January is Midge Month

..and Chironomids, buzzers and the like.

Usually sometime in December or January, the cabin fever sets in and the things that come off my vise after hours of sitting in the man-cave can make me think twice about my sanity. My daughters' barbie doll hair is all but depleted and my dog is as bald as a coot. But this time of year is also a great time, in between tying sessions, to get out and hit the water for some great midge hatches. Not only the smaller river style bugs, but as the ice begins to recede from the lakes, their bigger bodied cousins show up in the form of Chironomids.

So it's time to get tying some delicious Diptera.

adult midge fly pattern
Quill Body Midge Fly
The first pattern out of the gate is a relatively simple peacock quill body midge adult. Similar to the natural pictured above, this is going to be a pattern you tie on when you're confident the fish are hitting the surface. With midges, it gets a little tricky because they'll end up taking pupa for a good majority of any hatch but yet they'll still "rise". Just be aware of the riseforms and realize that you'll likely fish a few pupa patterns before you'll tie the adults on. In terms of the progression of a midge hatch, we'll discuss other pupa and emerger patterns later on but this would be the final stage where the adults are skimming across the water's surface and the fish are actively rising for them. I find that leaving a shuck in the mix is a good idea as the hatch evolves from pupa-focused to adult-focused. The 2nd variation shown is a higher floating adult that can be nice for throwing into the choppier seams where you may not think a trout is focusing his attention on such small bugs. You'll be surprised.

adult midge fly pattern
Midge Adult Pattern

Hook: Allen D101BL #18
Thread: UTC Ultrathread 70 Denier Black
Tail: Light Dun Antron
Body: Green Dyed Stripped Peacock Quill
Wings: Light Dun Medallion Sheeting
Legs: Light Dun Antron