Today we continue our series of weekly posts straight from The Little Red Book of Fly Fishing – a new collection of 250 nuggets of fly fishing wisdom from Kirk Deeter and the late, great Charlie Meyers. We’re lucky enough to have gotten permission to post some excerpts from the book – read on!
Our tip for the day is about fly selection when fishing a midge hatch.
If you find this kind of this useful, you can pick up your copy of The Little Red Book of Fly Fishing right here.
Make it a Meal
The midge hatch is on. I’m fishing with Dan Stein, and swarms of tiny insects are littering the river’s surface. Every trout in the Bighorn seems to be eating dry flies.
I reach into my fly box and poke around for a size 24 black midge pattern.
“That’s no good,” Dan said. “You won’t see it and the fish won’t eat it.”
Instead of that tiny fly, Dan dipped into his fly box for a size 14 Blue Dun, a fly that looked absolutely nothing like the naturals on the water.
I wondered what in the world he was thinking, and he knew it.
“Just watch,” he said. “Throw that fly upstream from the fish you just saw rising by the bank, and let it drift down.”
I made the cast, and within a split second natural midges started landing on my fly. By the time it floated into the fish’s feeding zone, it was a meatball of swarming insects. Sure enough, the brown trout rose to inhale the meatball fly, and I set the hook.
“You have to make it a meal,” Dan said, smiling. “Why would a fish waste time and energy to suck down one little bitty bug? When the midges are hatching thick, always fish a midge cluster, or use a fly the bugs can cluster on. The more protein a fish sees, the more likely it is to eat.”