Chironomids!!

dbk

Active Member
As Rod eloquently expresses a key skill in fishing chironomids is observation.. paying attention to water temps, visible clues on the water like shucks, swallows, etc.. is critically important information when fishing 'mids... the misconception is chironomid fishing is boring because all you do is stare at your bobber.. yet nothing could be further from the truth.. if thats all thats you are doing than you will miss valuable clues that will allow you to stay on a bite longer as you make the necessary adjustments to stay on the fish.. missing a take down or two has often occurred because the observation is ongoing and continues even while fishing.. throat sampling is essential and should be part of that observation skill set.. the fish will tell you what they want. And there are no hard and fast rules here with the exception at times of depth. Trout at times can be locked into specific feeding zones and if your bugs are not fished there you wont catch fish even if your pattern is a perfect match of the naturals being eaten..getting the depth right is a critical component to success.. and that alone can be a challenge given the variables involved...but with observation, some trial and error, electronics and effective use of a throat pump fishing chironomids can be a game changer during certain times of the year..Ive heard of guys who fish them exclusively all year round but they are not seasonally always the food source of choice for trout..
 

FinLuver

Active Member
Don’t forget fishing in streams too. Very Small black body, fine silver rib, either a silver, white, red, or blue bead. Get down deep in the winter and get it bit.
 
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Hookset

New Member
I’ve been fishing Lone Lk. on Whidbey since late October. I’m using zebra midges in olive green, red or black sizes 16 and 18. I’m suspending under indicator a foot off the bottom checked with hemostats clamped on bottom fly. I’m fishing 3 flies. Last trips out have been misery due to cool weather punctuated by occasional action. But I’m still netting fish in December, when I can feel my hands.
 

Irafly

Indi "Ira" Jones
WFF Supporter
Fish will eat mids 365 days a year, but that doesn’t mean that it is what they want to eat. The potato chip analogy works, but sometimes we also want steak and fish are no different.

A few seasons ago I spent an entire season not fishing mids even in the middle of hatches and for the most part I did as well if not better than others on the lakes while fishing anything but mids under indicators. Although I didn’t count bloodworms in that process. I did give in on one trip while fishing with @triploidjunkie when he started picking up three to my one in mids.

Since that season, I continue to mix it up, and have found at times that a mid is absolutely what they want, but like @troutpocket mentioned, I need to be convinced by other factors to put on a mid.
 

jamma

Active Member
Lots of good advice here. My only addition would be, if you are going to get really serious about midge fishing, a fish finder is nearly indispensable. Using hemostats to find the bottom is O.K., but may not tell you what the conditions are like down there. If there's no mud bottom, it is unlikely there will be many midges down there and it won't help much if you're in the middle of a weed bed.
 

Hookset

New Member
I’ll bite. What recommendations on fish finders? Hemostats are a no brainer for those easily confused.
 

Buzzy

Active Member
WFF Supporter
I’ll bite. What recommendations on fish finders? Hemostats are a no brainer for those easily confused.
Hookset - use the search function and you'll find a lot of shared information on sonar units - Humminbird
Fishin' Buddy 120/140C (no longer in production) are highly sought after. They have side scan sonar as well as down looking. A lot of people looking for one to pop up on classifieds. In recent "sonar" discussions, @Shawn Seeger gives very goo reviews, check it out: https://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/forum/index.php?threads/135984/page-5#post-1366639
 

onefish

Active Member
I find that mids are really effective early in the season before other hatches get going and again in fall once the main hatches taper off. But I fish them all season nevertheless. The chironomid below a level leech seems to work much of the time. Some of us old guys fish them just to take a break from the rigors of casting and stripping or kicking around looking for fish. When you are on a lake from early morning to last light it is nice to just stop moving for awhile, sling out a bobber and start snacking. But sure as hell-that bobber will go down once you get comfortable...
How far below the leech do you generally set your mid? Do you generally go with smallish to micro leeches or do you go larger.
Thanks in advance.
 

Mike Monsos

AKA flyman219
WFF Supporter
I’ll bite. What recommendations on fish finders? Hemostats are a no brainer for those easily confused.
I recently got a Garmin Striker 4 and really like it. I power it with a Nocqua 4.4ah lithum battery pack (very small, light and dry). I was impressed that this battery would power the GS4 for about 20 hours on a single charge last year on a trip to a BC lake. I also bought a belt type mounting strap with brackets for the "head" and transducer to use on my FT or Watermaster. I have a suction cup system for rental boats. It's a pretty sweet package IMHO.

Mike
 

troutpocket

Active Member
Running a fishfinder opens up a lot of indicator fishing water that you might not be fishing effectively without one. I went without until about 5 years ago. If you can’t see bottom and nobody else is around to show you where fish are being caught, it takes some work to plumb depth with hemo’s and you are missing subtle differences in structure that may make a big difference. When fish are on ‘mids they often lock into feeding in a particular, and repeatable zone. For example, 14 feet deep on the outside edge of a weedy shoal. If you figure it out early in the day you can often move to other parts of the lake and find the zone again.

Could you figure it out on your own? Sure. But maybe you are crossing open water and there is a hump that comes up from deep water to 14’. You would have blown past it without the fishfinder. And if the zone is 2 feet off the bottom in 24’ good luck :)
 

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