Deciphering a Midge Hatch

When I fish the Sipsey Tailrace I usually notice a midge hatch. The best hatches usually occur in the afternoon. Seeing a hatch on the Sipsey doesn’t always mean one will be successful landing trout fishing the hatch. As most of us know landing trout during a hatch depends on matching the hatch and how you present the pattern to the trout; and sometimes that doesn’t work. I know all of us have been there; where you are watching trout feeding heavy on a midge hatch and we cast everything in the fly box at the feeding frenzy and come up empty.

As most you know I just can’t let this hatch mystery go without doing a little research that hopefully will help all of us out on our next hatch adventure. The following image and explanation below is one the best examples of hatch feeding I found. Keep in mind the bugs mentioned here are mayflies, caddis flies, emergers and a midge, but the surface action trout image below could be  the same regardless of the insects.

Watching trout rise from a vantage point at the waters edge will tell you where to cast. But by taking an even closer look and noting how those trout are rising, you can also see exactly what type of fly to throw at them—especially when there are different insects flying in the air. Here’s what to look for.
1 – The Sip
What you see: A very subtle dimple in the water, and only the nose of the trout appears.
What that means: The fish are either sipping midges or eating spent mayfly spinners.
What to fish: A Rusty Spinner—but no bigger than a size 18.
2 – The Slurp
What you see: More pronounced “beaks,” eating on the surface.
What that means: The fish are dialed in on a hatch—likely mayfly duns.
What to fish: A size 18 Parachute Adams. When the fish are really chopping, try a cripple variation.
3 – The Splash
What you see: A sudden, explosive pop with some splash.
What that means: Trout are on moving targets, like skittering caddisflies.
What to fish: Tie on a caddis pattern, such as a size 16 Lawson’s Caddis, and don’t be afraid to give it a twitch.
4 – The Boil
What you see: Disturbed water but no faces—only a dorsal fin and maybe a tail.
What that means: They’re eating emergers before they reach the surface.
What to fish: A size 20 Flashback Barr Emerger just beneath the film.


The following illustration came from a Field and Stream publication



I stocked up on some hatch patterns on my recent visit to the new Cabala’s in Huntsville Alabama this past Thursday. This store had the largest selection of flies I have seen in any fly shop ever!!! I would also say that Cabala’s has a leg up on the Bass Pro fly shops when it comes to quality fly fishing equipment and accessories.



I’m curious what fly size and pattern would you select to get a hit using image 1, 2, 3 or 4?


 

  

Hope all you guys have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends!!!

When I fish the Sipsey Tailrace I usually notice a midge hatch. The best hatches usually occur in the afternoon. Seeing a hatch on the Sipsey doesn’t always mean one will be successful landing trout fishing the hatch. As most of us know landing trout during a hatch depends on matching the hatch and how you present the pattern to the trout; and sometimes that doesn’t work. I know all of us have been there; where you are watching trout feeding heavy on a midge hatch and we cast everything in the fly box at the feeding frenzy and come up empty.

As most you know I just can’t let this hatch mystery go without doing a little research that hopefully will help all of us out on our next hatch adventure. The following image and explanation below is one the best examples of hatch feeding I found. Keep in mind the bugs mentioned here are mayflies, caddis flies, emergers and a midge, but the surface action trout image below could be  the same regardless of the insects.
Watching trout rise from a vantage point at the waters edge will tell you where to cast. But by taking an even closer look and noting how those trout are rising, you can also see exactly what type of fly to throw at them—especially when there are different insects flying in the air. Here’s what to look for.
1 - The Sip
What you see: A very subtle dimple in the water, and only the nose of the trout appears.
What that means: The fish are either sipping midges or eating spent mayfly spinners.
What to fish: A Rusty Spinner—but no bigger than a size 18.
2 - The Slurp
What you see: More pronounced “beaks,” eating on the surface.
What that means: The fish are dialed in on a hatch—likely mayfly duns.
What to fish: A size 18 Parachute Adams. When the fish are really chopping, try a cripple variation.
3 - The Splash
What you see: A sudden, explosive pop with some splash.
What that means: Trout are on moving targets, like skittering caddisflies.
What to fish: Tie on a caddis pattern, such as a size 16 Lawson’s Caddis, and don’t be afraid to give it a twitch.
4 - The Boil
What you see: Disturbed water but no faces—only a dorsal fin and maybe a tail.
What that means: They’re eating emergers before they reach the surface.
What to fish: A size 20 Flashback Barr Emerger just beneath the film.

The following illustration came from a Field and Stream publication

I stocked up on some hatch patterns on my recent visit to the new Cabala’s in Huntsville Alabama this past Thursday. This store had the largest selection of flies I have seen in any fly shop ever!!! I would also say that Cabala’s has a leg up on the Bass Pro fly shops when it comes to quality fly fishing equipment and accessories.

I’m curious what fly size and pattern would you select to get a hit using image 1, 2, 3 or 4?
 
 
 
Hope all you guys have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends!!!

Deciphering a Midge Hatch

When I fish the Sipsey Tailrace I usually notice a midge hatch. The best hatches usually occur in the afternoon. Seeing a hatch on the Sipsey doesn’t always mean one will be successful landing trout fishing the hatch. As most of us know landing trout during a hatch depends on matching the hatch and how you present the pattern to the trout; and sometimes that doesn’t work. I know all of us have been there; where you are watching trout feeding heavy on a midge hatch and we cast everything in the fly box at the feeding frenzy and come up empty.

As most you know I just can’t let this hatch mystery go without doing a little research that hopefully will help all of us out on our next hatch adventure. The following image and explanation below is one the best examples of hatch feeding I found. Keep in mind the bugs mentioned here are mayflies, caddis flies, emergers and a midge, but the surface action trout image below could be  the same regardless of the insects.

Watching trout rise from a vantage point at the waters edge will tell you where to cast. But by taking an even closer look and noting how those trout are rising, you can also see exactly what type of fly to throw at them—especially when there are different insects flying in the air. Here’s what to look for.
1 – The Sip
What you see: A very subtle dimple in the water, and only the nose of the trout appears.
What that means: The fish are either sipping midges or eating spent mayfly spinners.
What to fish: A Rusty Spinner—but no bigger than a size 18.
2 – The Slurp
What you see: More pronounced “beaks,” eating on the surface.
What that means: The fish are dialed in on a hatch—likely mayfly duns.
What to fish: A size 18 Parachute Adams. When the fish are really chopping, try a cripple variation.
3 – The Splash
What you see: A sudden, explosive pop with some splash.
What that means: Trout are on moving targets, like skittering caddisflies.
What to fish: Tie on a caddis pattern, such as a size 16 Lawson’s Caddis, and don’t be afraid to give it a twitch.
4 – The Boil
What you see: Disturbed water but no faces—only a dorsal fin and maybe a tail.
What that means: They’re eating emergers before they reach the surface.
What to fish: A size 20 Flashback Barr Emerger just beneath the film.


The following illustration came from a Field and Stream publication



I stocked up on some hatch patterns on my recent visit to the new Cabala’s in Huntsville Alabama this past Thursday. This store had the largest selection of flies I have seen in any fly shop ever!!! I would also say that Cabala’s has a leg up on the Bass Pro fly shops when it comes to quality fly fishing equipment and accessories.



I’m curious what fly size and pattern would you select to get a hit using image 1, 2, 3 or 4?


 

  

Hope all you guys have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends!!!

When I fish the Sipsey Tailrace I usually notice a midge hatch. The best hatches usually occur in the afternoon. Seeing a hatch on the Sipsey doesn’t always mean one will be successful landing trout fishing the hatch. As most of us know landing trout during a hatch depends on matching the hatch and how you present the pattern to the trout; and sometimes that doesn’t work. I know all of us have been there; where you are watching trout feeding heavy on a midge hatch and we cast everything in the fly box at the feeding frenzy and come up empty.

As most you know I just can’t let this hatch mystery go without doing a little research that hopefully will help all of us out on our next hatch adventure. The following image and explanation below is one the best examples of hatch feeding I found. Keep in mind the bugs mentioned here are mayflies, caddis flies, emergers and a midge, but the surface action trout image below could be  the same regardless of the insects.
Watching trout rise from a vantage point at the waters edge will tell you where to cast. But by taking an even closer look and noting how those trout are rising, you can also see exactly what type of fly to throw at them—especially when there are different insects flying in the air. Here’s what to look for.
1 - The Sip
What you see: A very subtle dimple in the water, and only the nose of the trout appears.
What that means: The fish are either sipping midges or eating spent mayfly spinners.
What to fish: A Rusty Spinner—but no bigger than a size 18.
2 - The Slurp
What you see: More pronounced “beaks,” eating on the surface.
What that means: The fish are dialed in on a hatch—likely mayfly duns.
What to fish: A size 18 Parachute Adams. When the fish are really chopping, try a cripple variation.
3 - The Splash
What you see: A sudden, explosive pop with some splash.
What that means: Trout are on moving targets, like skittering caddisflies.
What to fish: Tie on a caddis pattern, such as a size 16 Lawson’s Caddis, and don’t be afraid to give it a twitch.
4 - The Boil
What you see: Disturbed water but no faces—only a dorsal fin and maybe a tail.
What that means: They’re eating emergers before they reach the surface.
What to fish: A size 20 Flashback Barr Emerger just beneath the film.

The following illustration came from a Field and Stream publication

I stocked up on some hatch patterns on my recent visit to the new Cabala’s in Huntsville Alabama this past Thursday. This store had the largest selection of flies I have seen in any fly shop ever!!! I would also say that Cabala’s has a leg up on the Bass Pro fly shops when it comes to quality fly fishing equipment and accessories.

I’m curious what fly size and pattern would you select to get a hit using image 1, 2, 3 or 4?
 
 
 
Hope all you guys have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends!!!

Fishing The Soft Hackle During a Feeding Frenzy

A quick Saturday morning trip to the Sipsey proved to be productive using the soft hackle. I was not in any big hurry to get on the tailrace this Saturday, because the humidity and fog was heavy. I forgot to mention the crowds. Generators were scheduled to be running at 1 PM so the 2 hours I had needed to be spent wisely. My plan was to spend all my time in two areas right above the pump station. Both spots always have trout and today were no exception. As usual the trout were in a subsurface feeding mode and feeding on tiny brown midge flies. As I stood there and watched the feeding frenzy I notice other anglers casting above and below me. My little area only covered roughly 100 ft. so I staked the area out and stayed put. Needless to say there were a lot of anglers on the Sipsey today.

I got somewhat irritated with the canoes, kayaks and even an aluminum boat floating in all the areas that everyone was trying to fish. I’ve never seen any watercraft during the weekdays, I guess that tells me something???
I always get pumped when I can get some action on the dries, so with the size 18 Gnat I gave the dries their due, but to no avail. My first strange looking wide body trout of the morning, in fact I thought I had landed a small skipjack.

The real reason for this Saturday morning trip was to fish some of the soft hackles Alan tied for me a couple of weeks ago. I know I could have waited until the weekdays with less traffic, but I was like a kid with a new toy I just had to play. Even a Geezer can still be a kid at heart!!!

  Structure slowed the midge drift down and that was the area where the heavy feeding was occurring.

Another rainbow which couldn’t resist the silver hackle; this morning the trout was taking the hackle a little different as opposed to previous trips. No drift takes today, all the hits occurred as I was working the soft hackle back across the feeding area. No indicator, just a slow retrieve tight lining. Numerous rainbows landed today using the 3 weight.
One beat up fly pattern after a mornings work. As I’ve said many times the Sipsey is pressured everyday with lots of fly fishermen especially on weekends; so when one finds a pattern that will produced they better guard it. I found that pattern this morning in Alan’s soft hackle
 

 

 

A quick Saturday morning trip to the Sipsey proved to be productive using the soft hackle. I was not in any big hurry to get on the tailrace this Saturday, because the humidity and fog was heavy. I forgot to mention the crowds. Generators were scheduled to be running at 1 PM so the 2 hours I had needed to be spent wisely. My plan was to spend all my time in two areas right above the pump station. Both spots always have trout and today were no exception. As usual the trout were in a subsurface feeding mode and feeding on tiny brown midge flies. As I stood there and watched the feeding frenzy I notice other anglers casting above and below me. My little area only covered roughly 100 ft. so I staked the area out and stayed put. Needless to say there were a lot of anglers on the Sipsey today.
I got somewhat irritated with the canoes, kayaks and even an aluminum boat floating in all the areas that everyone was trying to fish. I’ve never seen any watercraft during the weekdays, I guess that tells me something???
I always get pumped when I can get some action on the dries, so with the size 18 Gnat I gave the dries their due, but to no avail. My first strange looking wide body trout of the morning, in fact I thought I had landed a small skipjack.

The real reason for this Saturday morning trip was to fish some of the soft hackles Alan tied for me a couple of weeks ago. I know I could have waited until the weekdays with less traffic, but I was like a kid with a new toy I just had to play. Even a Geezer can still be a kid at heart!!!
  Structure slowed the midge drift down and that was the area where the heavy feeding was occurring.
Another rainbow which couldn’t resist the silver hackle; this morning the trout was taking the hackle a little different as opposed to previous trips. No drift takes today, all the hits occurred as I was working the soft hackle back across the feeding area. No indicator, just a slow retrieve tight lining. Numerous rainbows landed today using the 3 weight.
One beat up fly pattern after a mornings work. As I’ve said many times the Sipsey is pressured everyday with lots of fly fishermen especially on weekends; so when one finds a pattern that will produced they better guard it. I found that pattern this morning in Alan’s soft hackle