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Lake Chironomids, or Midges to You & Me

A place to discuss techniques and rigging options for use in "non-mountain stream" areas such as lakes and warm-water areas, as well as non-traditional tenkara techniques such as nymphing.

Lake Chironomids, or Midges to You & Me

Postby Karl Klavon » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:37 am

This is a reproduction from part of Phillip Rowley's book Fly Patterns for Stillwaters. In alpine lakes midges are the most prolific food form available for the trout. Rowley's work concentrates on rich, relatively low elevation lakes. But, if anything, alpine lake trout rely much more heavily on chironomids than their better feed relatives in the richer lakes do. Here is the link to his online article: http://flyanglersonline.com/features/lakes/part56.php
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Re: Lake Chironomids, or Midges to You & Me

Postby Aaron Proffitt » Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:46 am

Good find,Karl !!
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Re: Lake Chironomids, or Midges to You & Me

Postby Karl Klavon » Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:35 pm

Here is another source of information on lake midges, including a 4:54 minute length video of the midge's life cycle filmed in Denmark: http://flyguys.net/blog/aquatic-entomology/everything-chironomid
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Re: Lake Chironomids, or Midges to You & Me

Postby tsegelke » Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:22 pm

Bugs of the Underworld also has some nice footage and information of Midge Life cycle.

Fall fishing is my favorite time. I have found that this is the time that the trout are really focusing on Midges to fatten up to get through the winter in the rivers. They are a staple all year round, but in the rivers, the fall is the only time that they move much to get to them. Otherwise, the trout take them with lille effort, and move for the larger foods of Mayfly and Caddis.
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Re: Lake Chironomids, or Midges to You & Me

Postby Karl Klavon » Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:00 am

Some of the pictures provided on the link above are about the best that I have ever seen. The shot of the midge larva in the collecting vile provides a sizing reference in just how big blood worms get in lakes by checking out how long the larva are compared to the guy's thumb and forefinger holding the vile. The shot of the large fish who's mouth and throat are packed with midge pupa is also an eye opener, and the lead photo showing the intricate detail of a midge pupa is also very nice.

Cutter's video is outstanding but it does not show the blood worms poking their heads out of their tubes on the bottom of a lake the way the video on the link does, or the cut away view of a blood worm in its bottom sediment tube. The midge pupa swimming to the surface to emerge in Cutter's video are swimming a lot faster than I have ever seen a midge pupa swim. So fast, in fact, that I wondered if the film had been sped up for enhancement of its visual effects. The pupa swim rate shown in the video from the link are much more consistent with what I have observed in lake midge pupa. But Cutter's filming of the emergence of the adult midge at the surface of the water is far superior to the sequence provided in the linked video. However, the shots of adult midges resting on alder leaves is most useful for showing that these lake midges are pretty darned big insects, considerably larger than running water midges and even many mayflies ever get to be.
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Re: Lake Chironomids, or Midges to You & Me

Postby statikpunk » Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:53 am

in my local fly club they try and have a topic with a presentation at every meeting, this last one just happened to be on chironomids. here is a link to the presentation material, it was very good :)
http://flyfishelko.blogspot.com/2012/11/chironomid-fishing-for-novembers-meeting.html
not my style of fishing, (with a bobber an all) but then again a pretty common saying in my local club is "well, this doesnt apply to the Tenkara guy." but all in all I have to admit they catch a lot of big fish those guys.
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Re: Lake Chironomids, or Midges to You & Me

Postby Aaron Proffitt » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:34 am

Question ...why are chiros considered a still water pattern ? Wouldn't they also occur in streams ?
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Re: Lake Chironomids, or Midges to You & Me

Postby GregM » Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:02 am

Aaron Proffitt wrote:Question ...why are chiros considered a still water pattern ? Wouldn't they also occur in streams ?


No one is saying they are exclusive to lakes, but if you are fishing lakes this is the how and why.

'Midges abound in nearly every stream and comprise a larger part of the buffet, winter and summer.
So fish accordingly, unless you're are strictly a "one fly tenkara guy".
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Re: Lake Chironomids, or Midges to You & Me

Postby Aaron Proffitt » Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:37 am

Thanks , Greg . I just always hear them referred to as a 'still water' pattern even though I've scooped them up in a little , well, scoop net. Seen tons of them in pools, too.
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Re: Lake Chironomids, or Midges to You & Me

Postby Karl Klavon » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:25 am

Aaron and all, although technically imprecise the term Chironomids in this context refers to the much bigger stillwater members of the midge family, which have life cycles running two or more years in length, and emerge in force during the ice free warm weather months of the year on high lakes.

Running water midges, on the other hand, have life cycles lasting from a matter of weeks to a few months, may be multi-brooded in a single year, emerge in mass during the winter months of the year, when most other larger food forms are not available for the trout to eat, and, consequently, running water midges are quite small in their physical size.

The Brits, Irish and Canadian anglers tend to call running water Midges - midges, denoting their small size. And the lake Chironomids are called buzzers, describing the big lake dwelling members of the midge family. We tend to lump them all together as either chironomids or midges, which creates a lot of confusion because most anglers believe that all midges are very tiny insects, which is very far from the truth.
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