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Fly fishing midge: 1

Wednesday, 27 May 2015  |  Simon

The humble midge may not seem as fascinating when fly fishing as a giant hexagenia mayfly nymph or the epic activity of thousands of electric green emerging caddis. But trout are basically pretty happy with them.

Midges, relatively small aquatic insects, are found in just almost any freshwater environment in the world. Despite their diminutive size, the hundreds of species of these mosquito-like insects represent a significant portion of a healthy trout's diet. Midges, like caddis, undergo a complete metamorphosis. They experience a larval, pupal, and adult stage in a typical life cycle.

Much like caddis during the larval stage midges look like tiny, segmented worms. Its larvae have a slightly transparent body and often show furry-looking gills. Often, too, they have on one end  a pair of wiggly-looking "prolegs." These tiny creatures rarely measure at best more than an inch in length.

Midges are colourful at both larval and pupal stages. The most common colours for the larvae are tan, white, cream, yellow, blood red, and olive green. Midge larvae can most often be observed swimming about the weeds and rocks of their lake or river environments. In general they don't stray too far from areas offering potential shelter and safety from hungry predators, so don’t dismissing them out of hand when fly fishing.

 
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