Trout Love Midge Pupa: Yesterday my friend Phil reported a midge hatch at his club pond. And he nailed some nice fish on small flies including the chunky rainbow below.
Yup, trout love to slurp up midges. And why not. At certain times, and in certain places, they are the most abundant food source available. This is especially true in ponds and lakes. No question, in still water midges are extremely prolific. Often they are better referred to as chironomids. Typically in still water these pupa vary from size 16# up to whopping size 10#. In moving water, however, they often are smaller, more in the 16# down to 24# range.
Chironomids patterns are very simple. A thin body of floss, fur, or thread and a rib of contrasting thread, tinsel or wire. And often a bead is added at the head. Colored plastic or tungsten your choice. Bingo you’re done. In the color department you can’t go wrong these basics – black, red, or green.
For rivers, I really like the good old Zebra midge. Very deadly. Yeah you’ll need some fine tippet material to fish this baby. 7x does the trick. This one has a tungsten bead.
Fine Tippets are Needed
Here is a few more midge patterns from my fly box. Keep Calm and Carry On!
By the way the macro shots were taken with my phone. No, no, I don’t have a flagship, $1000, fancy smart phone with a super duper camera. Mine is a cheap $200 run-of-the-mill unit. But here’s the secret. I have a Xenvo Lens Kit. For $40 it gives your phone a very good wide angle and a decent macro lens. Works on almost all cell phones. Useful and well made.
This is the worse season kickoff I can remember. Damn it has been weird. And after a mild winter I didn’t expect that. Not one little bit. In some good part it has been the virus and the stay-at-home deal we all face. But there is more to it. My local beaches are closed. Wow. On top of that mess, the weather has been a real rollercoaster ride. And the long range forecast is more of the same.
My Son’s Striper
Just got a fishing report from my son, however. He got a striper out of his kayak in the Connecticut River one evening. Glad he did. Nice, although he is making dad look bad. Ha.
Dusk on the Connecticut River
Finally got a flat bed extender for my pickup. Now I can put my old kayak back into action. It is an Adios. A hybrid critter. Part Sit-on-Top, part Standup-Board. Got my fingers crossed the yak changes my luck. Hell it can’t make things any worse. I’ll give the Adios a go when this weather pattern straightens out.
Gamakatsu is well known for their excellent hooks, but recently I came across some nice plastic boxes also offered by them. Since my saltwater fly boxes badly needed to be replaced, I took a chance and ordered two from Bear’s Den.
Made in Japan, they are available in a couple of different sizes and two styles – with slit-foam or adjustable dividers. They appear to be rugged and well made. The latch and hinges seem fine too, although at this point I can’t say how they will do in the long haul. Another issue I’ll be looking out for is whether the plastic lid scratches up badly. Not a fan of that. We’ll see down the road or should I say down the shore.
Now I needed boxes that easily fit into the pockets of my Simms foul weather jacket. Based on that, I picked the model 3200. The dimensions are 8.1″ x 5.7″ x 1.6″ deep. Did I go with the slit- foam or the dividers? Actually I opted to get one of each. The one with dividers retails for $7.75. The foam model is almost double at $13.50. A little surprised by that. Still both are affordable.
As you can see above, my jacket will hold two boxes, although I doubt I’ll ever need both for a day on the water. Now that I have them in hand, I like the adjustable dividers better. It is a more versatile box and cheaper. I made compartments for flies from 7″ on 3/0 hooks, down to size 1 flies. The slit-foam is best suited to smaller flies such as sand eel or crab patterns. And it will made a nice storage box for flat’s flies. Overall I’m pleased with both boxes. Keep Calm and Carry On
Like nearly everyone else, I’ve been doing the stay-at-home routine. Yeah, yeah, bouncing off the damn walls. But the cabin fever was building something fierce, so yesterday I took a shot. Threw my gear in the truck and headed to a beach I figured would be deserted during the week. Had to get out. Had to.
In New England, the best early spring conditions for striped bass are as follows: water temperature 45 degrees or higher, southwest wind, falling barometer, and the threat of rain would be a help too. Honestly, snotty, cloudy weather is a plus. Yesterday I had the right water temp, but that’s where the good news ended. Wind out of the northwest, rising barometer, and clear skies. Hence my expectations were not riding high. And good thing. After an hour and a half of casting – no hits, not runs and even a few errors. Ugh. Oh well it was great to be on the water. Amen brother.
On this particular beach there is a sundial built into the side of a shed. It consists of Roman numerals painted on a south facing sidewall, and a stick that casts a shadow. Does it work? Check out the photo below. I snapped it at 12:56. How’s them apples? Whoever made this knew what they were doing. Tip of the hat.
Here’s one more thought. As I get older climbing in-and-out of stocking foot waders has become more of a hassle. Much of it has to do with reaching down to lace up those boots. Its a pain in the arse. On top of that my Simms waders are cut very tight and that adds to the problem. (see older post) So yesterday I brought along a folding chair. Man it made life a bunch easier. Going to do this all the time.
PS My day on the water reconfirmed my opinion of this Scott Meridian 7-weight. It’s a great rod. I was alone on the beach. But I just learned the beach will be closed starting on Saturday. Glad I got out!
Just whipped up some small Clousers. Now when I say small I don’t mean micro; these are size 1#. But by saltwater standards that is on the smaller side, unless you’re thinking bonefish ammunition. Heck here in the Northeast, 1/0 and 2/0 Clousers do the yeoman’s work. Probably whip up some of those critters next.
So why did I do size 1#? Well right at the moment there aren’t gobs of giant bass around. At least in Long Island Sound and its surrounding waters. So this is primarily a schoolie fishery and smaller flies and small rods are the best medicine. And if you hit yourself in the head a size 1# doesn’t hurt near halve as bad as a bigger one. Ha!
For these flies I’m using a Mustad C70SD Big Game hook. If perchance a monster munches on one, these hooks will hold. (Not sure these hooks are still available. Hell I wonder from year to year whether Mustad will make it.) I opted for no tail. The body is Bill’s Bodi Braid with a thin coat of clear UV acrylic. Medium dumbbell eye. Yes I could have used a smaller dumbbell, but the power of the Clouser lies in two factors. The ability to get down and the ability to “jig”on the retrieve. The medium dumbbell will do both better. Sea green bucktail wing. Flash on top, in this case pearl Mirage. Whole deal is about 2.5″ long. Very simple and yet very effective. And easy to deliver on a 7-weight fly rod. Hope you’re well. Keep Calm and Carry on.