Fly Fishing for Trout Home
User Password
or register.
Scientific name search:

> > midges vs. gnats

This topic is about the True Fly Family Chironomidae

Midges are the most important aquatic insects in some places, especially fertile spring creeks where they are extremely abundant and the current is so slow that it's efficient for trout to surface feed on very tiny insects.

Some midges are large, up to hook size 14, but the majority are size 22 or smaller. The number of genera and species is hopelessly huge for angler entomologists to ever learn, and the identifing characteristics often require slide-mounting tiny parts under high-powered microscopes. Even the most Latin-minded fisherman must slip back to the basics--size and color--to describe his local midge hatches. Read more...

There are 20 more specimens...

The Discussion

CaseyPDecember 21st, 2007, 4:59 pm
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
are midges and gnats different bugs? if so, how? am tying midge larvae and pupae, and buying Griffith's Gnats and wondering if it's all in the family.
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
MartinlfDecember 21st, 2007, 6:18 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2907
Hi Casey,

The Griffith's Gnat is often used as a midge cluster imitation, or in smaller sizes as a hatching midge imitation. It frequently works when other flies fail, and many consider it a go to fly for tough fish that are taking midges. It can also serve as a great indicator when you're fishing pupae or larvae underneath by tying a dropper to the Griffith's Gnat (hook bend or eye) and a sunken fly to the other end of the dropper. By the way, how's the skiing? :)

Happy Holidays!
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
TaxonDecember 21st, 2007, 9:25 pm
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1294

are midges and gnats different bugs? if so, how?

No, Casey. Both midge and gnat are colloquial names applied to various families within suborder Nematocera (longhorned flies) of order Diptera (true flies). This is somewhat easier to visualize at Aquatic True Fly Taxonomic Structure.
Roger Rohrbeck
MartinlfDecember 22nd, 2007, 6:38 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2907
Thanks Roger. I was comfortable with the tying question, and supposed that we were dealing with common names here, but wanted to leave the fine print to the bug guys.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

Quick Reply

You have to be logged in to post on the forum. It's this easy:
Username:          Email:

Password:    Confirm Password:

I am at least 13 years old and agree to the rules.

Related Discussions

TitleRepliesLast Reply
Re: Griffiths Gnat
In Fly Tying by Mcflyangler
1Jun 20, 2016
by Flytyerinpa
Re: Beaver Pond(s)?
In General Discussion by TimCat
3Aug 11, 2016
by PaulRoberts
Re: Fishing with my nephew
In Fishing Reports by Martinlf
13Jan 30, 2016
by Martinlf
Re: Will the real Black Gnat please stand up?
In General Discussion by Softhackle
13Jun 29, 2011
by Softhackle
Re: Midge Sizes
In General Discussion by Lastchance
7Jan 9, 2009
by DSFlyman
Re: Clusters of midges and the Griffith's Gnat
In the True Fly Family Chironomidae by Troutnut
35May 22, 2015
by Taxon
South Platte
In Fishing Reports by Sundula
Re: Fly Fishing The Rogue River
In Fishing Reports by RogueBum
4Jun 16, 2014
by Powellammon
Re: South Platte/ Waterton Canyon
In Fishing Reports by Sundula
1Oct 19, 2006
Re: little black stoneflies
In the Stonefly Family Capniidae by CaseyP
5Nov 29, 2012
by Entoman
Most Recent Posts
Re: Changing fly line
In Gear Talk by Red_green_h
Re: 6wt reel help
In Gear Talk by Swampfox (Partsman replied)
Re: Cold weather fly fishing
In Beginner Help by Red_green_h
Re: Boots
In Gear Talk by Martinlf (Wbranch replied)
Re: nm
In Gear Talk by Red_green_h
Re: My (new) place and its environs
In the Photography Board by Jmd123 (Partsman replied)
Re: Holy Waters - over-rated
In General Discussion by Brian314 (Partsman replied)
Re: Site updates from September 11, 2019
In Site Updates by Troutnut (Martinlf replied)
Re: Fly fishing Basque Country in Spain
In General Discussion by 87Defender (Wbranch replied)