"Marvelous Midges" By: Bernard Elser

Ever find yourself knee deep in a favorite stream surrounded by rising trout that have no interest in your well placed imitation? You witness a hatch of fair sized flies, and think the trout are picking off a meal of emergers, but there's no response when you repeatedly cast your fly above the rise forms. During the transition from summer to Fall, it's a common dilemma amongst even the most ardent angler. The answer? Quite possibly this: switch to midges. This is the time of year when diminutive insects grab a trout's attention.

Miniature duns, spinners, and caddis usually do the trick at the dawn or dusk of most summer days. Two popular "all-around" patterns that you shouldn't be without are the Griffith's Gnat and the Sulphur Compara Dun. In hook sizes 20 through 26, these dry flies represent a number of different hatches. Tie these midges on barbless hooks, or gently pinch down the barb with forceps. This allows you to release a fish quickly because you won't be fumbling with the tiny hook. (It's important not to handle trout any more than necessary, especially during stressful low water conditions and warmer stream temperatures.) Such small ammunition requires a 9 or 12 foot leader and 7X tippet material; but with a careful touch you can successfully play a fish to your net.

Small flies combined with short, accurate casts will likely boost your chances of a memorable hook-up!

Griffith's Gnat

Hook: Partridge Captain Hamilton L4A Size: 20 through 26
Thread: Orvis 8/0 Black Polyester
Wing: None
Tail: None
Body: 1 strand of Peacock Herl & 1 Grizzly Hackle

1. At the bend of the hook, tie in one strand of peacock herl and one small grizzly dry fly hackle.
2. Wrap the herl toward the hook eye and secure with thread. Next, wrap the hackle, leaving a small gap between each turn.
3. Finish the head with a drop of varnish. The competed fly.

Sulphur Compara Dun

Hook: - Partridge Captain Hamilton L4A Size: 20 through 24
Thread: Orvis 8/0 Yellow Poly
Wing: Gray Coastal Deer Hair
Tail: 6 Dry Fly Hackle Barbules (cream)
Body: Pale Yellow Beaver

1. Tie in a deer hair wing (even the tips of the fibers in a hair stacker first). Next, tie in a tiny ball of fur above the bend of the hook.
2. For a tail, tie 6 dry fly hackle barbules. Use "figure 8" turns of thread to split the tail over the ball of fur.
3. Next, dub the body, wrap from the tail toward the head. Finish the head with a drop of varnish. The completed fly.