Lake Sammamish Hatch

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by richard f lange, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. At the north end of Lake Sam, by the pilings and lily pads, there was a very big hatch coming off, and several fishing rising. I could not get close enough to the water to find out what bugs were coming off, but the fish were really on them. I'm thinking Skwala Stones. Anybody been out and can verify or let me know whats coming off. I'll be out in my boat this weekend, and will find out then, but I'd like to go out prepared....
  2. Very unlikely to be skwalas in the lake since they're a flowing water critter. Much more likely to be midges. As I've been commuting past LS the past few mornings, I've been super bummed not to finally be out there in my canoe trying to catch one of those cutts. Always wanted to; never have.
    Jeff Dodd likes this.
  3. Likely chironomids.
    One of my co-workers regularly gear fishes Sammamish for cutthroat out of his boat. He has been catching fish all winter long.
    Almost all of his success has come by fishing near birds that are hammering adult chironomid on the surface.
    yellowlab and Jeff Dodd like this.
  4. My bet is they are callibaettis. Skwalas are only present on free flowing freestone or tailwater streams
    Taxon likes this.
  5. Might be too early for callibaetis, though it's not out of the question. My guess is big chironomids.
  6. I think that the finger lings are eating the chironomids and the cutt's are eating the finger lings!
  7. I agree with Lugan.

  8. I have been out on Lake Samish a couple of times this year, that's one m and not three. Saw something coming off I couldn't identify, tent like wings straight back on the body, but in the last 48 hours swallows have showed up and we saw them this morning dive bombing the water at first light. The swallows were looking down and feasting but no fish were looking up. At first I thought it was fish, then saw it was the swallows. They were smacking the surface pretty hard. We were having a glass of wine on the dock last night and there were definitely chironomids flying around. Probably the same thing at Samammish.
  9. Gotta love them chironomids!
    ( but sometimes they can be a pain :))
  10. Why do we call them chironomids on lakes and midges on rivers? Just an observation from years of reading WFF. As I recall surface action on lowland Westside lakes gets pretty awesome around now if you know where to find it.
    dfl likes this.
  11. Isn't a Chironomid just a form of a midge. I think midge is easier to spell than the other long word
    Kyle Smith likes this.
  12. That's an interesting question; As a fisherman who fished moving water exclusively until a few years ago, I've wondered about it myself. Here's my take. On lakes, chironomids are a major food source and you have way more diversity in terms of size, so anglers benefit much more from imitating them, and it is much easier to imitate them. However, on rivers, they tend to be tiny and much less often are they the primary food source for trout. "Midge" has come to be almost a synonym for something tiny, rather than a taxonomic category. So, fishermen who primarily fish moving water tend not to focus on them as much, since you can often (but not always) get by just fine by ignoring them, and many folks don't like to tie on size 20 and smaller hooks. So, the less precise term, 'midge' has become the term of choice on moving water.

  13. Huh. I always took it as colloquial but precise for chironomid. Now I know that others don't think that way. I get tired of saying (and typing) chironomid. And I'm not a fan of "chronnies" either.
  14. Outside of actual scientific taxonomy, it's impossible to give any rational reason why people choose to use one form of nomenclature over another. Chironomidae is the name of a family of Diptera (two-winged flies; were you aware that most common aquatic insects, mayflies, stoneflies, caddis, have four?), included in this family is the genus Chironomus and many others. Nearly all of these genera are frequently referred to as "chironomids". Alternatively, the common name for these genera and species (as well as any other small insect) is "midge".

    Common names are usually quite imprecise, often leading to confusion, and the use of chironomid as an alternative to midge doesn't really help to clarify anything.
    Irafly likes this.
  15. Rational reason? Midge is one syllable, chironomid is four. Efficiency!
  16. If you look at old fly books any small fly was called a "midge". My feelings are that chironomid (and variations of that) come from the PNW and British Columbia were chronie and indicator fishing started.

    I've got some old fly books and it seems any small fly #20 and smaller was termed a midge and at the same time 4 wt fiberglass rods were categorized as "midge rods".

    added on edit: One more thing, Midge rods seems to be an east coast term as that's were most seem to come from.
  17. The first so-called "chironomid'' imitation, and identified as such, was the late Dr. Dick Thompson's TDC, which stood for "Thompson's Delectable Chironomid". If I'm not mistaken it was first tied in the early 50s with a black chenille body, silver tinsel rib and a couple of turns of white ostrich herl for gills thus becoming the prototype for most later imitations. I suspect this set the term "chironomid" in the public (or at least the fishing public's) mind. Dick had a long career in the US Fish and Wildlife Service in the northwest before passing away only last year.
  18. Thanks, once again, Preston, for an interesting historical note.

  19. Most of what I might say on this topic has already been effectively stated by previous posters on this thread.

    However, one contribution I will make is to show the taxonomic structure of aquatic/semi-aquatic members of order Diptera (True Flies), which illustrates the numerous midge families, only one of which is the non-biting midge family Chironomidae, whose members are referred to as Chironomids.
  20. From my experience fishing a lake in Oregon on Thursday, it could be water boatman. They were zipping around on the surface and underwater. The fish were hitting them under water and on the surface.


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