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The midge is perhaps one of the most important aquatic insects fly anglers must understand to become a well rounded fly angler. For the most part the midge (chironomid) is probably the most misunderstood and confusing aquatic insect in the water breathing world. Many anglers find the confusion in both the size (which can be minute or as small as a size 22 hook). How could something so small be so important to trout? There are many more mysteries and myths about the midge that keeps many anglers in the dark about how important this little bug really is to feeding trout.
The Owyhee River is considered by many anglers to be the best brown trout fishery in North America and if you are going to fish that river you better understand the midge and its life cycle. There are other rivers like the Owyhee River where the presence of midges can change the feeding habits of trout in those waters throughout the fishing season. In the Owyhee River there have been recorded studies that will show there are over 1300 aquatic insects per square meter. I would guess the majority of those aquatic insects are midges. That in itself should be enough to get you thinking about the midge as an important food source.
Why is the midge such an important food source to trout? Why is it that size does matter with midges? What is a midge pupa? What kind of midge do I fish to feeding trout? What kind of midge do I use to nymph fish? How do I do all of these things and be successful? These are just some of the questions that we answer in detail. Particular emphasis is put on what techniques are used, what strategies are used and how it is we fish the midge.
The knowledge of stages of the hatch, trout rise forms and trout behavior comes with successful midge fishing. I share my years of experience by devoting a considerable amount of time to understanding these concepts. Winter fly fishing revolves around the midge hatch and having the right midge pattern. The ability to seek out and find rising fish will extend your fly fishing season to 12 months of the year.