SPRING TIME CHIRONOMIDS PUPA STAGE

by Ernie Gulley Fly Fishing
in Blog
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 AS PROMISED EACH WEEK I WOULD TRY TO UPDATE MY BLOG AND THIS MONTH I WILL BE FOCUSING ON THE DIFFERENT STAGES OF THE CHIRONOMIDS LIFE CYCLE AND MY PHILOSOPHY ON HOW I ATTACK EACH STAGE OF THE CHIRONOMID LIFE CYLCE.   OF COURSE EVERYONE FEELS AND FISHES DIFFERENTLY AND THATS FINE, I APPRECIATE AND RESPECT EVERYONES DIFFERENT THOUGHTS AND STYLES OF FISHING.  THIS IS AN AMAZING BUG THAT IS MORE THAN 50% OF A TROUTS YEARLY FOOD SOURCE IN A STILLWATER ENVIRONMENT.   HOPE YOU ENJOY AND FEEL FREE TO COMMENT ON EACH AND EVERY ONE OF MY BLOG POSTS.

 WHAT I CALL THE SECOND STAGE, ONCE THE LARVA ON THE BOTTOM OF THE LAKE FLOOR CHANGE INTO THE PUPA STAGE, WILL HANG AROUND CLOSE TO THE BOTTOM.  THEY WILL PILE UP IN A VERY SMALL BAND ON THE BOTTOM OF THE LAKE FLOOR.   THE PICTURE ABOVE SHOWS HOW THERE ARE VERY FEW LARVA NOW, AND MANY, MANY PUPA IN THE 6" TO 12" RANGE OF DEPTH FROM THE BOTTOM.   THE PUPA ARE SITTING DUCKS AT THIS STAGE FOR THE CRUISING TROUT.  THIS IS WHEN YOU HAVE THE MOST FOOD STACKED UP IN A VERY SMALL BUT THICK BAND.  THE CRUISING TROUT WILL SWIM THRU AND FILTER FEED ON THE HELPLESS PUPA.  THIS IS BY FAR SOME OF THE BEST FISHING AND LONGEST PERIODS OF TIME TO BE SUCCESSFUL AND HAMMER FISH AND FISH! 

 YOU WANT TO KEEP YOUR MIDGE PUPA PATTERNS IN THE 6" TO 12" RANGE AS YOUR STARTING POINT.   YOU WILL HAVE SOME WIGGLE ROOM IN REGARDS TO CHANGING YOUR DEPTH HIGHER IN THE WATER COLUMN, WITH SOMETIMES JUST A FEW INCHES BEING THE DECIDING FACTOR TO ABLE TO "DIAL IT IN" FOR FASTER TAKE DOWNS OR GRABS.  THIS IS WHAT IS SO FUN ABOUT THIS STYLE OF FISHING, CONTROLLING YOUR DEPTH IS THE NUMBER ONE FACTOR IN THIS STYLE OF FISHING OR ANY OTHER FISHING FOR THAT MATTER. 

 IF YOU FEEL YOU ARE NOT GETTING THE SAME AMOUNT OF GRABS OR TAKEDOWNS AS OTHER ANGLERS AROUND YOU,  OR IF THE FISHING HAS JUST SLOWED DOWN, YOU NEED TO TAKE A THROAT SAMPLE.  THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT TOOL TO FIGURE OUT WHAT CYCLE OR STAGE THE CHIRONOMIDS ARE, AND NOW WHAT PATTERN TO SHOW TO THE FEEDING TROUT.   NOTICE THAT THERE ARE ONLY TWO LARVA IN THIS THROAT SAMPLE AND MUCH MORE PUPA.  THIS TELLS YOU IMMEDIATELY THAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THE CHANGE FROM LARVA TO PUPA.   

 HERE IS A REALLY NICE CLOSE UP OF WHAT THE PUPA LOOKS LIKE ONCE IT HAS TRANSFORMED FROM THE LARVA TO THE PUPA STAGE.   NOTICE HOW THE BUG HAS COMPLETELY CHANGED, FROM A VERY LONG AND THIN LARVA, TO A MUCH THICKER BUG.  NOTICE THEY HAVE A VERY THICK HEAD COMPARED TO THEIR BODY.  THIS IS IMPORTANT TO TAPER YOUR FLIES DOWN FROM THICK TO A VERY SLIM BODY.  IN MY HUMBLE OPINION, YOU CAN NEVER TIE THE CHIRONOMID THIN ENOUGH BUT YOU CAN START THE HEAD SECTION MUCH LARGER THAN THE BODY OF THE BUG.  

 THERE ARE A FEW STAPLES THAT ALL CHIRONOMID FISHERMEN ALWAYS HAVE IN THEIR BOXES, BELOW ARE A FEW EXAMPLES.  I WOULD SUGGEST THAT YOU HAVE A MINIMUM OF 15 TO 20 DIFFERENT COLORS TO CHOOSE FROM TO BE VERY SUCCESSFUL AT WHAT AGAIN I CALL "DIALING IT IN".   THERE WILL BE MANY TIMES YOU WILL BE ABLE TO HAVE MORE SUCESS THAN OTHER ANGLERS AROUND YOU BY CHANGING OUT YOUR COLOR.  I WILL NEVER FISH A COLOR MORE THAN 10 MINUTES WITHOUT A TAKE DOWN.   THE FISH WILL BE ABLE TO FIND YOUR FLY IN MOST CIRCUMSTANCES IN ABOUT 3 MINUTES INTO YOUR PRESENTATION.   WHEN I AM GUIDING, EVERYONE GETS A DIFFERENT COLOR TO START WITH AND IF ONE COLOR IS GETTING MORE GRABS, EVERYONE GETS THAT COLOR.   ONCE IT SLOWS DOWN, COLOR CHANGE IS IMPORTANT AGAIN TO GET THE FISH TO GRAB YOUR FLY AT A FASTER PACE. 

 I HAVE WELL OVER A 100 DIFFERENT MIDGE COLOR COMBINATIONS.   DO I EVERY FISH THAT MANY COLORS?   NO!, HOWEVER THERE HAVE BEEN MANY TIMES WHEN THE BITE IS TOUGH AND I WILL PULL OUT A COLOR NO ONE ELSE IS FISHING AND THE BITE WILL BECOME WIDE OPEN.   THIS IS WHY YOU SHOULD EXPERIMENT WITH COLOR COMBINATIONS.   CHIRONOMIDS IN EVERY STAGE ARE VERY EASY TO TIE AND IF YOUR NEW TO FLY TYING, THIS CAN HELP BUILD UP YOUR TYING SKILLS BY LEARNING TO CONTROL YOUR THREAD SO YOU CAN MOVE ON TO TYING OTHER BUGS FOR FLY FISHING.  

 SIZES OF COURSE, DEPENDING ON YOUR PARTICULAR STILLWATER YOU ARE FISHING CAN VARY.   IF YOU ARE FISHING IN KAMLOOPS, BRITISH COLUMBIA, THE MIDGES ARE SO LARGE THEY ARE CALLED BOMBERS.   YOU CAN FISH A LONG SHANKED HOOK THAT IS OVER AN INCH LONG AND STILL NOT BE LONG ENOUGH TO IMITATE THE REAL BUG.   FOR LAKES IN THE SIERRA, YOU SHOULD HAVE SIZES 14 DOWN TO AN 18 AND THAT WILL GET YOU INTO MANY FISH.    

 ANOTHER THING TO REMEMBER, IN THE SPRING TIME YOU WILL FIND CHIRONOMIDS IN THEIR VERY LARGEST SIZE.  AS THE SPRING GETS INTO SUMMER, THE MIDGES WILL START TO GET SMALLER IN SIZE, ONCE INTO FALL, THIS IS WHEN YOU SEE THE SMALLEST BUGS.  YOU WILL HAVE TO MAKE THE PROPER ADJUSTMENTS IN SIZE TO STAY ON LARGE NUMBERS OF FISH.

NEXT WEEK I WILL TALK ABOUT THE THIRD STAGE OF THE CHIRONOMIDS LIFE CYCLE, WHEN THEY START TO WORK THEIR WAY UP IN THE WATER COLUMN, EMERGE AND HATCH INTO THE ADULT!

I HOPE YOU HAVE ENJOYED A LITLE OF MY CHIRONOMID PHILOSOPHY AND LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING EVERYONE OUT ON THE WATER!

 

I do love me some "Stillwater" fly fishing…..Ernie