My problem with Chironmid/ the problem with Chironmids

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by South Sound, May 6, 2008.

  1. markmendenhall New Member

    Posts: 15
    Bellingham, WA
    Ratings: +7 / 0
    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.
  2. Leroy Laviolet Aint no nookie like chinookie

    Posts: 995
    do'n it 4 the chinookie
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    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...
  3. Chironomid Guy New Member

    Posts: 28
    Laurier, Wa
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    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
  4. Brett Angel Member

    Posts: 530
    Sammamish, WA
    Ratings: +15 / 0
    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?

    -B
  5. Leroy Laviolet Aint no nookie like chinookie

    Posts: 995
    do'n it 4 the chinookie
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    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:
  6. 1fly New Member

    Posts: 26
    Logan UT
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    They might be grazing on the bottom of the milfoil just under the surface. you might want to try a REALLY short dropper and see if they are there. Plus the other stuff!

    What about when midges aren't happening? What is your next favorite technique?
  7. Brett Angel Member

    Posts: 530
    Sammamish, WA
    Ratings: +15 / 0
    I don't have a favorite technique for lakes, because nothing seems to work with regularity for me and I don't have a lot of experience on stillwater. I've tried stripping a damsfly nymph, leeches, buggers, and some soft hackle patterns, and tossing some G. Knats and Caddis with VERY little action. I did have some success with a midge tied behind a Caddis, but they kept taking the Caddis (not complaining, just confused).

    I did take note of some water boatman. I've never fished one but I tied one up and haven't had the chance to try it.

    Fishmhard,
    I find it hard to get a vertical retrieve because it's fairly shallow and I'd be fishing close to my tube so I tend to stick with a indicator for the most part. Do you still retrieve when you're using an indicator? I do suspect my retrieve is still too fast though regardless of depth.
  8. Leroy Laviolet Aint no nookie like chinookie

    Posts: 995
    do'n it 4 the chinookie
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Ive honestly never done the vertical retrieve method, though Ive heard it works really well. Brian Chan did a gig on it I saw one time, takes lots of patience That I don't possess... If I were in shallow water, I'd try a very small indicator or even no indi, and shorten up the leader so your fly tays off the bottem, but you may have to use something to hold it up- Another great trick is go to mono down to the tippet knot ( It floats and florou sinks) grease this section with gink or another floatant, then fo with a 18-24" tippet of flouro that isn't greased. Then, the knot becomes the indicator, you can tie a tiny peice of yarn or something there if needed , but it you fish close and have good eyes, you'll be able to see that section at the knot when it goes under... Then drill 'em! This might be A GOOD way under the situation you have decribed to fix your problem in shallow water . If you use an indi, make sure it's a small one. Indicators kinda suck if you really are trying to use alot of movment in your retireive, and they cause to much disturbance if you are in shallow water and are moveing them alot.
    In Wyoming, the wind literally always blows, so I let the wind do the work for me , which also is a presentation that is natural , since the wind creates the current... If the wind is light, I'll move the rig every minute or so, just to give it some movement, and so I can cast again eventually . 95% of my sushi take when the rig is Not being retrieved. We also get to sight fish to cruisers, but that's pretty basic.
    During the accent, the chonys take breaks and at times hang out at a depth for awhile, according to what I've read, so i think this explains why no retrieve workes very well, and in this case as some here have stated, correct depth of fly in the column where the fish are feeding is the key-
    the biggest challenge is patience, but once it starts working well, it'll be easy to be patient!!:thumb:
    Just my two cents, but this stuff works for me-
  9. thestallion Member

    Posts: 58
    oregon
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I had been excited to head up to a lake to do some chironomid fishing. Fished for about 8 hours total between yesterday and today, caught 1 hatchery trout about 12"[( in about the first 20 minutes)lame, I can catch 100 of those 1 mile from my house], spent about $100 in gas, and missed the U.S. Open playoff. I think I am going to go back to riding my bike to my favorite steelhead holes.
  10. Leroy Laviolet Aint no nookie like chinookie

    Posts: 995
    do'n it 4 the chinookie
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Dude! If you can ride a bike to a steelhead hole, then you should forego the planter trout on the lake :D I envy your position, 11 strong hrs. at 75 mph to get to the promise land of andronomous fishes for me- Take advantage of your situation :thumb:
  11. mtskibum16 Active Member

    Posts: 940
    Puget Sound Beaches
    Ratings: +213 / 0
    Hi guys...new to the area and to stillwaters. I just moved from Bozeman, MT to Kitsap county and I have spent most of my fly fishing on rivers and streams. Does anyone know of a good lake in the Kitsap area to give Chironomids a try? I would love to start learning how to fish them and try some of the mentioned methods, but it's nice to take one variable out of the equation when trying new methods....in this case location. I don't want to spend a bunch of time in a lake fishing a fly and method that the fish never actually see or key in on. Any help would be appreciated.

    Oh, and so far on my list is Teal Lake in Jefferson county and Island Lake since it's so close to home. Would either of these lakes be a good spot to use Chironomids.
  12. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,400
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,357 / 9
    I echo the advice that someone already gave you about Teal Lake. As I just started freshwater fly fishing recently that is where the folks at Peninsula Outfitters recommended. I have had some success there in trips on buggers, emergers and dries. I have not yet really tried chironomids yet but I will do my experimenting there knowing that there are fish and I can catch them. That is a good litmus test if I get skunked...likely not the fish failiing as much as it will be me. I'm not the most wickedly patient person, so this will be a good test of my temperment.

    You could also try Buck Lake near Hansville near the tip of the Kitsap Peninsula. I have had limited luck there with sinking patterns and trolling a fly as I move from place to place. There is a lot of bait fishing pressure here, so I have not been as impressed with the fishing there as at Teal Lake, but it is quite close to home.
  13. Steven Green Hood Canal Pirate

    Posts: 517
    Poulsbo, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Jefferson county has a host of great lakes including Teal, Horseshoe, Leland, Gibbs, Anderson, Tarboo, Sandy Shores, Ludlow and many more. Pull out a map of WA and go nuts. As for Chronies at Teal, I don't fish them but I've seen people pullin 'em out on snowcones.

    Steven
  14. mtskibum16 Active Member

    Posts: 940
    Puget Sound Beaches
    Ratings: +213 / 0
    Yeah, I've been lookin the map over and planning. It's always hard to decide when and where to go....so many choices! I always like to start at a new place by throwin buggers and leech patterns to learn the water, but I might try the Chironomids if I don't have any luck with the buggers. Have any of you guys fished Cady Lake? It was also recommended by Peninsula Outfitters.
  15. Steven Green Hood Canal Pirate

    Posts: 517
    Poulsbo, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I've never fished Cady, but I've heard its great. I think it is FF only and C&R
  16. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,400
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,357 / 9
    Speaking of Jefferson County lakes, there are a ton of them. Since they are so close I want to attempt to fish many of them. Anyone fished Twin, Mud, Pheasant, Wahl or Lost lakes off the Wahl Lake Road and unimproved road accesses? The more I look at the area the more names of lakes I add to my fishing wish list.
  17. mtskibum16 Active Member

    Posts: 940
    Puget Sound Beaches
    Ratings: +213 / 0
    Yeah, sounds nice. I want to check it out sometime!

    Those look interesting! A little more off the beaten path maybe....so can you drive to them? Looks like it depending on those roads. I might have to cruise over there this weekend.
  18. golfman65 Guest

    Posts: 0
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    Was up in the interior B.C. this past week...Fishing was tough in the beginning as it took some looking to find where the fish were holding..seems to be about three weeks behind up in the caribou, Once dialed in had 20 fish mornings..was incredible. Fish were deep and long line with indicator (30') was one method that worked very well..Fish were 2' off bottom...
    If you just toss out your line and sit there you will be lucky to get 5 fish...If you really focus on your indicator and hit it when it starts to move or barely submerge you had fish on nearly every cast...it takes time to learn as others have said..but when you dial it in there is no other method that catches as many fish as that...
    The other method that worked equally well and was a helluva lot more fun was a full sink line..measure your depth with hemo's and then I used a small piece of tape to mark two feet off bottom...I then slowly moved my rod up and down and stop...the hits were both subtle or fierce...got some of my bigger fish doing that and it was also non stop..wish I would have used that method more but only tried it my last day and damn it was fun...
    Damsels were just starting to show and all other methods except drys at sunset produced minimally..
  19. Ethan G. I do science.. on fish..

    Posts: 987
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    Most of the roads surrounding Pheasant, Lost, Mud, Wahl, and Twin Lakes are accessable only by Pope Resources vehicles, you have to hike in. Lost Lake is closed to public fishing, as it is a private lake for Pope Resources Employees. I've never fished any of them, but Pheasant looks promising. It's a 3 mile hike in, though, so I havn't had enough time to do it. PM me if anyone wants details on these Pope Resources lakes.
    -Ethan
  20. mtskibum16 Active Member

    Posts: 940
    Puget Sound Beaches
    Ratings: +213 / 0
    Well, went out to Teal tonight and caught my first Washington fish! It was a pretty fat 14" rainbow. I caught it trolling a wooly bugger and missed several other hits as I wasn't able to hold my rod while paddling....still need some flippers for the pontoon boat. Anyways, I noticed some fish start to rise and some midges cruising around so I switched to a #18 red bh brassie about 3 ft under a small indicator. Caught 2 more rainbows (about 10-11") and missed a few others while looking around....it was my first time there. Nice lake!