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DossphotoFebruary 20th, 2010, 3:48 am

Posts: 2
I found this fly hatching somewhat heavily the other day. Air temp was around 33F and the water temp was 39F. I was in the Smith River in Southern Virginia. Anyone have any ideas?

TaxonFebruary 20th, 2010, 1:05 pm
Site Editor
Royse City, TX

Posts: 1350

Not a midge (family Chironomidae); appears to be a black fly (family Simuliidae).
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
DossphotoFebruary 20th, 2010, 5:03 pm

Posts: 2

I had always thought of black flies as being a warmer weather fly. I wasn't really expecting them this time of year. Although that does explain why the fish were ignoring my black midge patterns.
GutcutterFebruary 21st, 2010, 4:38 pm

Posts: 470
if the fish were rising to these "blackflies" and you had a fly of the same size, general shape and shade(+/-) then they should have taken your offering as long as it was presented well.
a trout does not know latin the way some of us do. they will eat what is available.
maybe taxon can tell us if there are differences in how a midge emerges vs a blackfly.
i am wondering if these bugs are related to the african blackfly (also simuliidae) that are the vector for river blindness (Onchocerca volvulus). i learned some latin, too as a research student studying parasitology.
also are these related to the horrific bahamian bug that bears the same common name? a bonefish guide once responded to my question of "what kind of insects are they" as "dey bitey bugs mon"
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
TaxonFebruary 21st, 2010, 8:09 pm
Site Editor
Royse City, TX

Posts: 1350

Don't have any experience with fishing to emerging black flies, but would observe they have a different profile that a chironomid, as they are much wider for their length. My suspicion would be that, much like chironomids, their pupal lifestage would be the one more successfully imitated by a fly fisher.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
WbranchFebruary 23rd, 2010, 3:31 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
"a trout does not know latin the way some of us do. they will eat what is available."

I agree with Mr. Cutter, if your black midge pattern was similar in size and shape to the emering insect, and you presented the fly properly, in most cases the fish would eat your offering.

Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

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