As many of you know, its starting to get pretty cold once again out there on the North Platte. Most of the bugs that we became acquainted with during the summer are gone. So what are the fish eating now? Midges. Midges are a very important food source for trout during the winter and can be seen skimming along the water and piling up in large numbers in the snow. They belong to the order Diptera, being closely related to mosquitos or house flies. They begin their life as an egg on the surface of the water, upon hatching they travel to the bottom of the water where they reside as a larvae. Upon growing they enter the pupa stage where the travel up through the water column until they emerge through the surface as an adult.
matched using a RS2, Mayhem Midge, Zebra Midge, or Macgrubers. All of these flies have been great emerger patterns to use out on the North Platte. On many occasions with enough adult midges on the surface of the water, fish will start rising to them. The Griffiths Gnat and Buckey’s Midge Cluster are two of the best patterns for this situation.
When fishing such small flies its important to pick the right tippet. With 3x being the go-to size here on the Platte, go down a size to 4x. This will make it easier to thread the small eyes that are on these hooks and there wont be as large of a knot head. I also recommend using the Davy Knot when tying these on. A quick knot to tie, its very strong and was created for fishing these small hooks. Its important to remember that using this tackle to be gentle on the hook set and to pay attention on the fight. Its going to be easier to snap the 4x tippet especially in the colder conditions.
So next time you are out on the water try out some midge patterns. On the right days the fish just can’t get enough of them.
Quote of the Week: “The finest gift you can give to any fisherman is to put a good fish back, and who knows if the fish that you caught isn’t someone else’s gift to you?”