also at crane , but the go-to is red most of the time and the insect base seems to be much larger in many of the insects. could be because of the shallow water I really don't know . most the time when we down size to #14 or #16 its more because of pressured fish getting spooky . most of the midge hatches are the bomber midge. using the two fly setup one black and one red helps to find which they are on.

    We catch a lot of large fish with calibeatis nymphs under indicators also but that is mostly early in the season - starts with a size twelve and as the hatch goes on for a month or so they start getting smaller to the #14 nymph. the traveling caddis can swarm the boat in the middle of the lake also, tan #12 or 14 works for that hatch but i just use a tan chiro style under indi with dark bead head to match that hatch.

    Most fly fisherman wait for the warm summer months to move the fish in the channels when the water gets 70 degrees and above. the cold water from all the springs and rivers gets pushed into these river channels 1 1/2 to 2 ft. up from the bottom . this cold hot water layer holds many chiro's right above bottom because the warmer water is harder then the cold so the pupa get stuck at this level , the fish cruise at this level feeding by just swimming and opening they're mouth's and sucking in hundreds if not thousands of chiro's. I figure this is why a white bead no dubbing chiro seems to work best . I have tied some very good looking dubbed thorax white feather gill pupa and the plain white bead easy tied sleek fly always out fish's it . the larger fly also maybe to be one size above the hatch so it STANDS out from the thousands hatching. I've also tried many clear white glass beaded fly's and the white bead out fish's it. The western lakes i'm fishing they love the dubbed thorax and white feather gill look - it out fish's the sleek patterns 2 to 1 . weird but have done enough testing on these waters to be pretty confident about my findings . but like always we all have or tricks. and many will use they're favorite methods and do just fine.

    In these hot summer months (mostly july through sept) you don't even have to get up early . the hatch doesn't even begin until about 9 in the morn. this could also be because that's when the wind starts . but most people that have fished crane will tell you that most fish are caught between 9 and 6 oclock . not that you cant catch fish at other times but this seems to be the best times . one thing about crane is its size and food base. early in the year the fish are spread out and real hard to target because of so much cover (timber) and such a good food base . we have done real well the third week of june on. in june its more of a calibeatis nymph show but chiro pupa will work also. its almost 5 square miles mostly 6 to 9 feet deep with more weed beds and timber then most have ever seen. many people have also said the damsel is all but gone - I can tell you that last year at least 20 were on my oars on the down wind side of the drift boat hatching in the middle of the lake. It was fun scooping some up and sitting them in the boat and watching them hatch.

    What really helps is marking the channel edges when fishing the channels , i mentioned this in my op but not many responses about it. the edges of these river bottoms drop two or three feet fast and the fish swim these channel edges feeding so channel markers makes sure you are fishing 1 ft. off the WALL of the channel most of the time . of course some times they can be in the middle so we will anchor on one side and work the other and work the indi's back to the boat across the channels. many different ways to catch a fish ;-)~

    The go to fly is a red chironomid pupa tied on a 10 2X long hook or # 12 in 3x long - but my best day at crane was with an epoxy back cali nymph under indi in june - go figure !
  15. Mark ,
    Do you use the throat pump?.... just curious, if so what to you find at Crane "during a chironomid hatch these days?...sizes, colors, numbers? What color are the "bomber" pupae that you see?
    I have probably fished Crane 200 plus days over 15 years but I never see "bombers" actually hatching...... you know.... pupae busting through the film, resting a bit, then wings unfolding and flying off... In BC its common ( during the spring window) and obvious when a bomber hatch is occurring.....One can look down several feet into the water and see white spots (gills) working their way up through the water color....pretty cool!
  16. Mark ,
    Another thing..... do you have scientific info on the current diet of trout at Crane?....I think its predominately the three spine stickleback and dragonfly nymphs, with insects down the list a ways.......
    The classic chironomid lakes of BC host many species of chronnies, heavy scuds numbers along with damsels, dragon mayflies, caddis, boatmen, terrestrials..... and zero baitfish...

  17. You are right in the stickleback minnows being feed for the trout. It was said that the rainbow weren't feeding on them so we kept an injured 5 pound fish and cut it open . full of sticklebacks and what i would call a tape worm. the minnows give the cranebows worms which is why i think they feed all day. many times at 9 in the morn the chiro's are flying from the water and going straight up. not spending much time on the water . large body terrible fliers. I thought bombers were just big chiro's - LOL

    I don't know when you fished crane but it has changed a bunch in the last ten years from the research I've done. the damsels were hit hard by the stickleback but are now coming back pretty strong . most of the guides (I know two) that fly fish crane use mostly if not all chiro's for they're clients. Its said that when the damsels got hit hard the chiros became a main food source for the big bows . I have tied some of my own stickleback patterns last year and caught a few fish on them in the evening . If you know crane then you know its about finding the fish - not as much as catching them once found , what i have found is that they are pigs and will eat if they are their. we only fish a spot for 20 minutes and if no fish by then we move - one minute you can be hammering them the next they are gone . a lot of moving with motors and covering many different hot spots to find them.

    Last year was a tough year beings they had so much snow pack and water in central oregon. the summer was mild and the water stayed cold for most of the summer - even the guides were only getting 10 to 15 take downs a day for the norm when usually they would hook 20 to 30 fish a day on chiro's.

    I only got over their once last year but want to work stickleback patterns a lot more this coming year . I also am going to try it early like in may and cover a lot of the shallower spots on the troll and casting intermediates kind of a run and gun. like i posted i've only fished it for two years . went to guides seminar on crane and he gave out a lot of info on the chiro's and channels and CHANNEL MARKERS - most people (all the guides) use these channel markers to fish at crane . throwing two on each side of the channel 20 yards apart or so gives you a box to fish and figure out just exactly where the fish are using that channel (middle - one edge or the other) so you can concentrate your efforts their.

    As far as hatches it has them all - just like you mentioned but when pumping (and i don't pump many) hardly any large dragon nymphs at all. mostly tape worms and stickle backs and smaller nymphs.

    I am also learning every trip on this lake and trying new things . i would think a good stickleback pattern in april or may would knock them out but you'd have to cover a lot of water like trolling which is my least favorite way to fish but will try it this spring and see what happens. the earliest i've fished it is 3rd week of june and we did great !

    Last year when we went most of the numbers of fish were in the cultus channel and so was all the fisherman , we tried to stay away from all the boats but after a day of hit and miss very few fish went in the next day and had to downsize to #14's to get takes . all the boats and over 20 ft. sleds coming in and out made for spooky fish . heck if you've fished it that much you should be telling me how to fish it ! j/k we do fine at crane but it can be tough some days . the wind really helps !

    I really do not like pumping stomach's to much . but will take your advice and do it more . but it seems if they are where your fishing they are pretty easy to catch most of the time. heck i have downloaded printed out maps of every piece of water at that lake , even found a map of it when it was half frozen and can see almost the whole channel of the deschutes under water - every turn . know where the quinn and cultus are in the middle of the lake also - all this helps when fishing crane as you well know ! The guides i see are using gps points to be exact in the middle of the lake channels. hope to get one of these units (finder-gps)this spring for the DB.
  18. Hi Mark,
    Those white tapeworms are commonly associated with the sticklebacks (hence the bulging stomachs) and it's not unusual for a trout to cough them up at the boat.... fortunately trout are not hosts for them.... so not to worry.
    Pumping fish will only suction smaller bugs as the tubes are only about 3/16" i.d.
    Finding fish that aren't spooked is always a challenge for sure.... and wind riffles are always good....until it's too much and the presentation gets compromised.......then fishing naked is best especially with a super slow sinker like Airflo's super slow line.... it sinks at half the rate of a so called clear intermediates and it gets below the surface unlike a floater which can still bounce around a lot with bigger waves...
    I only fished Crane once last year as Diamond is only a bit further for me and we usually have lots of action there...and more fun as a result.....50 fish days (2 guys) is common. I get spoiled for bigger fish and hot action in BC in spring so I just don't have the stomach to work so hard like one generally needs to do at Crane for those trophy bows....
    I also enjoy Wickiups Sheep Bridge area. I fished it 5 6 days last year....I have had some killer days there .... best day 40 browns (me only) over 18" and using chronnies..

    Regards..... Pond Monkey
  19. I did a lot of research on wickiup last year just didn't make it over their. I will be able to fish a lot more this summer and plan on a crane-diamond trip early , and maybe wickiup on that first trip also since one needs to fish it early in the year. east should have some good sized bows along with the browns this summer too - in good numbers with the new stocking program of rainbows which i believe to be klamath rainbows but have also herd they brought in blackwater bows from b.c. don't quite know which but did the planting to help with the chub . ANYWAY chiro fishing rocks !
  20. Wohoo, I love fishing Mids. I do it from a pontoon but also off shore lines. I do have to guess off the shores on the depth. On stillwater, I either use sonar to get the depth, or I use one of those sinkers with a roach clip for ice fishing. I clip it on the bottom fly and drop it to the bottom. I then raise it a foot and set the indy.
    When fishing with sonar I can see the depth and adjust easier. I will use a Type VII line or I will use floating with a slip indicator. As I have mentioned before I use up to 30' leader. I use the same indicators as Chan also. I have learned that if I drill the hole out on the peg of the indicator, I can use one of my furled leaders. Reason I like this is it allowes me to be able to cast a 20' leader with ease instead of lobbing it out there.
    I would like to share some of my Chironomids with you.

    Off a swim hook
    And don't forget, BUZZERS

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