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> > 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: 2932
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: 1298

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: 2932
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

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