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Whats that bug?

Discussion in 'Fish on the Fly' started by Utard, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. Utard

    Utard

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    Recently I stopped in to observe a small, local pond--Blue Limestone. It was a sunny day, temps around 40-45ish and the pond has been ice-free for a couple weeks now. I observed several light-olive/cream-colored nymphs swimming toward the surface of the water, or just swimming along with the wind-blown current. This was awesome for me as I had never, in all my years of fishing, actually seen any aquatic insects swimming. I had a new found appreciation for some of our more popular nymph patterns and some enlightenment on how I could improve my patterns.

    I went back two days later on a colder, cloudier day hoping to locate some of the rainbows that were stocked in this typical warm-water pond. I wasn't able to observe any of these nymphs; however, I saw a great number of shucks floating in the surface film and a good number of diptera (two-wing flies) flying and floating along as well. They were similar in color to the nymphs I observed a few days before, maybe a little darker olive. I readily recognized these flies as I have seen millions of them around just about every warm water lake or pond I've ever been to. They do not bite and would be equal in size to about a size 14 dry fly hook.

    I am wondering if anyone out there knows a little about these flies. I've never seen them in or around any cold body of water (eventhough the water temp of this pond had to be less than 50). What are these flies? Do fish feed on them? What patterns are regularly used to imitate them? My first thought when I saw the nymphs was mayflies. This would hold true back home (March is famous for the first BWO hatches) but I don't know much about the midwest yet. Also, when I saw the adults flying around I knew they weren't mayflies. The adults keep their wings held back, almost like a caddis at rest, but not tent-style. Just flat against their backs like a house fly.

    I recently read a great article about chironomids and wonder if these are chironomids. I'm not familiar at all with chironomids. Is anyone out there familiar with these little flies/nymphs?
     
  2. Flyfish Dog

    Flyfish Dog Banned

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    without seeing a picture of the particular bugs it kinda hard. But typically in ponds there are lots of dragonfly and damsel flys nymphs in them and usually are first to emerge. Check around submerge vegetation and a small screen net to catch them. Be interesting and a lot of fun! Tent style wings are usually caddis fly.
     

  3. sevenx

    sevenx "I sat by the river" N.Mc

    Perhaps a small stone fly, A yellow sally, Stone flies can be active all year round and hatch in the winter in some cases. The plecoptera is the scientific name for stone flies. Most feed on plant material but some are know to be predators. Chironomid larve will have no legs and maggot like bodies. Caddis will also have the characteristics and though there are some free swimming varieties most are cased or net builder and would not be likly to hatch at these water temps. My guess would be stonefly without seeing a pic. S
     
  4. when you went back later, I would say that what you saw was the beginning of a midge hatch. People think very small when talking about midges (diptera), but some of them get quite large; sz 12's and 14's.

    Dan
     
  5. Utard

    Utard

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    Good info guys. It certainly is possible that the nymphs were stones. They swam like the descriptions of stones I've read, but looked a lot like a mayfly nymph. Then again, I suppose that small stones and mayflies can look similar. The adults definitely weren't caddis though. I've seen my fair share of caddis flies (including one that was crawling on my truck window today!) and these were not them. Like I said, they held their wings back, but not in a tent shape. Also, their body's were longer than their wings, unlike a caddis. I'll be going fishing sometime soon, so I'll try to get some pictures.
     
  6. my guess would be midges just because there have been huge hatches recently at almost every pond i visit, and some of the bigger ones are around a 14. the s do fold thier wings back and the shucks litter the windy shorelines. however i would really like to see a picture, they could just as well be some type of stonefly, or some type of baetis(mayfly including bwo), or something else altogether. plus if its something else i have an excuse to tie some new patterns.
    just read the end of your last post where you mention the body is longer than the wings, if its about twice the length of the wings, and the shucks are wormlike with dark rings, some may also have left over white gill fillements, that would be the big midges(chiromonids). fish eat them up
     
  7. Flyfish Dog

    Flyfish Dog Banned

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    Was it one of these?
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Utard

    Utard

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    This is what they were. http://cache.eb.com/eb/image?id=9988&rendTypeId=4

    These are chironomids or midges (they're the same thing). Looks like I know what I'll be fishing with for the next little while.

    One other question for you fly folks. Anyone ever noticed or done well with chironomids in any of our trout streams? I've never really ever read anything about them working well in the Mad or the Clear Fork, but it seems (from what I've read) that they not only are extremely prevelent in almost all types of water, but that they make up a HUGE percentage of a trout's diet. Any experiences out there?
     
  9. Fishaholic69

    Fishaholic69 Fly Fishing Addict

    ya the pic you posted is a midge or a sandfly is what I have heard them called when I was little. didn't kno they were out yet. they usually cover my house when they hatch. I hear they are a huge part of a trouts diet or prolly most fish around heres diet. I have never used um but would recommend using a dry fly with a midge nymph pattern. at leats this is what i was recommended. lots of midge nymphs to make also! try a brassie or zebra midge.
     
  10. i have caught fish in the mad on them, they have saved me from a skunk there before, and probably will again. on the mad i have taken them on as small as a #24 as an emerger, it works when they are tough and the water is low. as for clearfork i have never bothered, and the little stockers at clear creek are dumb enough there is no need for midges. at brookville however it makes up the large majority of the fishes diet and they often take almost nothing else. i do wonder if stocker rainbows in ponds would eat them but i kind of doubt it.
     

  11. OK, Flyfish Dog, I'll bite. What is that monster in the picture?:)
     
  12. Flyfish Dog

    Flyfish Dog Banned

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    Female hellgramite!(2 1/2inch long):) They get rather very large. Males can be up to 5 to 6inches with huge mandibles that can cut and draw blood on your hand if you dare. My favorite patterns for huge trouts and smallies. Although I have seen fish eat adult but I had lots of problem with making the wings on them so a scrapped it a couple years ago. But made a a pattern to imitate them swimming in the water though and it has been awesome catching fish.
    [​IMG]
    Here is one of my big bow caught on one as you can see the fly in the upper corner which is 3 inch long.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Thanks FfD. I've never saw one of those before. Nice looking fly, and it looks like the trout like it too!