CHIRONOMID THREAD -

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

  1. Blue Active Member

    Posts: 1,155
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Ratings: +105 / 0
    All I know is that is when I see those in a stomach sample I tie on a SJW. I also tie one using a 200R hook in #16 and use red thread and Micro tube and tie off with a black thread head. Very popular choice when you see those in the samples.
  2. pond monkey Guest

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    A good read for the stillwater angler is "Kamloops" by Steve Raymond (Seattle guy)... it was written in the late 80s I think....I have read and reread it over the years.... the development and history of Kamloops region of BC by the Europeans is the history of stillwater angling especially fly angling...
    To read about the development of stocking programs... (most the lakes were the barren) and Bill Nation( famous guide)....He probably tied and fished the first chironomid pattern (Nation's black)....is all so very interesting....
    ******This is an important book for the stillwater angler..... even if you never ever plan to fish B.C. ......
    Paul
  3. Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

    Posts: 3,861
    Pipers Creek
    Ratings: +1,263 / 1
    Nick,
    Thats a good question. I know of one situation that occurs where I've seen really heavy hatches in the winter time. That is when a lake opens up after being completely frozen over for a few days.
    Except for maybe the Bellingham area, we seldom get those types of extended super cold weather fronts in western Washington.
    It is almost like the chironomids know the ice is there and they have pent energy to hatch. Once the ice opens up, they hatch heavily. When it does happen it is pretty cool to see.
    I learned about this years ago from employees at the Morning Hatch in Tacoma.
  4. Nick Clayton Active Member

    Posts: 2,940
    Ratings: +1,217 / 4
    I didn't word my original question as well as I wanted. Stupid smart phone.

    Let's take Pass lake for example, since I've spent quite a bit of time there lately trying to learn it some...... Let's I show up to Pass on a January morning and get out on the water. Now I know people fish chironomids quite successfuly on Pass, and with this knowledge in my head I know that at some point I will probably anchor up and drop chironomids. I have done that, and I have done well at certain times. At other times I try and it's just dead... As I did this past Sunday.

    Now, the only reason I fished chironomids at all in this lake is that I've been told how productive they can be- Not because I got to the water and noticed a hatch coming off. In fact, over the past month I haven't really seen much of any sign of chironomids hatching. Seen a few schucks in the water here and there, but that's it. So sometimes, with zero signs of a hatch, I have good luck with chironomids. Other times, as this past Sunday for example, I couldn't buy a fish with mids, and instead could only get them on leeches.

    So, I guess what I'm wondering is.... If I show up to a lake and see no signs of chironomids, is it worth fishing them anyway? Do fish recognize a tasty chironomid well enough on lakes with heavy populations of them that even if there are none present the fish might just remember what it is and eat? Or what do you think explains the fact that sometimes it's been hot using mids, and other times its been dead, when none of the time there appears to be a hatch.... that I can see.
  5. troutpocket Active Member

    Posts: 1,784
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +335 / 0
    From what I've read (Fly Patterns for Stillwaters by Phil Rowley has some good info on this topic) chironomids are available to trout every day of the year. Whether or not they are actively hatching. But the trick is finding where the bugs are active and there is a gathering of actively feeding trout. What this means is that location is critical for chironomid fishing, especially in the winter! In the winter months I usually start out on the move, casting and stripping leeches to gauge the activity level of the fish. If it's not producing like I think it should, I'll start looking for likely areas to soak a chironomid or leech under an indicator. If I don't get a takedown in 10 minutes (or less) it's on to the next spot. On most days, one of these tactics (casting/stripping or bobber watching) will produce and often I switch back and forth throughout the day.
  6. pond monkey Guest

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    Hi Nick,
    I would use a bhml (bead head micro leech) under an indicator for general searching...I tie 'em on #12 scud hook usually with gold bead in black or golden/olive... This is just me but I wouldn't use a sinking line. I usually don't unless I suspect that fish are suspending....

    Regards.....Paul
  7. Blue Active Member

    Posts: 1,155
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Ratings: +105 / 0
    Pond, you got a picture of that leech? I tie one on a scud that is simple as heck to tie.
  8. troutpocket Active Member

    Posts: 1,784
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +335 / 0
    Here's a beadhead micro leech I use. Bunny strip tail, wrapped marabou body. This one is on a #10 but I use 12's and 14's as well. Simple and quite effective.
  9. Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

    Posts: 3,861
    Pipers Creek
    Ratings: +1,263 / 1
    Very nice pattern TP.

    Another option for leeches is tying them on small 90 degree jig hooks. The fish almost always get hooked right in the nose since the hook is riding point up. You also get a nice straight vertical presentation due to the hook eye placement.
    You can also add a second eye so you can fish a chironomid dropper off your leech. The dropper will hang directly below the head of your leech.
    Here are a couple of pics of the 90 degree jig hook with a dropper eye.
  10. troutpocket Active Member

    Posts: 1,784
    Ellensburg, WA
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    Micro jig heads work very well for this. One of my fishing buddies ties one on a 1/80th oz jig head with crayfish orange tail, variegated orange and black chenille, and a soft hackle collar of pheasant rump patch dyed orange. He calls it the Cleveland Brown and it did very well last fall on Hebgen.
  11. pond monkey Guest

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    Hi Blue,
    I'll try to get you a pic tomorrow. I just got a new IMAC a couple of weeks ago and I need to update my driver......
    I have been using bhml for ten years..... learned about 'em in BC on our first fall tip.... That fly and scuds are about all anyone uses in the fall... They work great even tied on a standard type hook hanging vertically. Some guys are going to a "balanced pattern" tied on jig hooks.....I'm more of a traditionalist.... it's like wooden bats vs. aluminum...gimmee wood , they work great...
    I tie mine on a scud hook with a gold bead, like I said. I like to use "woolly bugger marabou" for the tail red wire rib and "blood quill" marabou for the body tying tapering the body forward thinner body in back and a little fatter toward the front. I don't like blood quill 'bou for the tail .... too pointy...I tie mine one inch long (or so) from stem to stern most of the time....I like the compactness for a vertical presentation.....

    Paul
  12. Blue Active Member

    Posts: 1,155
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Ratings: +105 / 0
    Heay, I Played around with the idea of a straight out hook, but I do like the jigs. Again, I want to show you my ideas
    so bare with me. The straight out is actually two hooks with one bent up and one with straight eye. In this picture I didn't clip the hook on one which is what I now do. But the double hook didn't hurt.
    [IMG]
    (I wanna say, this was not my idea, I saw it some where)
    The jigs
    [IMG]
  13. Nick Clayton Active Member

    Posts: 2,940
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    Beautiful flies Blue!
  14. Blue Active Member

    Posts: 1,155
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Ratings: +105 / 0
    THANKS! Like I said, deep nymphing is one of my favorite ways of fishing (but nothing beats a dry hatch...LOL)
  15. Nick Clayton Active Member

    Posts: 2,940
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    What is the reason behind the second hook in the first pic? Obviously the bent up hook serves a purpose, I just can't wrap my mind around what it could be
  16. Blue Active Member

    Posts: 1,155
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Ratings: +105 / 0
    Like I said I normally cut one of the hooks off and just use the eye portion. All it does is present the fly straight out in the middle of a Vertical line, then the Jig on the bottom or a Mid.
  17. Nick Clayton Active Member

    Posts: 2,940
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    Ah OK. I gotcha. Makes sense. I sure love how much there is to learn about what is perceived as a very simple way to fish.
  18. scottflycst Active Member

    Posts: 1,711
    Ozark Mtn springwater
    Ratings: +24 / 0
    Blue and TP thanks for sharing your flies and ideas. Flyfishers in other parts of our country have been using this same idea for quite awhile. I'd like to see it catch on here. Just to be fair, chironomid fishing got it's start in the Northwest and is just catching on in states east of us. It takes time for a new idea to be accepted from place to place among fishermen, much quicker among the trout!
  19. WABOWMAN Active Member

    Posts: 439
    Port Townsend,WA
    Ratings: +31 / 0
    I have to admit that all this info has really got me interested in mid fishing.Ive always had a problem with sitting there watching a bobber!I do admit that i never put much into it but it has gotten my interest in the past year or so.This thread is a big big help with the learning curve.
    For a new guy starting out,what do you think would be the most used and affective patterns and sizes a guy should have in his/her box to start out mid fishing?
    Thanks for this great thread and keep it up guys and gals!
  20. Blue Active Member

    Posts: 1,155
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Ratings: +105 / 0
    You know, it can be slow, just like any other style. If they aren't going for the Mid I will switch to other things, but seems I can always rustle at least one. But man, when you find that lake that the fish love these things, hang on. I have had several trips that they were hitting shortly after I dropped the line.

    I don't know if my choice of patterns will work eerywhere, but I fish Utah and Idaho. So, my list is as follows
    Chromie with red wire
    White bead, black thread body, Blue wire
    Black bead, black thread body, White, Red and Blue wire
    Black bead and Olive V-rib
    The Irish Spring
    Ice Cream Cone
    Black or Red bead with red thread and black wire
    White bead, white thread and silver wire.

    The ones with the black beads I do have the wing case and Peacock thorax with either Ostrich or Antron gills.

    As Julie Andrews sang "these are a few of my favorite mids ...well something like that)