Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Midge Bread and Butter 101 on the Muskegon/Big Manistee

                                 ( Morning midge feeder on the Muskegon - who say's a 20 incher won't t                                                                           take size 20 dries?)

Diptera midges have completely taken over two tailwaters significantly in Michigan- the FERC re-licensed rivers of the Muskegon and Big Manistee. Due to low stable flows/plankton from impoundments, these rivers have seen increased vegetation/decaying detritus which harbors massive benthic diptera and Simulium midges beyond epic proportions.The ridiculous sucker populations of both rivers ( they feed 90% on midge larvae as they turn their suction noses on a rock and flash their golden sides) are a direct result of the insane midge populations.Either fish big drakes and Hexes in the evening, or prepare for morning sippers now on midges and then eventually caddis and tiny bwo's as the year progresses.6 and 7x will be the norm with long 14-18 foot leaders and 2/3/4 weight 10/11 foot rods. Trout will sip midges daily from now thru the summer thru November and December.
(The ideal fine gravel/vegetation mix of  these rivers favors midges/clinging mayflies and scuds)
Target pods of trout in slow pools and back eddies/gravel shelves. Use a midge emerger dry and dropper pupae ( my WMD-weapons of midge destruction in last year's Fly Fisherman article are deadly) If you get refusals go down in size and silhouette- but the trout will eventually make the mistake of a take. Try twitching your presentation to get your flies noticed in the maze of naturals.
You can  now tie size#26/28 midges using # 20 wide gap hooks from Daiichi for better hooking percentages and short shank bodies. Also the supple Varivas tippet material is ideal for presenting minutiae  down to 8x/9x
Enjoy this wonderful way to fish in a traditional manner where  trout sippers can be ultra fussy but pleasing to dry fly aficionados. 

Check out the massive midge larvae cluster found on a stick!....click on the link below