Colorado Midge Hatch: Winter


Fly Fishing during the winter months often consists of the same set up day after day and that setup generally includes a bobber and some type of midge imitation. Of course changing out your lead egg fly for a small BWO or Stonefly occurs but 90% of the time we are staring at a bobber waiting for a strike. And why wouldn’t we? this is an extremely effective method to get the rod bent and the net wet. But there are those times when the mercury rises to the right temperature and we start to see rising fish. Timing these sometime short periods can be difficult but when it happens we are allowed to cast dries in the middle of winter to rising trout. This happens a lot on tailwater rivers where water temperature is more consistent but we also see a lot of surface activity on freestone rivers like, the Roaring Fork and Eagle River. Both of these drainages can create some amazing midge hatches and sometimes they are significant enough to bring, what seems like, every fish to the surface. During the last few weeks of warm weather I brought my camera instead of a fly rod and tried to capture trout eating naturals during the peak of the day. It was interesting to observe their behavior and it was also challenging not to spook the fish such low clear water. All of these fish we filmed along the Eagle River in different locations and while I wasn’t able to find a prolific midge hatch there were enough bugs on the water to keep it consistent. This is something that we are fortunate enough to have here in Colorado, I know anglers back East who would love to be able to cast dries year round to rising trout. Although it can be a total pain in the rear to change your whole set up for a couple rising fish give it a try the next time you see a few risers. It can be a very rewarding experience to catch a trout selectively eating midges off the surface….in the middle of winter.

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