Clusters of midges and the Griffith's Gnat 35 Replies »
Last reply on May 22, 2015 by Taxon
ReplyMidges 10 Replies »
This is a spin-off from a tangent in another topic
which seems worthy of its own thread.
I wrote about the midge I photographed:
I'm not sure how a griffith's gnat is supposed to imitate such a thing
Schwiebert's theory was that when it was awash in the film, the herl and halo of hackle suggested the loosening pupal shuck around the dark body of the emerging midge. Others have speculated that it imitates a cluster of midges. Both theories are reasonable, I suppose, depending on the size of the Griffith's Gnat that is effective relative to the size of the actual midge. Like many anglers, I just know that it does work. :)
Those are the explanations I've heard, too, but I'm skeptical of both. I'm not doubting the effectiveness of the Griffith's Gnat; I just think people have traditionally stretched the bounds of credibility when trying to explain a fly's success in imitative terms, and this is one of the more prominent examples.
Has anybody here seen a cluster of midges on the water? I haven't. I have seen midges thickly grouped on rocks next to the water, and I don't doubt that they occasionally fall off of there, and probably sometimes two are three are clinging to each other. I've also seen early-season stoneflies balled up with each other in an opaque little (presumably mating-related) clump on a midstream boulder, and I wouldn't be surprised if some midge species do something like that too. But trout don't see balls of midges floating around very often on any stream I've ever observed. Has anyone experienced that?
In either case, I can't see something so opaque as a Griffith's Gnat effectively imitating what would surely be a loose ball of gangly entangled midges. You would have to roll them around in your fingers for a while to goo them together so solidly.
I just can't see the herl and hackle imitating, or even suggesting, a loosening pupal shuck. Shucks don't get that
loose. They trail behind length-wise; they don't balloon to the sides. And they aren't pointy. Of course I'm sure Schwiebert knows all that and was just trying to add an idea to the mix of explanations, but I do find that one as far-fetched as the others.
Here's another far-fetched guess: maybe the hackle and refractive trickery in the surface film reduce the perceived thickness of the fly and it passes for a single midge pretty well. This could be tested in an aquarium but it's late and I'm feeling lazy.
I think it's more likely that when trout take a Griffith's Gnat they're only looking for (at most) the right general size and color. It's not as fun, but sometimes
things are really that simple.
Hi Jason & Gonzo! I did well over the weekend by fishing some midge pupa imitations as nymphs and in the film. Where does one find midge larva to inspect for pattern imitation? I fished the pupas and larvas on 5x tippet and it seemed to work well. Do midges live in the silt or on the bottom of rocks, etc.? I have the book by Ed Koch and ?, the other name escapes me for the moment, but it doesn't exactly say where they are found. Midges are about the game in in town during the winter months so I thought I'd learn a little about them. ThanksReplyThank you for the nice quality pictures. 1 Reply »
Thank you for the nice quality pictures. I want to use your picture in my personal presentation in my science class. Would you mind this? I will wait your answer. thank you.ReplyLife cycles and hatches 3 Replies »
Last reply on Mar 9, 2014 by Entoman
Hi,ReplyBlack flies--bane and boon 37 Replies »
I am trying to identify the life cycle of a few aquatic insects in eastern British Columbia. Specifically, I want to know if the species I collected in the fall (Aug-Oct) are a different hatch from the species I collected in the spring (April-May). Does anybody know when the following species lay eggs, die, and hatch: amphipods (Hyalella aztecha), chironomids, leeches, mayflies (Leptophlebiidae paraleptophlebia, Baetida sp.), and caddis flies (Oxyethira sp., Hydropsychidae arctopsyche)? For my purposes, knowing the general life cycle of amphipods and chironomids would be great.
Thanks much for your help!
Last reply on Jul 13, 2011 by Jmd123
Although many anglers have been driven from the stream by these nasty little flies, the fish love them. I remember a crazy day on a tiny Pike County brook trout creek. The black flies were legion, but so were the brookies. As long as I could stand it (I was prepared with a headnet, but it was only a partial defense) the little trout hammered a Griffith's Gnat on almost every cast. Reply
Even if you can't tolerate the adult flies, an imitation of the larvae is very good. In fact, Don Holbrook (the author of Midge Magic) recently told me that his imitation of these larvae was the single most reliable and productive pattern of all of his "midge" imitations. He complained (only partly in jest) that the widespread spraying for black flies could ruin his fishing!