Choosing the Right Midge Pattern to Catch Trout on This Tiny Insect
Midges provide trout with their sole year-round food source, so selecting a pattern with which you are most familiar is critical to successfully fishing this tiny insect.
We evaluated six candidate reference genes as potential tools for conducting relative gene expression analyses using real-time quantitative PCR: actin, b-tubulin, GAPDH, RPS18 and previously defined EF1b as well as subunit A of Vha. Our results demonstrated that actin and EF1b proved the most reliable.
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Midge larvae resemble tiny mealworms with hard heads and long, segmented bodies resembling their aquatic environment, spending up to nine months before pupating into adults.
Midge larvae that do not bite have red-hues due to hemoglobin, an oxygen-binding protein which allows them to survive in low oxygenated waters and float and drift with current, providing anglers an advantage when fishing for midges in streams and rivers.
The Manhattan midge is a timeless classic for fooling selective trout, having proven effective on rivers such as Yampa, Blue, Gunnison and South Platte. When fishing this pattern on these waters a longer leader (e.g. 9ft 5x tapered) should be used to achieve drag-free drift of your fly.
Midges provide trout with food year-round. Fly fishermen should use midges in combination with egg patterns, squirmy worms and leech patterns tailored to each season – in winter/early spring an emerger tied with a small blue-wing olive pattern can make an effective rig.
If trout are feeling lethargic, midge larvae hanging low on the meniscus portion of the water column could provide them with sustenance to bite on. At such times, use an emerging midge pattern like Klinkhammer Midge for optimal success – this proven tailwater and spring creek winner features a mercury beadhead, thin wire copper rib and small tufted wing – tied onto a barbless hook using a whip finish knot to seat its knot securely.
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The Manhattan Midge is a combination of some Dorsey family favorites: Top Secret, Mercury Black Beauty and Mercury Blood Midge. This particular version boasts silver bead, flash ribbon wing and peacock herl for added color and appeal; proven trout-catching patterns commonly found in tailwater anglers’ fly boxes.
The Manhattan Midge is tied on a red Umpqua U-Series size 20 scud hook. Though these hooks may seem small, they’re easy to work with using plunger-style hackle pliers. After making several turns around the rib, wings should extend just behind the bead so as to seat well before trimming back their buds to half their original size for whip finishes before being ready for fishing!
The Manhattan Midge is an innovative combination of multiple Dorsey family patterns. It incorporates features from both Top Secret Midge (mercury beadhead and thin wire rib), Mercury Black Beauty (wings from Top Secret Midge) and Peacock Herl (peacock herl wings). Guides have long used it successfully on rivers such as Yampa, Gunnison and Colorado in Colorado; along with spring creeks such as Charlie Meyers SWA, Cheesman Deckers Eleven Mile Canyon etc.).
It can also serve as an indicator fly on a dry-dropper rig when midges are the primary food source in cold, highly oxygenated waters, floating just above your strike indicator (such as Mayfly, caddis fly, stonefly or ant) to draw strikes from unsuspecting trout. Plus it looks fantastic under scuds or San Juan Worms!