Buzzer Fishing Tactics

1 CommentThursday, 4 September 2014  |  Admin

One of the biggest questions asked is how to fish buzzers. Fly fishing with buzzers is hugely successful and under-estimated by many. Buzzer fishing flies imitate the emerging form of a midge fly. Most typically they imitate the midge emerged. A bloodworm is blood red at the bottom of a lake, it moves slowly to the surface changing colour, often black but it can be brown, olive or other colours. In its journey to the surface of the water the buzzer fly pupa throws out breathers and often moves up and down, not directly upwards to the surface. It reaches the surface film and has to break through, often hanging in a "j" shape below the surface film. When it finally breaks through it emerges into a midge in just 30 seconds!

Colors of Trout Buzzers

There are lots of different midges affecting stillwaters, Black Midge, Large and Small Green Midges, Orange-Silver Midge, Small Brown Midge and Large Red midge, each has different hatches and changes in fly coloration to match the adult can help! Here are hatch charts for each of the variations can be seen on our Midge Hatch Details blog post. We usually start with black buzzers and will try different coloured flies according to the time of year and specific midge hatches occurring.

Buzzer Fly Patterns


Buzzer Trout Flies Hatch Frequency

Midges are part of the Chironomidae family which is their Latin name, we know them as midges with their larval form called blood worm and the pupae are commonly called buzzers, these are what we use as flies for fly fishing. What times of year do buzzers hatch? Check our hatch guide below for guidelines

Trout Buzers Hatch Guide


Size of Trout Buzzers - Do small buzzer flies work?

Yes they often work really well, a natural emerging buzzer can often be around size 14 to as small as size 22. To mimic this we often start with small flies size 16 on our rig. On the point we will often use a tungsten head or size 8 fly when fishing from a boat to allow the flies to get down in the water. Do watch where the trout are feeding, in summer you will often find Rainbow and Brown trout feeding in the top 18 inches of water, we have seen them feeding in the top 3 inches and watched as fly fishermen caught nothing because their flies were dropping below the feeding and emerging zones.

Trout Buzzer Flies Fishing Methods, Tips & Techniques

Buzzers move very slowly when emerging, moving slowly up and down in the water column until conditions are right to hatch. A team often consists of 3 buzzers for trout on a droppered leader, with the heaviest buzzer on the point. Never strip a team of buzzers, allow them to drift naturally, suspend them with a buoyant fly like a stimulator or Thingamabobber or cast, allow the team to drop below the feeding zone. Lift the rod tip slowly taking about 3 to 5 seconds to reach 60 degrees then lower the rod tip rapidly, take up the slack line and allow to drop again. The lift and drop slowly imitates the natural we are trying to imitate. Check our YouTube buzzer fishing techniques video or watch it below

When using buzzers the best fishing method is to keep it slow! What are the best buzzer fishing techniques? firstly the biggest mistake made by fly fishermen is because they are used to stripping lures they try the same techniques with trout buzzer flies. Buzzer fly fishing is a slow technique, use buzzers on a drift with a floating flyline and allow the line to drift with the current or wind or use a Bobber or other strike indicator to suspend your buzzers. Alternatively use a buoyant foam fly or stimulator flies  to suspend a team of buzzers when buzzer fishing for trout 

  1. Do NOT strip trout buzzers
  2. Static or slow drift team
  3. Vary depth of the team, trout will feed at different levels at different times of the day
  4. look for porpoising trout, if they are slowly taking buzzers just below the surface swap to CDC emerger buzzers or Sandys Assassins
  5. try strike indicators or suspend a team of buzzers with a Stimulator fly, Foam Arsed Blob or buoyant foam fly
  6. Be prepared to use small buzzers, although size 8 is a great point fly when boat fishing a size 16 or size 18 better matches natural trout buzzer sizes

Tactics & Techniques Video

We believe buzzers are certainly one of the important flies in any stillwater fly fishermans box when fishing for Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout. Check out our 14 minute buzzers fly fishing tactics and techniques educational video below showing you all about using buzzers fishing flies for trout, it has great tips and techniques for you to use when using buzzers for fly fishing.



If you are on a stillwater then check our hatch charts to see what is likely to be hatching. On reservoirs and lakes natural flies that will almost always be about and catch brown and rainbow trout are midges which grow and emerge. All stages of the life-cycle can be imitated by Bloodworms which change into buzzers which we have a successful ranges of Buzzer fly patterns including Blank Buster Buzzers and Flashback Buzzers and Epoxy Buzzers / Nymphs. Once in the surface film we can imitated these by Assassin Emergers, Blank Buster CDC Emergers and Emergers and Suspenders which to the trout look like the midge pupae ready to hatch.

Doreen Allen
Monday, 24 December 2018  |  1:22


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